2009 British Open

A very enjoyable contest. I heard all but four bands (BTM, Carlton Main, Hammonds and Gus).

I was supporting Leyland, as one of their percussionists is a good friend, but thought (with understandable bias) theirs was on of the better performances, had it not been for the mispitching of the Euph solo, (I think he hit a Bb instead of a top C at fig S) then they would have been strong contenders. I had them 4th. Dyke and Cory were both superb, I thought Dyke gave a better performance, but they were my top 2. I had Brighous 3rd and Fairey 6th - I thought they played really well, sounded error free packed amongst bands with more than a few errors. Gimethorpe and Desford I did not rate as highly as the adjudicators, but my powers of recall are perhaps not so strong... ;-)

Great piece - it would be amazing to be talented enough to play in any one of the bands on stage (which I am not!) - so well done to the players for all the hard work that must have gone in. I look forward to hearing Spirits of Puccini in the future! :-D
 

Moy

Active Member
ll I can say is all my non brass band pals will laughing at us.
Why do we always shoot ourselves in the foot.
This is why the wider orchestral scene laugh at brass band contests.
If any more amunition is needed read this thread.:(
 

Rustonw

Member
I know at least one other member of the forum has had a similar threat from Mr Buckley. I trust you got a solicitor to reply? That would have frightened 'em, since any threats of "legal action" are essentially empty and pointless. It's an interesting reaction to criticism - threatening to sue anyone who dares to question an ABBA member.

And this is the organisation we're relying on to drive change? Hmmm...
Thanks for the info. I suspected I was not alone. Who the hell do they think they are? This is outrageous behavior by ABBA, I think it's time for some resignations.
I have taken legal advice and I know I have no case to answer so I'm more than happy to see Mr C.Brian Buckley and his executive committee in court. In the next few weeks I will start a new threat showing all the correspondence between ABBA and myself, it's a great read.
 

Humphrey

Member
You appear to be reinforcing rather than countering my point. You accept that you have experienced many inconceivable results over the years, so there are clearly flaws in the system. And as someone who has had to stand behind changes they believe in, in the face of considerable opposition, I would imagine you would applaud someone who is prepared to do the same. Indeed it seems the only justification for criticism you have is that you believe the comments were made in the spirit of sour grapes, and as I have said previously I believe the motivation is irrelevant if the point is worthy of debate.

I suspect you may be right in that there is no golden solution to the adjudicating 'problem', but it is defeatist to not even try and churlish to criticise those who are prepared to stand above the parapet and lead the debate.
Twice now you have criticised me for having an opinion that differs from your own :) I wonder if the case could be rested there? This is the real problem is it not? We appoint 3 adjudicators to do a very difficult job and then get upset when we don't agree with them. I don't know about "churlish" but I would suggest that viewpoint is childish. Yes, there are flaws in the system as there are in most systems.

My justification is I believe the comments were made in the spirit of sour grapes? Yes indeed. I clearly remember playing in a contest with the author of these remarks, a contest we won but did NOT deserve. I heard no complaints that day. (Midland Area 1986)
S**t happens but if the winners of a competition are not prepared to stand up and say "I'm sorry, you made a mistake" then I why should it be OK when the result doesn't go their way?
 

Humphrey

Member
2. you mention the Europeans in the 80s. For the record, I was backstage in Bergen with James Watson when the bands lowly placing was announced. As one of the band members came backstage with the cup, James said 'we didnt win that, take it back'. A group of about four bandsmen duly obliged. There, you have it , 20 years later, the truth !
That differs somewhat from my own memory of the events!
 

Euph1175

New Member
Can we not play for the love of Music anymore?:-? My Band does not often contest, but i still enjoy playing simply to entertain the public and bring Brass Band music to a wider audience. Arguing about contests its only making true what some people sterotypically think of our movement.

Well done to everyone at the Cory Band on their result, along will all the other bands who competed. I'm sure that the audience in Birmingham were able to appriciate all the hard work that has been put into every performance, regardless of placings.
 

BottyBurp

Member
I heard most of the performances on Saturday, including Whitburn's, and I too was rather surprised at their lowly placing. Personally, I applaud SM for raising his neck on this subject. If contest results like this happened rarely, then I'd take the attitude, "oh well, tough" etc., but these sort of results seem to happen more and more frequently.
 

DublinBass

Supporting Member
Personally, I am not a fan of public airing of grievances. There are proper channels to go through...when they don't work...I understand the public way may be appropriate as sometimes that's the only way for things to get done.

Reading Mr. Mead's article, it sounds like (and since he is on the forum, he can certainly correct me if I'm wrong), this is the first time he has spoken out about the problem's in adjudication.

Personally, I think there are issues...I liked the post reminding everybody how Alan Morrison tried to deal with this a few years back (by going through the correct channels). However, since that didn't catch on, perhaps that gives Mr. Mead a "bye" and he should bring this to the forefront in such a way.

Such mixed feelings, especially as (to add some Hyperbole to the situation) I've seen Kayne West and Serena Williams recently air their grievances in what is obviously the wrong way.

So if people are going to be critical of Mr. Mead, a world renowned musician, than what is the best way to try to "fix" a system that seems to be flawed (do he "proper" channels actually work...or is it not the system really flawed?
 

fartycat

Member
Mr Mead is a very inexperienced conductor who in his very short conducting career .............Might it be that instead of starting his career at the top in the Championship Section he does what most of us did and conduct a few lower section bands first and learn what its all about.
Davie W James
I remember Steven helping coach Ferndown Brass (4th section) in 1985 (I was in the band) and he's regularly helping lower section bands in our area (Dorset/Hampshire) by coming down and conducting. In fact, just two weeks ago Steven spent a weekend coaching Downton ahead of their 4th section national final appearance.
 

SPMPP

New Member
Can we not play for the love of Music anymore?:-? My Band does not often contest, but i still enjoy playing simply to entertain the public and bring Brass Band music to a wider audience. Arguing about contests its only making true what some people sterotypically think of our movement.

Well done to everyone at the Cory Band on their result, along will all the other bands who competed. I'm sure that the audience in Birmingham were able to appriciate all the hard work that has been put into every performance, regardless of placings.
Unfortunately, whether we want to admit it or not, winning or being placed at contests is important for bands at this level. How many long standing championship bands have we seen over the last few years, who have suffered poor results at contests, have struggled to regain their form? Some players at this standard do not want to play for a band that is at risk of losing their Championship status. I have been told by some players that they are leaving or have left a band as they don't want to play lower down the sections. These days, due to lack of committed, talented players, it is difficult for such bands to attract/keep players when the going gets tough.

So yes, to answer your question, we can play just for the love of music, but that generally tends to be bands graded lower. At Championship level, bad results potentially means a) loss of players b) loss of conductor c) loss of funds. Personally, the people I blame are the bandsmen that over the years have accepted/demanded high payments/retainers to compete at this level.
 

brassbandmaestro

Active Member
David Read said on 4BR about Cory presently being one of the all-time great bands but said he could not recognise them from being in the box? Cory, Fodens & Dyke have very individual sounds and styles and have had stable line-ups to re-inforce those attributes. I cannot believe that he was not aware of who they were when playing.

That's just it Brassneck? Adjudicators are the so-called 'experts' in their field, and so they should well know, when a certain band is playing, especially the ones you mentioned above. Others maybe harder to recognise. But those ones aforementioned, surely, everybody should recognise, so when messrs Mr Read & co adjudicate at contests, they are liable to have a biased ear?
 
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As an impartial spectator I listened to around 15 bands (couldn't manage them all, needed a break). Unfortunately I missed Whitburn, Hammonds and GUS so cannot comment on their performance or placings. Cory, Dyke, Leyland B&R and possibly Grimethorpe deserved to be in the top 6. For me Leyland should have won. Fantastic musical performance, only 1 error (clip on top C for Euph) but didn't distract from the performance. Cory and Dyke played a solid performance, again Cory had that something extra. I think Foden's were very lucky to be placed, lots of errors, and for me, a very disappointing performance. I had them in the bottom half of the table. Rothwell and Fairey's deserved a much higher placing. Hepworth can count themselves very lucky, out of the one's I heard I had them 2nd to last if not last. A very poor performance from a band that can play a lot better. Desford too, should be very pleased with their result. Not deserved in my opinion.

I spoke to many bandspeople on Saturday, and although the actual placings may have differed depending on musical taste, generally, we agreed on the standard of the performances we had heard. What do we base our placings on? Playing what's on the score, playing in tune and together and then the icing is the musical performance, which can be subjective.

What really suprised me was the poor standard of playing at this level by some bands. There were some intonation problems and lots of incorrect entries. It sounded to me like some of the bands were under rehearsed. Before people shout at me, I am sure that all the bands have committed members. But what came across from some performances was a feeling of insecurity. Maybe some had players who were only helping out, brought in for the contest and couldn't make many rehearsals. Unfortunately this appears to be the sign of the times for a lot of bands and this will reflect in the performances given on stage.
Clearly you're an expert. Perhaps you should adjudicate in future.
 

brassneck

Active Member
brassbandmaestro said:
But those ones aforementioned, surely, everybody should recognise, so when messrs Mr Read & co adjudicate at contests, they are liable to have a biased ear?
Your words, not mine. I can remember the distinctive sounds of bands from many years back and even if they were played back on a tinny radio or on a duff hi-fi, I could probably identify them. This is not saying that adjudicators would apply any favouritism if they recognised them in a contesting field. Of course, open adjudication would eliminate that completely.
 

goldensound

New Member
unprofessional lunacy!

once again a so called "top"name in banding has to cause controversy, and all because the person in question [and his band] were unable to cut it at the highest level of banding [again!]. surely this re-occurring pattern says it all, and childish comments [and disrepectful] should be focused in a more appropriate manner ie. his own band! to try to establish them and himself as a top 15 band,and conducter. and with hard work and strong professional leadership, this could be achievable in a short space of time [2-4 years]. banding history and tradition is something to be proud of, not mocked. so to the person [and band] in question..........relax, and just get on with it!
 
Mr Mead recently adjudicated at the West of England Bandsmen festival and most people didnt agree with his result in the top section, it wasn't the top placing that they disagreed with but the bands that came second and third (only three in the section) being the wrong way round. Contenders on that day had to agree with his result as that is how contesting goes, maybe he should do the same. Bands enter Contests knowing that there is the possibility of winning or losing, it is down to personal preference and we should learn to accept that.
 
Personally, I am not a fan of public airing of grievances. There are proper channels to go through...when they don't work...I understand the public way may be appropriate as sometimes that's the only way for things to get done.

Reading Mr. Mead's article, it sounds like (and since he is on the forum, he can certainly correct me if I'm wrong), this is the first time he has spoken out about the problem's in adjudication.

Personally, I think there are issues...I liked the post reminding everybody how Alan Morrison tried to deal with this a few years back (by going through the correct channels). However, since that didn't catch on, perhaps that gives Mr. Mead a "bye" and he should bring this to the forefront in such a way.

Such mixed feelings, especially as (to add some Hyperbole to the situation) I've seen Kayne West and Serena Williams recently air their grievances in what is obviously the wrong way.

So if people are going to be critical of Mr. Mead, a world renowned musician, than what is the best way to try to "fix" a system that seems to be flawed (do he "proper" channels actually work...or is it not the system really flawed?
Sorry couldnt resist... Kanye West, Serena Williams and Steven Mead in the same post!

LOVE IT :tongue:
 

legendary27

New Member
When you do meet Mr Mead here are a few questions you might ask him:

He was drawn last, how many bands did he hear?
Were you at the contest Mr James ? I would hate to think that your diatribe was based on hearsay and speculation, rather than on evidence based on your attendance at the contest !

Regards,
Gordon Macdougall
 

Bass Trumpet

Active Member
Were you at the contest Mr James ? I would hate to think that your diatribe was based on hearsay and speculation, rather than on evidence based on your attendance at the contest !

Regards,
Gordon Macdougall
David's post is based not on any aspect of the contest, but on Mr Mead's writings, rantings and general behaviour.
 
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