London Brass Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by hornette, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. hornette

    hornette New Member

    I'm in a situation where I've recently left South Wales to study at Imperial College in London.... I've been involved in Brass Bands all my life, playing for Ammanford band for many number of years, holding principle horn seat on the NYBBW etc... Anyway, I miss it now, as I don't have a band down here.

    Does anyone know of a decent CENTRAL LONDON brass band that could provide me with an instrument? I really need it to be pretty central, there isn't much scope for me travelling long distances.

    Any help would be appreciated... I really really miss playing!
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I think the only bands in the centre of London are Alliance, Zone One and Fulham.

    The next closest by train would be Regent and Staines (I think), then most of the rest are on the M25 or further out.
  3. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Aren't Capital Brass in the, erm Capital (hopes that's right!) I think they are 2nd section.

    Here is the London and Southern Counties website which might help
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    They're Ealing - which is London (just!)
  5. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    Hi there, I used to live in Central London also (Islington) and also a horn player. I looked for a while for a decent central london band when I moved here and unfortunately you have limited options. If standard is an issue for you then fewer still. Here are some you may want to consider:-

    Enfield Band (can arrange lift with players from tube stations)
    East London Brass - practice in Stoke Newington (nr to Islington - 2nd section)
    Regent Brass (Willesden Green - easy to get to by tube and decent standard)
    Staines Brass (very good standard and you may be able to get a lift with a few players who go from central london)
    Capital Concert Brass - Greenford (2nd section and nice band)
    Denham Band (NW London - 2nd section - accessible by train)
    Zone One brass (good standard - central and student band=practice not often)
    Alliance Brass (good standard - central and student band=practice not often)
    Welwyn Garden City - Welwyn Garden, Herts (some players live close to High Barnet/Cockfosters but then it's about 1/2 hour in car also. Driving - plan on 1.5 hours getting out of London in evenings)

    Redbridge and Averly and Newham are out in East London but you may be able to arrange lifts with other players
    If you are at Imperial then perhaps Fulham is closest to you?? (3rd section band)

    If you need any more info or contact numbers then please give me a shout and i'll point you in the right direction. If you want to keep your lip in until you find the right band for you then you are always welcome at Enfield - msg me and i'll arrange it for you.

    See you around, Simon
  6. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    ^- Simon is really your best resource on this one!
  7. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member


    Seems Simon has forgotten one or two bands! :oops:

    Theres also us, 1st section.
    Fairlop, 2nd Section.
    Redbridge, Championship section.

    All of the above rehearse within about a 5min radius of each other. Also a darn sight nearer than some of the other bands listed elsewhere in this thread (30 mins on central line from Oxford street station). Fairly sure that none of the above bands have any vacancies for horns though! :(

    You also have East London brass in East London! Grays town band, Tilbury (2nd section).
    and Aveley rehearse in Aveley, funnily enough, which is bit of a pig to get to unless you drive. (Is almost directly under the M25)

    Fulham are probably the best bet for a frequently rehearsing central london band.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Indeed. :wink:

    Egham (2nd Section) are just outside the M25. c.40min out from Waterloo (Reading line), one stop (5min) further than Staines, but with the advantage of being less than 2mins walk/stagger from the Station to the Bandhall, (purpose-built, incorporating it's own social club/bar)

    Rehearsals Monday/Friday

    Oh, did I mention we have our own bar/social club?

  9. hornette

    hornette New Member

    i guess I should ring around. The closest to me in regent brass - however I've already contacted them and they don't have a horn I can use.... So no luck there. Also, Alliance already seem to have about 10 horns!!

    Will check out Fulham, cheers for the help guys! Maybe see you at the next contest....!
  10. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

  11. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    There's also the Imperial Wind Band - I assume its still running... The 1812 on the grass under Queen's tower is quite fun :)

    To be serious, IC isn't an easy ride. You won't have THAT much time (though it depends on which course you're on - what are you doing?) I assume you're at the Exhibition Road site, not one of the others...)

    There's also the RCM just over the wall (I met several nice young ladies there.... :eek: ) Though my wife went to IC too (Male:Female was 10:1 in our day!!)

    Have fun...

  12. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    *cough* *splutter* *choke*

    Errr Hello? (jeez some people have bad memories :D )

    Yiewley and West Drayton are just down the end of the train line, though it's a bit of a trek from central london (no worse than Egham, Denham, Staines though).

    There are quite a few bands around, the biggest problem though is getting to and from them, TBH I wouldn't recommend travelling around the tube at night...

    Good luck with your search, Zone one I think are about the most central, not sure where Alliance rehearse.
  13. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    Re: Central is surely inside M25!

    Sorry about forgetting you Becontree, although i'm sure the other bands you mentioned i'd already got!

    ....but by Central I guess I was talking within the M25 (well with the exception of Staines I guess)

    However, granted that Egham are a nice band also :)
  14. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member


    Oh....and Enfield Band does have a spare horn :)
  15. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    One thing worth remembering is that we've still got a pretty reliable public transport network in London, so getting to and fro is relatively easy, particularly if you are fairly near to a tube station.
  16. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    ...and particularly if you enjoy budgeting an hour each way and a fiver for every band rehearsal, and don't mind getting mugged or stranded miles from home every so often.
  17. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    !! That's happened to me before now
  18. hornette

    hornette New Member

    Imperial seems to be just as man dominated now as it was back then! Which is great for me, unlucky for them. And i agree about the "not much time" issue... I am at the Exhibition Road campus, studying Biochemistry and I'm constantly snowed under with work - but that won't deter me from getting back into banding!

    And as for the transport issue.... Band rehearsals can go on quite late, which is why i specified central! The further you go, the more you pay, the further you go, the later you get back! I think Staines etc are a little too far for me to be heading out to twice a week... I think Fulham band is my nearest, about 8/9 stops down the district line and only in Zone 2 but that's still a £4.70 Return!
  19. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Imperial College is by South Kensington, no?

    I know Staines has at least a couple people from the Coldstream Guards so if you can get hooked up with that band, they could probably give you a lift (They're located between Victoria Station and St. James Station) might want to at least check to see what they need.
  20. lewis

    lewis Member

    Alliance doesn't have 10 horns that is just who has played horn with us over the years.

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