Most Unusual Band Engagement

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Kari Anson, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    Now Im sure that someone somewhere must have raised this as a topic before but since I've been a memeber (April) I do not recall there being any postings - so forgive me if this is repetition!

    What is the most unusual band job that you have ever participated in? Mine has definitely has got to be a funeral. In my membership with Wem we have played at two funerals. This particular one was for the late Mr Brown, the local coach operator. We had to march in front of the hurse and lead the procession to the church and even played at the graveside (not me personally). It was the most unusual engagement that I have ever played.
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I actually played in the church and at the graveside at my beloved Mum's funeral. I am the only 'musical' one in our family and Mum loved it. Her favorite piece was Ave Maria.

    A dear friend of mine arranged it for 10 piece band and I played it in the church at her funeral.

    It was very hard to do, but I'm glad I did it, she'd have loved it. I'm also working on an arrangement of this on my Synth.
  3. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    My most unusual, and memorable job was during the Victory Europe celibrations. the TA band i was with at the time were representing the 4 battalion Kings own Shropshire Light Infantry.
    We were to play under the Menim Gate at Ypres (scuse spellin).
    for those that dont know the 'gate' is a huge memorial to those that died liberating the town, and the names of all the soldiers that died are inscribed all over the memorial. To stand to atention and play sunset and last post was the most moving and awe inspiring experience of my time as a muscian. i dont think there was a person in the band that wasnt moved my this experiance
  4. rach marriott

    rach marriott Member

    My most unusual was when I helped another band out & ended up playing several marches on a curtain sided lorry (curtains open, obviously!)- bizarre! :?
  5. Cantonian

    Cantonian Active Member

    When we were students a group of us were asked to aid in an 'arts experience' at the local arts centre.

    We were given some arrangements of medieval type music and then told what was involved.

    The audience started off at the Arts centre and then were transported three miles by bus to a disused church in the middle of nowhere where a Mummers play was being performed.

    Our role was to play on the bus and then stay on the bus in a lay-by while the audience went to the church. After exactly 15 minutes we had to walk to the church and knock on the door. We were introduced as the travelling minstrels, played, left and then played on the bus again back to the Arts centre.

    This worked well for the first three nights although we were getting fed up of the limited repertoire. On the last night, the bus set off but a car was blocking the way causing the bus to reverse so we played the music in reverse i.e. end to beginning.

    When we got to the church we knocked and went in. We found that the costumes had changed and the ladies, instead of wearing sheets as they pranced around, were wearing somewhat sheer costumes and nothing else. By this time we knew the music so did not need to look at the dots on the copy but rather at those elsewhere.

    As we travelled back to the arts centre, by now upstairs on a double decker bus we busked some other music such as 'the Can Can'.

    The arty farty director was furious and told us we had spoilt the experience and had a good mind not to pay us However the South Wales Echo write up the next night said that the band had 'made' the evening, so we did not have to send the heavy mob in!!!
  6. Borfeo

    Borfeo Member

    Weirdest experience I've ever had was when I'd pretty much just started banding with the sadly defunct "Whitburn junior band".
    Basically, we were invited to do a Christmas concert at Carstairs Mental Institute, which should have made us a little wary from the start. However no, and we went out with our usual repertoire to the prison.
    After about and hour of going through gates and wardens eyeing us up suspiciously, we finally started the concert. UNFORTUNATELY our choice of programme was not the best. Such gems as Born Free and the Muppet Show were all played and treated with utter disgust by the "Audience. Funnily enough, it was only when we played "Instant Christmas" did somebody trash the christmas tree, even sane people go nuts at that piece though lol.
  7. tubatu

    tubatu Member

    A few years ago we did a charity job for the Round Table, the unusual thing about it, was that it was in the middle of the Solent (this is the stretch of water between Portsmouth and th Isle of Wight).
    In the Solent there are several Forts, one of which has been converted into a bar and Restaurant. The worst part of the job was transfering all the instruments from the boat onto the Fort, especially as it was a bit rough. :?
  8. blondie

    blondie Member

    I think Kari, Norman Brown's funeral was the most unusual engagement, on a lovely sunny day, and there's the band slow marching past his widow and family. I didn't mind doing it as it was us giving something back after all the years of support him and his family had given to the band. But yes, unusual indeed.
  9. ukdrummerboy

    ukdrummerboy Member

    Mine has to be when i played in a park in Scarborugh. We were playing on a bandstand...though the bandstand is in the middle of a lake and you have to travel by boat to get to it!
  10. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    We were due to lead the parade at a local carnival but due to the age and disabilities of some players the council agreed to send a flat bed wagon for us to sit on and play. On the day we duly turned up but the wagon didn't. The coucil had been unable to get one so they sent us a small council van normally used for (and still full of) cement. Only 10 of us managed to fit on board and the drummer had to march up the street behind us.

    The other unusual job we had was at Hartlepool Brough Hall. A local boxing promoter reguarly hired us to play on the local tv 'fight night'. We used to play background music as the audience came in. We then used to play a fanfare for the two boxers in the main bout and the national anthem. We were then allowed to stay on the stage and watch the boxing. We used to get fed, drinks were provided and we had a better view than the people who had paid £50 for a ringside seat and the band got paid on top of that
  11. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Hmmm... my most bizarre would have to be when one of the BBb players from YLB asked me if I could do a ten-piece gig for him. Assuming this was a proper concert I agreed, being in desperate need of the expenses at the time. It wasn't until after agreeing to the job and getting over there that I found out that I would in fact be playing for "Skipton Sheep Fesitval"! :S Weird!
  12. Mark Bousie

    Mark Bousie Member

    For me, its got to be when, quite a few years ago, playing for my old band back home, the Newhall Band, we were somehow booked to play at a few Indian Weddings in the West Midlands. Good for cross-cultures this, but probably a first. Like an earlier post though, some of our repertoire probably wasn't the most well chosen, most memorably 'I don't know how to love him' from 'Jesus Christ Superstar'!

  13. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    My youth band toured Switzerland last summer, and the tour operator decided to have us playing at the top of a mountain. We had to go up the side of the mountain on some old train, we had 2mins to get the band, plus instruments, percussion etc. on to one carriage...
    Anyway, half way through the performance, a cloud drifted on the top of the mountain. Through the bandstand, first we couldn't see the audience, then our conductor disappeared, then we began to get wet, then our music disappeared and we had to guess where all our stuff was & get back into the cafe thing until the cloud disappeared and passed over. Truely bizarre!!
  14. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I have several bizzare experiences,

    1st The Davis Cup Tennis tournament in Jesmond, Newcastle, where we played the Slovakian (i think national anthem) and then left by the VIP entrance, only to bump into Steve Watson and Robbie Elliott!

    2nd, The Davis Cup Tennis Tournament at Newcastle Telewest Arena, where we played the Slovenian National Anthem and some general music. We got "yellow carded" by the BBC by starting up with Barnard Castle during a Tim Henman interview! We got all area passes and had access to the players dressing rooms, a couple of band members got henman's autograph and Rusedski's Sweat Bands (urrrrgggghhh!)

    3rd, The Grotto, Chatsworth House. This job was utterly bizzare, an evening concert performed from a small grotto (hut) halfway up a hill in a wood. we had to walk about 1/2 mile on muddy paths to get to the damned thing! Apparently there was a huge audience below us near the lake but because the grotto was lit, and outside wasn't, we couldn't see anyone. What made it utterly bizarre, was the huge concrete plinth in the middle of this grotto. This meant that the band to sit on a bench around the edge of the grotto with 2 trombones and the percussion on the plinth, being circular, this resulted in the Back Row, Baris, Euphs, Basses having no view at all of the conductor!!! And as for the midges........

    4th, The Daddy of bizarre band jobs - A Deaf School Open Day, need i say more..........
  15. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Colin decided that the next time we played there it would be a good idea to bring some midge repellant, which meant that instead of being eaten alive, we were asphyxiated by the poisonous fumes.

    Another bizarre job I've done is at a Stock Car meet. A real exercise in futility
  16. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    :lol: I remember this didn't seem funny at the time. The 'steps' to the entrance of the Grotto are not lit and basically is a mud hill! :shock: It took me about 10 mins to get back down because I was wearing the most stupid high shoes and then I got moaned at for not helping carry the percussion down the slope (it was all I could do to make sure I got down there in one piece!)

    We recently did a concert for the opening of a local Heritage Centre. It was basically a small shed but had the most impressive CCTV system!! There was more band there than audience and to top it all off it was threaning to rain and so they had put up a gazebo up for us to play under. Problem was it was far too small for the band so they put 2 up and we had to play half the band under each!!
  17. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    I too have played at both the Chatsworth Grotto and in the middle of Peasholm Park lake Scarborough.

    The seating arrangements at the Grotto were reminiscent of one of those huge American wedding cakes where the tiers sit on top of each other. Despite it's remoteness, the sound carried very well. You can see the 'Grotto' here (with the pointy roof):


    Also for the uninitiated, here is the bandstand in Scarborough! The band and equipment are all ferried out in a motorised 'swan'!


    Unfortunately neither venue appears on our engagement list this year.

  18. Euph-Bari

    Euph-Bari Active Member

    oo think i remember playing there once - looks like the sameplace
    not sure like was adges ago
    but at least simlar place
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    i. Concert at the Deaf centre in Coventry

    ii. Marching display for speedway at Wembley stadium

    iii. Background music and marching display for one-day cricket final at Lords - rained most of the day, and they were terrified we would damage the outfield with our boots!

    iv. Hadleigh Band used to take it in turns on Sunday afternoons playing at the end of Southend Pier. All very well, but fun & games humping all the gear via the pier train, that only runs every 20 minutes or so.

    v. Service of blessing for a local carnival and funfair.
  20. bladder

    bladder Member

    You shouldn't knock an appreciative audience!! :wink:

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