Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    What are the feelings about gold braided military style uniforms.
    Do they look smart and enhance a bands presentation, or are they a lingering throw back to Victorian times when they were indeed fashionable?
    When we sit there, glittering and sparkling, shimmering with gold shoulders, cuffs and collars, (We have thankfully lost the peaked cap) are we a great showpiece, or an anachronistic relic of the past.
    Do people come to hear the band or look at it ? I suspect both which is no bad thing.
    Would blazers,badges and ties, or jumpers/sweaters with embroidered names or pin on badges be more suitable for the 21st Century.
    Personally I'm all for the gold braid and distinctive colours of individual bands. I think it gives us a certain style.
    Just look at some of todays football strips - not exactly dull are they (Though we were wearing sponsors badges long before they were !!)
    Like it or not, we are not just a musical entity, we are in the entertainment business - we are on show !!
    - Thanks to Keith Wardle who prompted my thoughts on this subject.
  2. asteria

    asteria Member

    I think uniforms are a great idea, like you say they add a sense of personality to a band, whether its playing on stage or clustered around a bar.

    I do think some of the uniforms need updating a little, not so much that we lose the identity but enough to look less old-fashioned. I think YBS had the right idea with the competition that was held to design a new uniform - not entirely sure about the final design but it certainly updated the band's image, and probably made them a bit more trendy to the outside world.
  3. cornetchap

    cornetchap Member

    Personally I don't like most band uniforms, though there are some exceptions. All the ones I've ever had to wear always seem to make me look like a coach driver or an overgrown schoolboy.

    Recently our band has just been wearing black trousers, white short and bow tie due to the weather but I think it looks better. Another ensemble I play with have opted for white shirts and single coloured straight ties (a different colour for each player) which looks good.

    Wasn't sure about First City Brass's open neck style; works for some people but others end up looking abit slobbish!

    Of course problems of uniforms are always excaserbated (sp?) when you've got deps that don't have the right colours.

    My motto would probably be, keep it plain, keep it simple, let the music provide the colour!

    Cheers, Greg.
  4. jo

    jo Member

    our walking out uniform does make us look like bus drivers, particularly with the "David Urqhart Travel" badge on the jacket! I never get the chance to wear a stage jacket as they never have enough for the percussion section
    :( but there again at least we havent suffered as much as the rest of the band in the recent good weather!
    A summer walking out uniform would be great, especially when you end up trapped on coaches with no air conditioning... :roll:
  5. onedrummeruk

    onedrummeruk Member

    Wll Grimethorpe just have the plain white shit and DJ's which is a bit bland, I prefered it when we had those pink shirts, at least we had a bit of identity. Its not like the "Lion Tamer" type uniforms, but identity is very important.
  6. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    I like having uniforms but hate the braiding stuff. Blazers with badges look much better, or even sweatshirts.
  7. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    yeah i agree daniel! the less frilly style of jackets are much better! As to the identity question, I would say the 'band jackets' identifies the brass band community as a whole but not sure about individual bands! There are only about 5 different colours of jackets you can get so some other band is always likely to have the same/very similar jacket as you anyway. It's the logos/ties that identify bands and they could as easily go on blazers.

    I do like the polo shirt/ sweatshirt idea but don't they should be worn at formal gigs/contests. Wearing the full uniform is part of the formalities of a contest! They are great for wearing around at contests in place of walking our jackets though.
  8. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    We have two concert jackets, white DJs (although they look a funny shade of grey/brown/green up close :? ) and black jackets with blue lapels and braiding. Personally think the black 'uns look much smarter, but we insist on wearing the white ones at contests because everyone recognises us then :? Apparently :roll:

    I'm sure there would be BOCs everywhere crying murder if B&R changed from their purple get up or Dyke got rid of the black, red and gold mind. :wink:
  9. amgray

    amgray Member

    Count me in as a BOC then :evil:
    I think it's part of the tradition, oh and maybe tradition is one of the things that has kept these two bands where they have been since before certain other bands existed!!! :D
  10. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    hmmm... you seem to have misread the tone of my post! I was pointing out that certain bands have identitys associated with their uniforms. I think that's a good thing. Chill out! :roll:
  11. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    As far as the "band jacket" goes i don't mind them as along as

    a) They're relatively new and are cared for and haven't been scrumpled up in the back of cars or been run over etc, to retain some smartness. Dronfields are about 25 years old and look and feel dated.

    b) Don't have stupid braid in the most ridiculous places. Dornfield have it on the shoulders, plays merry hell with your shoulder when you're wearing a bass strap!!

    c) The jackets are worn only for playing! Most jacket abuse in my experience occurs in the bar or a canteen. It annoys me when the jackets are continually worn and get beer stains and stink of smoke. it makes them look shabby

    Following on from the above, I am great fan of "Walking Out" jackets or "Blues and Greys" as some bands refer to them. These jackets provide identity as well as saving proper uniform from abuse. They can also provide a slightly more comfortable uniform for summer use.

    I'm sorry, call me old-fashioned, but i think playing in t-shirts or sweaters is just tacky and makes me feel like i'm in a youth band or some community wind o*******a!!

    All in all I feel identity is a major part of banding. Uniforms provide this identity and make us as a movement stand out from orchestras and other musical groups. I think that the style isn't dated, but unfortunatly many uniforms are actually physically dated and show it. Of course raising money for a new set of uniforms ain't quick or easy!!
  12. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Just got to say that uniform jackets should NEVER be worn anywhere but on the performance stage.
    NOT on the bus, NOT walking to and from the Contest Hall, NOT in the bar or cafe ONLY on the stage.
    It's amateur behaviour like that which sets us up as Oompah Clowns in the eyes of the public and proliferates the "Beer and Baccy" image (Whether true or not !)
    If a band hasn't got Blues & Greys (walking out uniform) - smart casual is the order of the day for travelling and socialising.
    Every Area contest when we arrive at St.Georges Hall in Bradford, I see band persons (Always from the lower sections), standing around outside the Hall wearing stage band jackets,gold braid and all and usually unfastened. You can normally also spot wrong colour socks, open necks with dickie bows dangling and brown shoes or even black trainers !!
    This is in the street with the public passing by - I could weep with shame.
    It doesn't cost a lot to to look reasonably presentable.
  13. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    "I see band persons (Always from the lower sections), standing around outside the Hall wearing stage band jackets,gold braid and all and usually unfastened. You can normally also spot wrong colour socks, open necks with dickie bows dangling and brown shoes or even black trainers !!
    This is in the street with the public passing by - I could weep with shame.
    It doesn't cost a lot to to look reasonably presentable."

    I know exactly what you mean. The same goes for the white shirst that aren't exactly white. God knows there are enough washing podwer adverts about to give some people a clue!!
    Surely people have got some sense of professionalism about them.
    After all, professionalism is a state of mind.....much the same as personal pride really.

    I thank you, and now will someone please help me down off my soapbox.
  14. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I have to agree that many bandspersons stand around looking very scruffy at contests but I have to say this is not only the lower sections!!! I have seen people from all sections with ties hanging out and jackets all over the place either in the bar or outside the contest hall. As said earlier the jackets are associated with identity and pride. As many bands are not as privillaged and don't have walking out jackets, they wear their band jackets to be recognised by other bandsman. The problem with having a professional appearance does not lie only with the lower section bands!
  15. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Well, Sparkling Quavers, I see your point,you want a Brass Band Social Club.
    But just think how these sloppy amateurs look to the general public who we are striving to impress with our musical credibility.
    How can we be accepted as serious and talented musicians when we have these prideless people displaying to the world the "Garden Fete with pints by the chair image"
    There's only one word to describe them "Embarrassing"
    Come on Bandmasters/Committees etc - lets keep gold braid off the streets when not performing, and perhaps other musicians will start listening and stop laughing !!
  16. Kernewek Den

    Kernewek Den Member

    I don't see what difference it makes as to which section someone plays in. It's all down to pride! If you have pride in the band you are playing for and respect for its name you will make an effort to look 'smart' whatever the uniform.

    There is no reason to wear a concert jacket any other time other than on stage; and if not being worn it should be in a case. It's not difficult - and at a cost of £5,000 for a set of uniforms it makes sense.

    Look after them; some people have worked hard to pay for them!
  17. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Kernewek Den - You've said it all - it's all about individual pride.
    Heard Lanner last year in Falmouth Theatre Gardens - Good Show - We (The family) enjoyed it. We also heard you on the Prom at Penzance.
    The year before we heard Hale Town and St. Stythians at St. Ives - Hale were good - St.Styths. (A section higher) made "Heavy weather" of it.
    Well it is holiday time !!
  18. Kernewek Den

    Kernewek Den Member

    We're back down Penzance on Sunday - Lifeboat day. Lets hope the seagulls lay off our uniforms! :eek:
  19. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    I am truly sorry to see a bandsperson post this sort of comment. It's elitist and completely unsympathetic toward dedicated bandspeople, of whom, it seems, you have a low opinion.

    I can only hope that you're making some sort of very sad joke which, unfortunately has not been recognised.
  20. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Elitist !!!! - What's elitist about self respect ?
    I've seen better dressed buskers than some of our (Yes) embarrassing amateur minded compatriots.
    There are some folk (Normally young, left wing and possibly student ) who consider that any direction as to appearance or conformity is an infringement of personal liberty.
    Well lurk in your laxity, but some of us value our status (or otherwise!) in the musical community - I've grown up !!

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