Unusual Band Engagements

asteria

Member
Strange jobs

Owen said:
Strange could include playing whilst the Holly Queen was crowned in Howarth, West Yorkshire. No idea what the event was all about, but I seem to recall it involved playing Hail Smiling Morn over and over again in subzero temperatures!
I did a similar job last year, but in quite the opposite conditions, as it must have been the hottest and sunniest day of the year!

The band had to play marches round the area for an hour or so with a huge parade behind, and keep stopping at random intervals every minute or so for a kiddies morris group to dance. Problem was these kids were tiny so as we had to do fairey marching steps!

After the marching there was the crowning, more morris dancers, and maypole dancing. It was a rather odd, if very quaint, occasion. We all went home with terrible sunburn! :oops:

Helen
 

Aidan

Active Member
Re: Strange jobs

Helen V said:
so as we had to do fairey marching steps!Helen
Hahah you have bands on the brain helen :wink: shouldnt it be fairy not fairey... then again i have never seen Faireys do a march, so I couldnt say how big their steps were :roll: :p
 

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
One of my first ever performances in a brass band was probably the most unusual to date.

A local primary school decided to hold a massive school-wide circus. The local junior brass band ended up getting roped into providing the music. the Bass riff from Peter gunn, William Tell Overture. It seemed silly at the time, but I think I'd like to do it again some day now.
 
One of my previous bands played for a birthday party in some guys back yard in Walsall a few years back...that was strange.
mind, not as strange as the looks we got from the hostess after we cleared the buffet...well, no-one told us the guests hadnt eaten yet ..... :oops:
 

ploughboy

Active Member
satchmo shaz said:
I have also played for an Indian wedding where we marched from the grooms house, he was on a big white horse and his relatives threw money in front of us!
Wow, I thought we'd have been the only one's to this sort of bizarre job!!
 

The Cornet King

Active Member
Well i can only think of one unusual band job that i have ever been part of and it was also the scariest. It was with my old band back in Brighouse.

The Venue- Armley Jail, Leeds- Class A Top security prison! :? :shock:

Needless to say the band weren't best pleased that the job had been accepted. :eek: The looks on some peoples faces were priceless :shock: :shock:
The committee were tormented for some time!
Anyway we got there, the whole band were strip searched, all the instruments were taken to pieces, which did wonders for our tuning! (though i doubt the inmates cared about that!)

We went in to be told, that all the murderers and rapists would be on the top teir so they couldn't get to us! :eek: :? Scare factor- 10/10 We were then told not under ANY circumstances to make eye contact with ANY of the prisoners in case. In case what we asked? In cased they remembered us when they came out... :shock: :shock: Scare Factor 12/10

So we played, (You'll never walk alone went down well! :D ) and we left rather hastily, after one of the inmates stole something from the room we were playing in! :?

Needless to say it was a NEVER AGAIN band job!
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
The Cornet King said:
The Venue- Armley Jail, Leeds- Class A Top security prison! :? :shock:

So we played, (You'll never walk alone went down well! :D ) and we left rather hastily, after one of the inmates stole something from the room we were playing in! :?
We had a true story related to us in our meeting yesterday of a vocal group conducting a service in prison, and including in their programme: "Steal Away" :oops:

SA bands around the country visit prisons quite frequently: it can be very worthwhile, but you do have to watch what you say and choose carefully what to play. :wink:
 

Maestro

Active Member
Carrying this on a bit....

Years ago my father was at Leicester Castle SA, and the band went to the prison there to play. My dad was asked to do a recitation. He didn't really think this through, because the one he chose was about two neighbours who had a fight and ended up in prison.
Apparently it went down well, but the warders were a tad nervous.
 
Many years ago, I was in a band that played for the Queen mother. The engagement was at a railway museum, the band were in what had been a coal truck, travelling around the track, playing the Blaydon races, she couldnt see us and we couldnt see her............smiles
 

Trom41821

Member
We've played in the bottle kilns at Coalport China Museum Ironbrige. Very dark (I had to go home to get extra lighting!), very damp and an australian guy gave an impromptu performance on his digeredoo (sp) as the acoustics were amazing.

We've also played for a carnival procession in Llandudno on the back of a flat bed truck going over a hump back bridge!!!!!!!!! Very scary especially as I was at the back!!!!!!!!!
 

Lothianh

Member
The Cornet King said:
Well i can only think of one unusual band job that i have ever been part of and it was also the scariest. It was with my old band back in Brighouse.

The Venue- Armley Jail, Leeds- Class A Top security prison! :? :shock:
This reminds me - I once saw a CD listing on Amazon.com for a Doyen recording of the "Bighouse and Rastrick Band". Since "big house" is a slang term for a prison, I was rather amused by the idea of a band of felons.

-Lothian
 

Cornet Cat

New Member
A couple of years ago the Illinois Brass Band played for a convention of colon specialists - yes, a "butt convention." We got the gig through a band member, who is a Dr. It was a nice, historic venue - the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

Laura
Chicago Brass Band
(former member of IBB)
 

John Brooks

Well-Known Member
Presenting a concert at the Hamilton (Ontario) Psychiatric Hospital was quite an experience as was a previous opportunity to do a similar thing at Holloway Prison for Women.
I also remember marching down the High Street with Penge SA Band (at the time not at all unusual) when suddenly there was a cloud burst and it was every man for himself! I still chuckle at the thought of us all running in every different direction to find shelter but in particular the bass drummer. You ever try to run wearing one of those? It was quite funny.
 

geordiecolin

Active Member
Cool!! That's amazing, if utterly pointless!!

My most unusual engagements:

Jesmond Deaf School Open Day - Nuff Said/Signed!!

Blaydon Church Outdoor Pets Service - In a minature bandstand in a park playing hymns to cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and a horse!

Chatsworth House Grotto thing - Nice location, albeit in a forest

Bardon Mill Village Fair - complete with march - on the back of an artic lorry.
 

markhall

New Member
My first posting! I had to add to this that my band do a job annually where we sit in the end carriage of a train with the intercom on and entertain a bunch of fancy-dressed idiots with Singalongamax & Communityland-type stuff for 4 hours!
 
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