Quality v Entertainment

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by IYOUNG, Sep 26, 2004.


    IYOUNG Member

    The matter of what is entertaining or not is obviously a much talked about issue and naturally is very much dependant on personal taste.

    Its when the two become slightly out of kilter that in my view we suffer.

    Last night I attended a rare visit to the south by a ''Top Ten'' band, their reputation for entertainment is second to none I beleive.

    For me the standard of playing was not in question (although one or two moments were a bit ''unhealthy'' shall we say), what concerned me was the beleif that choreography had to rule over the playing content and was in my humble view uneccesary and over the top. I did at first wonder if it was a southern thing where the band in question thinks that us ''southerners'' would not appreciate the more serious approach to the music and therefore beleived choreography would entertain us more, maybe.

    Having attended many a concert by other top names they don't feel the need and entertain us with top quality playing alone.

    What do others think, does choreography play an important part at a concert? or do you prefer to be entertained by the music alone?

  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I think that choreography certainly makes a certain genre of Brass Band music more exciting, and certainly gives the wow factor. These pieces could include: the muppets, Hawaii 5-O, Lord of the Dance, etc.....
    I'm personally for it, but as you say, not OTT though ...
  3. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    As in so many things, it's about getting the balance right - how many times do you hear that?

    I see nothing wrong with putting on a show, visual as well as aural, if that's what the type of concert demands. Certainly we always try to provide a mix - especially in our 'own' concerts, where the audience is very mixed and often contains youngsters (including the junior band).

    Perhaps some degree of liaison between the 'band manager'/concert sec and the organisers of the venue/gig could establish the format beforehand.

    Makes sense to me.
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Well, as has been said in several places on tMP during this last week... if anyone saw last Saurdays WoB Gala Concert following the British Open in Symphony Hall - they would most certainly know that adding a visual element to a concert worked BIG TIME for Stavanger Band.

    Their 55 minute, fully choreographed performance, all played without music, gave anyone who was there something to marvel at. It was both playing at the highest level, together with a stunning visual element that undoubtedly enhanced the overall performance. Cudos to them I say... I'd certainly watch them again if they are close by (if only for the rather nice looking Solo Ct player... hehe), and I'll also be buying the CD (unless as owner of tMP I can be really cheeky and ask for a freebie... hehe)
  5. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    It very much depends on what the band tries to pass off as visual "entertainment". If, for example, the band does something along the lines of Stavanger's concert (something which my old youth band did very successfully a few years back) then I believe that to be more entertaining than a band just sat playing. However, if the entertainment is a band playing cheesy rubbish with a few people dancing around like muppets, then I could quite happily give it a miss!

    There's a lot of good music out there (ie. not cheese) that lends itself very well to visual entertainment. A lot of stuff from Scandinavia seems to work for this, and concert suites like "Hymn of the Highlands" and "Windows of the World", with a little bit of thought can be made into incredibly entertaining concerts for banders and non-banders alike! Unfortunately this does take a fair bit of effort on the part of the musical director, so a lot of them will revert back to someone playing spoons on their **** to get a few cheap laughs... but which would you prefer? People to walk out giggling, or people to walk out awe-struck?

    IYOUNG Member

    Lynchie and Musicman hit the nail right on the head (thanks guys), I wasn't lucky enough to see Stavanger last week but that type of thing and say YBS with Lord of the Dance a few years back is brilliant playing with sensible choreography and makes for a great spectacle.

    Unfortunately without wanting to be too harsh last night was the old fashioned fooling around in my view which I personally didn't overly enjoy the music was total cheese but lacked some substance.
    The players are too talented to resort to such antics.
  7. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Just back from playing at Wychavon Contest.
    It makes you misitified by the comments made by a CERTAIN ADJUDICATOR.
    When you see the remarks given no bad comments full of praise only to be not placed in prizes.
    What the hell goes on with adjudicators??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  8. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    This really isn't really the place to moan Ian. We win some, we loose some. Just take it in good heart. You can't win them all.
  9. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    I totaly agree with you.

    Is the question.
    I have been to many contests over the years as a player and gone to listen.
    Where this particular Adjudicator as been in the box.
    He as come out and said what he thought and THEN GONE THE OPPOSITE IN THE RESULTS.
    It does not make sense.
    You have probably had the same experience.
    I an not going to name the adjudicator but he is a well known name.
    All the Best
  10. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    On who's bandroom wall does it say "If you can't take a joke don't go contesting!"?

    Sorry Ian I know that's not very helpful but it might help your sanity if adopt a more fatalistic attitude...I know its helped me over the years.

    Cheers Ian Heard.
  11. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Maybe I'm a boring anorak but I find a lot of the 'entertainment' stuff bands put on to be really ****. I prefer quality playing. If I wanted to watch people dress up and move around to music I'd go watch a show or ballet.
  12. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Why can't our concerts be considered a show?? Is the brass band world really so boring?
  13. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I must admit, the 'choreography' stuff with brass bands isn't to my personal taste. More often than not, it's embarrassing to my eyes. Just my personal view, though.
  14. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I think it only works in small doses and with some serious stuff put in for contrast. Too much running around and general "hi-jinx" can become a bit tedious for the audience. Also the WHOLE band has to be seen to be willing participants, if one or two (or a whole section) don't join in it falls flat on its face.