I recently turned out to help a Band in my new capacity as "high-plains-driftin-hired-drum", and I happened upon a classic example of this terrible affliction called "floral dance itis". Yep, ok, we all hate the ****** thing. Its become an Albatross round the neck of the banding world, its the only piece of music the average sun reading white van driving half wit, is able to associate with a Brass Band. Sadly this means that Mr and Mrs Half wit will often request it on a concert. The more professional bands amongst our number, will smile through gritted teeth, pretend its just what they wanted to play at that very moment, and give a tidy rendition of the dreaded ditty. Yes its that simple to pull off folks, no one got hurt, the punters are happy, and the dent in your pride as a band worthy of better things will soon fade after your first post gig pint. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as this partucular gig proved. The MD received the request as if he had just been asked to french kiss Anne Widcome, and then announced to the audience what the request was, and informed them how much the band hated playing it and made it quite plain that they were doing so under duress. Fortunatley the audience laughed, presumably because they thought it was part of an act or joke of some kind, or maybe they were just plain embarrassed. The band then obliged with a perfectly appalling attempt at the wretched thing. They were ably assisted in their mission to show their contempt for the piece by the MD, who (as many of them do) decided to really stick two fingers up to the paying public by "getting it over with" as fast as possible, thus making it harder to play and easier to mess up. I am, nowadays, always prepared for this eventuality. Any drummer who has played this piece, will know how difficult it is to play the actual, correct, written rythm pattern, at the kind of speeds now fashionable amongst arrogant snobbish MD,s anxious to leave their "intellectual" mark on the great unwashed audiences. Thats all very well for the tin pot, two bob, wannabee "James Gourlay's" of the brass band world, but how about sparing a thought for the poor sod at the back who's arms are about to fall off, just so you can show the public what a towering musical academic you are. Its all very well expressing your contempt for a piece of music in advance of its performance, but you dont half sound a bunch of clowns if you cant actually play it!!! Yes, I hate the ****** thing as much as anyone, probably more, (having heard so many bad renditions of it) but bands must remember it has to be PLAYED.