Lions Brass 2001: 4BR pick a British and Irish
team (with Sheilas) to take on the Aussies in a three match test
We don’t know about you, but 4BR is roundly cheesed off with all
things Australian at the moment. What with us having a bashing in
the cricket and a beating in the rugby it seems our friends from
the antipodes have got a bit of a voodoo sign over us.
Name a sport and they seem to be able to drag some teenage freak
off Bondi Beach to break a world record. Just look at that swimmer
they’ve got – the “Thorpedo”; is it just us, or is he really a dolphin
that’s had cosmetic surgery – he’s not real. What’s that all about
However, just when you thought all things were lost the Aussies
have just come out and named their National Brass Band – a collection
of fine players who will be touring Western Australia as the finest
representatives of their banding movement.
Never has a moment come when we can for once and for all show them
that the finest players in the World are British and so we have
picked our British Lions Squad of players to be sent out forthwith
to Australia to kick their butts in a three match test series. All
we await is a suitable sponsor to take our lads (and lasses) out
there and give them (as a famous Norwegian commentator once said)
“One hell of a beating!”.
Just think of the sense of achievement wiping the smile off all
those backpacking bartenders. G’day Mate!
The Tour will consist of a three test match series. The First Test
will be a straight forward 20 minute original brass band test piece,
whilst the Second will be a 1 hour Entertainment concert, followed
by the Third which will be a set test in the morning followed by
an own choice work in the afternoon. Can’t seeing us being beat
ourselves, but you can never underestimate the Wallabies.
The 4 Bars Rest Tour Party for the Trip to regain the Ashes is
Tour Managers: Geoff Whitham and David James
Seen it, done it and got the tee shirts. Two no nonsense hell raisers
from the Oliver Read School for Young Gentlemen. Anyone thinking
of writing a Matt Dawson Tour Diary better think again.
Coach/Musical Director: Howard Snell
The ultimate professional will leave nothing to chance and has the
full respect of all those who have ever played under him. He’s also
multi national – born in England, parents are Welsh, was educated
a bit in Scotland and now lives on the Isle of Man. That’s what
we call a pedigree!
BackRoom Staff: Robert Childs, Ray Farr, Jim Shepherd, Philip
Robert Childs and Ray Farr will be able to some of the spade work
on the test pieces and entertainment stuff and assist Howard Snell,
whilst Philip Biggs will be in charge of all things administrative
(he runs the best contest for bandsmen – so he’ll be in charge of
the passports, getting bail for those who misbehave etc). Jim Shepherd
is the British equivalent of Donald Bradman – the greatest ever,
and we are going to make sure they know about it.
Soprano Cornet: Peter Roberts (YBS & England)
Cornets: Roger Webster (Black Dyke & England), David Daws
(Salvation Army & England), Stuart Lingard (YBS & England), Mark
Wilkinson (Fodens & England), Nick Payne (Brighouse and Rastrick
& England), Ian Williams (BAYV Cory & Wales), Brian Taylor (Williams
Fairey & England), Ian Porthouse (Tredegar & England), Richard Marshall
(Grimethorpe & England)
Can’t go wrong can we? We’ll leave who sits where to Mr Snell,
but we had to include David Daws – he’s our equivalent of Jason
Robinson from Rugby League on the wing – simply brilliant. The rest
are the top men from the top bands in our 4BR rankings. We could
have picked another ten quite easily, but these make up a pretty
good set of backs.
Flugel Horn: Iwan Williams (YBS & Wales)
The best all round flugel player in the banding world at the
moment for us. Solid as a rock and as musical as they come. Chris
Bradley at Whitburn was a close second though.
Tenor Horns: Sandy Smith (Grimethorpe & Scotland), Owen Farr
(Williams Fairey & Wales), Sheona White (YBS & Scotland).
Got to go with the form horses for the middle of the band sound.
Sandy Smith continues to be a superb player, whilst young Mr Farr
is the sound of the new generation. Sheona White gets the nod before
she sets out on a solo career.
Euphoniums: Glyn Williams (Fodens & Wales) and David Childs
(CWS Glasgow & Wales).
We’ve gone for two Welsh boys, but we were spoilt for choice here
and could have picked any number of fine players from Messer’s Thornton,
Griffiths, Miles, Bradley, John etc. These two are perhaps our best
virtuoso players so a duet in the entertainment contest would be
a thing a sheer bloody wonderment.
Baritones: Bob Blackburn (Black Dyke & England) and Katrina
Marzella (Broxburn &Scotland).
Big Bob is the no nonsense man for the job on top baritone – huge
sound, great technique and a wit drier than a James Bond Martini.
Katrina has been getting rave reviews every time she performs on
the contest stage in Scotland and is a young woman with a big future
ahead. Bob will look after her.
Trombones: Nick Hudson ( Williams Fairey & England), Brett Baker
(Black Dyke & England), Mark Frost (Stalybridge & England).
Got to go with an all England backrow of bones. Hudson is still
the supreme artist, whilst Brett Baker is not too far behind him
and is perhaps the best technician on the trombone around. Why Mark
Frost isn’t playing for the LSO or the CBSO is a bloody mystery.
An awesome player to scare the living daylights out of any Aussie
who thinks they can honk a few out below the stave.
Basses: Andy Duncan (Whitburn & Scotland) and Phil Green (Fodens
& England). Dean Morley (Fodens & England) and Simon Gresswell (
Brighouse and Rastrick & England).
A group to wake up the dead. Duncan and Green sound like two old
Blue Peter presenters, but are superb players nonetheless. Morley
and Gresswell are the two best growlers around on the low stuff
and can drink any macho Aussie under the table. This is the important
stuff on tour.
Percussion: Ronan McKee (YBS & Ireland), Chris Wood (Black Dyke
& England), David Griffiths (Black Dyke & Wales), David Lyons (CWS
Glasgow & Scotland)
A bit of an international flavour here with boys from around the
UK doing the shed building work. Don’t know if they are all still
playing with bands, but that’s what you get with percussion players
these days – a bloody law unto themselves. Still a pretty good bunch
of skin bashers.
So that’s our team to send out to Oz to take on the might of Antipodean
banding in it’s own backyard. We think we’d win the test series
3 –0 and if any of the players had to be sent home through injury
(self induced or otherwise) or from contracting some unknown disease
from the locals in the outback we can always ship over a few decent
replacements. Plenty of English (great as long as they don’t start
complaining), a hard core of Welshmen (great as long as they don’t
start singing), a few Scots (great until they start spending money)
and an Irishman (great as long as you can understand what they say).
All this and we didn’t have to employ a foreigner to coach us to
Who cares if we lose the Ashes, the rugby, the tennis, the swimming
(that’s enough) – as long as we can kick some butt on the contest
stage we shall forever have an Empire! Rule Britannia!