Is banding going the same way as athletics?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by hobgoblin, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    I've seen a recent ad in another respected banding internet organ regarding newly available performance enhancing drugs for nerves. Limelight Products Ltd

    Please remove the link mods if this breaches site rules (sorry).
    I remember when the only thing required to steady the nerves before a contest was a few pints or a sherman, but now it appears that some of our top players are turning up for contests whacked out on Dr R's patent goof-balls? Perhaps the recent sudden rise of a certain band and the seeming demise of the favorites at the open may be due to this product? I note that there are no illicit ingredients in the magic potion, but of course sugar and fertilizer are not wrong either until used in a specific combination. Is banding going the way of athletics and bodybuilding where we need to have a list of banned magic potions or dope testing to maintain a level playing field?
  2. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I doubt that 'natural ingredients' as described have been available long enough to influence the result of the most recent Open, but other substances with a longer history most certainly have. We've had this discussion before:

    Contest nerves | Page 2 | Brass Band Forum

    I liked Private Eye's story this week, about a female whose marathon performance is under suspicion - The Queen. Apparently, her blood has tested positive for gin and Dubonnet, with traces of Sanatogen.
  3. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Taking performance enhancing 'aids' is about as appealing to me (and most others I suspect) as practising 8 hours a day to sound really good at the contest. For most of us this is just a hobby...

    At the top? I've heard a couple of stories first-hand and would suggest that if those who are scared to death of the conductor, have an international reputation to protect and to some extent or other have their career on the line find themselves suddenly crushed by panic or anxiety they have a pretty reasonable motivation to find something, indeed anything, that will help as I am sure we each would in similar circumstances in our own lives.

    I can think of one player who developed a reliance on medicine to help with performance anxiety - said player felt very guilty about this (and even said that the performances given were clean but 'too dull' and not exciting to be a part of) and had to go through quite the roller-coaster to 'get clean'.

    If I had an irregular heart rhythm and my doctor prescribed beta-blockers as treatment a possible happy side effect would be reduced nerves/anxiety. In this case do I have to step off the contest stage and make the tea and butties? There are also a lot of unhappy side effects I might have to endure.

    TL;DR: I personally don't think we need to worry about this.
  4. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    I take beta blockers for medical reasons.
    They have transformed my performance abilities in some ways, but in other ways they have damped me down.

    Pros: I don't get the butterfly thing or the shakes, I am able to commit to any entry even if I am not totally sure I am in the right place.

    Cons: Because there is so little adrenaline being produced the times you need that for a big push it isn't there. Also, I am having to think more about emotion as a soloist. I think it flattens out a lot of natural emotion.

    So, if you are concerned with getting through a performance accurately, like in a contest, it might help. If you are more interested in musical expression it may be a hindrance.
  5. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    Just looked up Limelight Products Ltd.
    The two directors are someone called David Webster and a company called Webster Trading Ltd.
    Webster Trading Ltd was formed last November.
    The directors of Webster Trading Ltd are Roger Webster and Dawn Webster.
    Surely not THE Roger Webster?
  6. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    Seeing that 4BR reported that "One of the major forces in its launch has been Prof Roger Webster - one of the world's leading brass players", I would confidently say it is THE Roger Webster
  7. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    As the interview with Roger Webster in this month's BBW magazine confirms....
  8. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    With all due respect to the OP, I think that calling what appears to be a herbal remedy/nutritional supplement a "performance enhancing drug" is rather over the top!

    I've known plenty of players over the years who've sworn by 'natural remedies' such as Valerian based tablets (eg. Kalms) and Rescue Remedy, and can't really see that this is much different from them - whether its a genuine effect or just placebo, if some people find it helps, then good luck to them.

    And as others have already pointed out here and in multiple older threads on the subject, there are a lot of players who use Beta Blockers..... its nothing new (and neither, evidently, is the use of actual performance-enhancing drugs in sports!).
  9. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    First off, I know literally LOADS of players who openly take beta blockers. There's nothing secretive about it. There's also nothing underhand as far as I can tell. There is also definitely nothing that can categorically prove that by taking this kind of medication you can play higher, louder, faster etc etc.

    I also know some people who more secretly eat bananas just as they go on stage as they think it's a natural form of the same thing. Funny how they seem to be more embarrassed about the banana than a drug!
    Adamskied likes this.
  10. I work in the biosciences industry and was interested in the claims being made for this product. The website mentions "proven results from extensive trials" so I asked whether the results had been published. The answer I got was that 200 participants were involved, with 25% of them given placebos; that 86% of product users reported 'significant reductions' in performance anxiety in live situations, while the same effect was reported in 45% of placebo users; that those reporting greater confidence appeared so by observers; and that the trials were designed and overseen by a clinical advisor from KCL.

    So on the face of it, there is some evidence that these trials were conducted in accordance with established practice, but I'd still like to be able to read a published (and peer-reviewed) paper before I made up my mind. How, for example, was the reported reduction in anxiety measured? Were the participants all at the same location and in communication with one another about this product?

    We may never see the published results because manufacturers often cite commercial reasons for not publishing.
  11. Adamskied

    Adamskied Member

    trumpetmike likes this.
  12. tallyman

    tallyman Member

    Glyn Williams eats alot of banana's and he won best euph at the open............coincidence ?? Glyn No Like Dr R's patent goof-balls!!!
  13. smaca

    smaca Active Member

    Performance Anxiety is a big topic and affects most of us at some time, and to different anything that helps tackle some of the symtoms of PA I am all for, providing they are not mind altering. I have never known a banana to be mind altering, and reading the article on this new product it is just a natural solution to help us all with PA.

    What I would say is anytime I have purchased a product that has been connected wth Roger Webster, whether Prestige Cornet, PPP Method Book, Mouthpieces, Valve Oil etc, it has always resulted in a quality experience and of high customer satisfaction.
    Jeff W and Accidental like this.