The competitors and their records
The 2001 National Finals sees 20 bands try and win the coveted
title of Champion Brass Band of Great Britain. All 8 regions send
two qualifiers and the four bands that occupied the top 4 places
at last yearís finals get automatic invitations.
Therefore Wales, Yorkshire the North West and the Midlands have
an additional band to compliment their regional challenge, as Buy
As You View Cory, Brighouse and Rastrick, Fodens and The Ransome
bands join the 16 other qualifiers.
The beauty and the anomaly of the Nationals is that each year some
of the top bands in the country fail to get to London and this year
has been no exception, with Grimethorpe, Ever Ready, First City
Brass and Desford Ė all of whom are usually regular finalists Ė
all failing in their attempt.
Still thereís a very strong line up and all the bands will be looking
forward to performing Jan Van der Roostís superb test piece. It
should be a real treat for players and audience alike.
The bands and their records are:
Aveley and Newham:
Conductor: Nigel Taken
Appearances: 15 (5 as Aveley and Newham)
Debut: 1969 as Newham: 1990 as Aveley: 1995 as now.
Best Result: 5th in 1989 as Newham: 7th as Aveley and Newham 2000
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (Did not qualify, 17, 18, 13, 7)
Overall Record: No Wins: 1 Fifth (1989): 2 Sixths (1985, 1986):
Unplaced (1969, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997,
1998, 1999, 2000)
The Champions of the London Area come to the finals on the back
of a bit of a hit and miss season so far. A fine win at the traditional
contest season opener at Yeovil was followed by another commanding
performance to win the Area title in Stevenage in March where they
were comfortable winners. However, the Grand Shield was a missed
chance to gain entry into the Open and they came a very disappointing
5th, whilst the step up in class at the Masters resulted in a very
poor 19th place.
Still, they were 7th last year at the Finals and they have enough
good quality players around the stand to make a good show of the
test piece. Nigel Taken provides solid uncomplicated readings, whilst
his players invariably perform well under pressure. Whether it will
be enough to make a real impression in another strong field is a
different matter though.
Conductor: Nicholas Childs
Best Result: 18 Wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (3, DNQ, 5, DNQ, DNQ) Overall Record:
18 Wins (1902, 1928, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972,
1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1994, 1995): 16 Seconds
(1900, 1923, 1924, 1930, 1932, 1936, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1980,
1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989): 10 Thirds (1903, 1913, 1935, 1937,
1938, 1952, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1996): 3 Fourths (1912, 1921, 1934):
3 Fifths ( 1908, 1955, 1998): 4 Sixths (1904, 1926, 1956, 1984):
14 Unplaced (1909, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1945,
1953, 1958, 1962, 1965, 1990)
Could 2001 be the year that the National Championship trophy finds
itís way back to Queensbury? Black Dyke are certainly on a bit of
a roll at the moment and itís their first time back at the contest
since 1998, whilst their fine performance at the Open confirmed
that they will certainly be there or thereabouts come the results
on Saturday evening.
The Yorkshire Area title was won in fine style in March, when they
wrested the title from rivals YBS and beat a high-class field. Since
then itís been the usual diet of concerts and recordings, but there
has also been a noticeable shift in the bands sound since Nicholas
Childs took the helm, back to rounded bass led timbre that was so
successful in past years.
The band boasts a fine collection of individual players as well
as solid performers in the less glamorous positions and a bass end
of real quality. Itís been a long time since 1995 for a win in London,
but donít bet against the drought ending in 2001.
Brighouse and Rastrick:
Conductor: Allan Withington
Best Result: 7 Wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (6, 1, 1, 2, 4)
Overall Record: 7 Wins (1946, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1997, 1998):
4 Seconds (1963, 1967, 1981, 1999): 3 Thirds (1948, 1951, 1975):
6 Fourths (1945, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1995, 2000): 6 Fifths (1913,
1950, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1992): 2 Sixths (1962, 1996): 24 Unplaced
(1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1947, 1952,
1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1966, 1972, 1976, 1977, 1982, 1986,
Whereas Brighouse and the Open is a match made in Hell, Brighouse
and the Nationals seem to be a match made in Heaven. A record that
boasts two wins, a second and a fourth in the past four years emphasises
the fact that the band is ideally suited to the huge acoustics of
the Albert Hall.
Allan Withington is a fine conductor who is able to bring the
best out of his players and the test pieces in London and this year
should see more of the same. A disappointing performance in coming
3rd at the Area was put into perspective when they performed brilliantly
to win the Masters.
The Open was the usual case of disappointment when they limped
home in 8th, but with a band that is one of the few that can really
fill the Hall with sound, the Nationals should see the boys in purple
close to the summit again.
Buy As You View Cory:
Conductor: Robert Childs
Best Result: 5 Wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, 6, 6, DNQ, 1)
Overall Record: 5 Wins (1974, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000): 2 Seconds
(1948, 1979): 1 Third (1971): 2 Fifths (1972, 1986): 6 Sixths (1949,
1952, 1967, 1976, 1997, 1998): 23 Unplaced (1924, 1945, 1950, 1951,
1956, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1992, 1994)
The reigning champions will approach the defense of their title
knowing they can repeat their triumph of the Millennium year. Although
in contest winning terms, 2001 has seen the band lose their Open
crown, the Welsh Area title and the European, the standard of their
performances at each has perhaps been even greater than they managed
in winning two of the three last year.
The Area was a huge knock to their pride as they came 4th (a case
really of an odd day at the office) whilst the Europeans saw them
give an exhilarating rendition of the set test that possibly exhausted
them enough to allow YBS to pip them to the title. The Open saw
a heroic deface when they came 3rd and with a set of soloists as
good as any around and a sound that borders on the immense, it could
well be a repeat of 2000 in London on Saturday. They will be well
prepared thatís for sure.
Conductor: Brian Grant
Best Result: 4th place (1977, 1982)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, DNQ, 9, DNQ, DNQ)
Overall Record: No Wins: 2 Fourths (1977, 1982): 1 Fifth (1973):
2 Sixths (1951, 1965): 27 Unplaced (1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950,
1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1972, 1978,
1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1998)
The winners of the South West Area make a welcome return to the
Finals for the first time since 1998 when they came 9th. The Area
win was achieved under the baton of Frank Renton, but for the Finals
they will be conducted by Brian Grant, who knows a thing or two
about winning a prize at London.
The band has undergone numerous player changes in the past year
or so and they did not compete at the Grand Shield or Masters, so
whether or not they can make a real mark when they step up in class
at the Finals is a bit of a mystery. The last time they were at
a National contest was Pontins last year when they came 10th, so
that isnít a real marker towards their current form.
Some fine soloists around the stand shouldnít let the band down,
whilst Brian Grant should bring intelligence and thought to their
reading of the test piece. Whether this is enough against the ďbig
boysĒ is another thing though.
Conductor: James Gourlay
Best Result: 2 Wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (1, 11, 7, DNQ, 6)
Overall Record: 2 Wins (1990, 1996): 4 Seconds (1929, 1933, 1934,
1958): 1 Fourth (1992): 1 Fifth (1960): 5 Sixths (1930, 1937, 1993,
1994, 2000): 20 Unplaced (1931, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1945, 1948,
1954, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1971, 1979, 1985, 1988, 1989,
1991, 1997, 1998)
The Scottish Area winners make their seemingly annual trip south
to London hoping to erase the memory of this yearís Open, when they
performed well below expectations and well below capabilities in
They are a band who knows what it takes to win in London and they
performed with real merit last year in coming 6th off the number
1 draw. A band with real star performers in their ranks and a conductor
of the highest class, they seem to have the ideal combination to
do well. However, since winning the Area in style under Nicholas
Childs they have not performed as well as they know they can, but
with James Gourlay striving to win his first National title and
a test piece that should suit their robust approach, 2001 could
see them putting up another top class attempt.
Conductor: Gareth Pritchard
Best Result: 8th (1996)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (8, 13, 10, 15, DNQ)
Overall Record: No Wins: 4 Unplaced (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
A band that has really come back form the dead in contesting terms
in 2001. The rise of EYMS in the 1990ís heralded the arrival of
a top class band in the North East to challenge the might of Ever
Ready as the regions premier outfit, and for a number of years they
had a stranglehold on the Area title. They also travelled to London
and performed with real credit. However, the hard times arrived
in 2000, but the band strove on and worked hard to overcome the
The first seeds of a revival were sown in Pontins last year where
they performed well, but without success in coming 12th before taking
2nd place at the Area under the baton of Alan Morrison. A disappointing
show at the Grand Shield where they came 20th and last may have
shown their vulnerabilities, but they have taken the sensible step
of engaging Gareth Pritchard who will ensure a steady and thoughtful
hand at the tiller on the stage.
Conductor: Ian Robinson
Best Result: 15th (1988)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, 19)
Overall Record: No Wins: 7 Unplaced (1985, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993,
The Northern Champions won the title and the chance to represent
their region at London with a superb performance at the Area, which
really captured the style of JAZZ. They return however to London
determined exorcise the traumas of last year and prove the adjudicators
wrong when they were placed 19th and last and had to endure some
pretty unpleasant remarks from the box.
Following the Area win the band came a poor 10th at the Grand Shield,
so they will know they will have to perform well to make an impression
at the Royal Albert Hall. Fishburn have continued to make improvement
under Ian Robinson, who can be relied upon to give a thoughtful
and intelligent interpretation to a very tricky test piece. 2001
at the Royal Albert is a very big test though for the band and it
should give a clear indication of where they stand in the National
scheme of things.
Conductor: Philip Harper
Best Result: 10th (1997)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, 10, DNQ, 14, 16)
Overall Record: No Wins: 6 Unplaced (1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999,
What a curateís egg of a year for Flowers! 2001 started with a
solid 2nd place at the Yeovil Entertainment Contest, which was then
followed by another solid performance under Richard Evans to come
2nd at the Area behind Camborne. This good form was further enhanced
with a superb show at the Masters where the band came an excellent
5th under Philip Harper - but then the wheels somewhat fell off.
The Open was a disaster and the band imploded to come last of the
21 on show and be relegated back to the Grand Shield, whilst of
late they suffered defeat at the Miners Eisteddfod by Tredegar and
Beaumaris, before winning at Wychavon in a pretty weak field.
Flowers are a very good band on their day and have a talented set
of solo players and an exciting conductor who could really do something
with this test piece. The thought remains however, that up against
higher-class fields they remain fragile. They have the talent to
do well but in the past two appearances at the Royal Albert Hall
they have come 16th and 14th, so we will have to wait and see.
Conductor: Bramwell Tovey
Best Result: 12 Wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, 3, 4, 1, 3)
Overall Record: 12 Wins (1910, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937,
1938, 1950, 1953, 1958, 1999): 9 Seconds (1909, 1911, 1921, 1949,
1951, 1952, 1988, 1990, 1991): 7 Thirds (1912, 1923, 1947, 1954,
1959, 1997, 2000): 4 Fourths (1928, 1957, 1989, 1998): 5 Fifths
(1922, 1956, 1978, 1983, 1985): 3 Sixths (1925, 1931, 1961): 14
Unplaced (1913, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1966,
1972, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1993)
There cannot be a band at London more determined to win than Fodens,
but in doing so have they already set themselves a handicap they
may find difficult to overcome?
The departure of Bryan Hurdley will have deprived the band of
one of the best trainers in the business and with the complexities
of this test piece sheer determination and courage may not be enough.
Simon Stonehouse has been brought in to help prepare the band, but
itís asking an awful lot of the young man to really make a mark
in a fortnight, and so the spotlight falls squarely back on Bram
Tovey and his abilities to provide scintillating musical performances.
Fodens definitely have all the players to win the title, but even
at the Open their performance had niggles and intonation problems
that brass band judges find easy to drop marks for, and this has
been a bit of an Achilles heel at the Major contests for a little
while. If these can be overcome (and with a bit of deserved overdue
luck) Fodens could be the champions again. Knowing their luck though,
donít put your mortgage on it just yet.
Kidlington Concert Brass:
Conductor: Catherine Underwood
Best Result: Debut
Last Five Years: Debut
Overall Record: Debut
The real surprise package of the Area qualifiers in 2001, Kidlington
will be making a daunting appearance at the Finals on the back of
a fine 2nd place at the London Regional Finals in March. There they
beat many more fancied bands with a performance of real merit, but
they know they will have to perform to an even higher level to make
any kind of mark at the Finals.
In National contests they have performed with varying success and
last November they came 19th at the Pontins Finals, whilst they
came 10th at the Yeovil Entertainment contest in early February
this year. The band didnít take part in either the Grand Shield
or Senior Cup contests so itís difficult to try and accurately predict
the type of form they may be in.
Catherine Underwood is set to become only the second woman to conduct
at the premier contest, and this fine musician and her band will
have to work very hard indeed to make an impression.
Conductor: Garry Cutt
Best Result: 3rd (1984)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (7, DNQ, 8, 10, 14)
Overall Record: No Wins: 1 Third (1984): 1 Fourth (1990): 2 Fifths
(1993, 1995): 11 Unplaced (1981, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1996,
1998, 1999, 2000)
A band that should be travelling to London with realistic expectations
rather than just high hopes. Leyland have recovered remarkably since
the loss of their sponsorship and in the past year they have demonstrated
that they are approaching the levels of performance that made them
such a threat at the Nationals in past years.
Garry Cutt again showed at the Open that he is a conductor and
interpretation of scores of the highest class and Leyland have more
than enough quality players around the stand to make a mark.
Third place at the Area contest was for many unlucky on a day in
which they performed superbly, but the Masters was a poor pouting
and they could only manage 13th place. The Open saw a solid 9th
place, but there is a feeling that this piece allied to Garry Cuttís
fine musicianship could see Leyland make a real forthright attempt
to win the title.
Point of Ayr:
Conductor: Michael Fowles
Best Result: 8th (1997)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, 8, DNQ, 18, Withdrew)
Overall Record: No Wins: 3 Unplaced (1981, 1997, 1999)
What a welcome return to London and the National Finals for the
North Wales band, who this time last year were on the very brink
of possible extinction and had to pull out of the Finals due to
Second place behind Tredegar at the Welsh Area was confirmation
that the band can call on a fine group of players to perform on
the contest stage, but a lot of the credit for qualification must
go to Thomas Wyss who directed the band quite brilliantly on the
day and had laid the foundations for the success by taking the band
to victory at the Preston Guild Hall contest earlier in the February.
Since then itís been a tale of a little disappointment, when the
band could only come 6th at the Grand Shield, but they recovered
to come 3rd at the Kerkrade World Music Contest a little later.
Mike Fowles will direct a strong performance and they will be hoping
to improve on the 18th place the duo had together at the Finals
The Ransome Band:
Conductor: Russell Gray
Best Result: 2nd (1955, 1970, 2000)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, 9, DNQ, 4, 2)
Overall Record: No Wins: 3 Seconds (1955, 1970, 2000): 1 Third (1962):
3 Fourths (1950, 1960, 1999): 3 Fifths (1949, 1953, 1957, 1958):
14 Unplaced (1945, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966,
1971, 1977, 1988, 1989, 1997)
Just over twelve months ago, Ransomeís headed for London on the
back of a terrible performance at the British Open, which had seen
them relegated o the Grand Shield. What happened next should give
heart to all competitors.
Ransomeís gave a superb account of the test piece and came a deserved
2nd place to confound all the critics and gain not only automatic
invitation to this yearís Final, but also a chance to represent
England at the European Championships in Montreaux. This they did
with considerable style, but little luck to come 8th and they repeated
the good showing at the Masters where they came a solid 8th again.
Although they performed poorly at the Area contest, where they came
4th the band has showed enough quality in the past year to suggest
a strong showing at the Albert Hall.
Ransomeís have a good set of soloists around the stand and Russell
Gray will bring insight and individuality to his reading (as per
the bells of last year). 2nd and 4th in the past two years doesnít
just come from luck.
Conductor: Stan Lippeatt
Best Result: 6th (1975)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ)
Overall Record: No Wins: 1 Sixth (1975): 4 Unplaced (1970, 1990,
Perhaps the only other real surprise result of the 2001 Area Contests
was the second place by Thoresby RJB at the Midlands contest in
March. Not that it wasnít deserved as the band gave a thrilling
account of JAZZ, but they beat not only Ransomeís but also Desford
to ensure their spot at the Finals for the first time for nearly
Following the win however they travelled to the Senior Cup in Blackpool
only to come 14th in not a very strong field and so it may be difficult
to suggest how they will perform come the Albert Hall. Stan Lippeatt
can be guaranteed to have worked the band hard and he will be keen
to repeat the success he had with the band back in 1994 when he
and the band came 9th playing ďTheme and CooperationĒ. It may need
a very big effort from all concerned though.
Conductor: Frank Renton
Best Result: 6 wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (14, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, 12)
Overall Record: 6 Wins ( 1935, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1966): 2
Seconds (1938, 1972): 6 Thirds (1946, 1956, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1983):
6 Fourths (1947, 1949, 1959, 1961, 1974, 1986): 1 Fifth (1969):
1 Sixth (1995): 20 Unplaced (1936, 1937, 1958, 1962, 1967, 1973,
1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993,
1994, 1996, 2000)
Oh how they will be wishing that they donít draw number 1 for a
third consecutive time following their secretaryís innate skill
in pulling out Kellyís Eye from the sack at both the Open and the
On both these occasions it spelt the end of the bands realistic
chances, with the Masters performance blighted from the start to
come 18th and the Open full of excellent style and playing to come
a well-deserved but unfortunate 10th. Travelsphere certainly have
the ability to perform well, but last year at the Finals they displayed
some noticeable fragility. They have improved since then and it
will be interesting to see if Alan Morrison plays soprano again
(brilliantly at the Open it must be said) or reverts back to the
Principal Cornet spot.
They won their Area contest with some comfort and with Frank Renton
at the helm they are sure to give a worthy and musically interesting
performance. Good soloists around the stand will put them in good
stead but the draw may deal them another hammer blow if one of the
band has kicked a black cat or broken the shaving mirror in the
hotel. Should do well though.
Conductor: Steve Bastable
Best Result: 2nd (1993)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (11, DNQ, DNQ, 3, 5)
Overall Record: No Wins: 1 Second (1993): 1 Third (1999): 2 Fifths
(1994, 2000): 2 Sixths (1977, 1979): 10 Unplaced (1964, 1967, 1974,
1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996)
Another band that travels to London determined to put a poor performance
at the British Open behind them, where they came 13th and never
really performed as they could and should have.
The band has overcome many difficulties in the past two years and
continues to perform well at the ďmajorĒ contests. The Area victory
was based on a superb reading by Steve Bastable and was well merited
and since then the band has improved through hard work and commitment
to the cause. Good quality soloists around the stand will ensure
solidity and Steve Bastable will surely bring with him a very musical
approach to the test piece.
Tredegar perform well at the Nationals and their approach seems
to suit the hall, with 5th place last year and 3rd in 1999 complimenting
runners up spot in 1993 and 5th in 1994. They shouldnít be discounted
form the scheme of things if they have shaken off the disappointment
Conductor: Phillip McCann
Best Result: 3rd (1981, 1989)
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (17, 16, 13, 9, DNQ)
Overall Record: No Wins: 2 Thirds (1981, 1989): 2 Fifths (1990,
1991): 17 Unplaced (1968, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980,
1982, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)
A band full of confidence following a superb performance at the
British Open where they came 5th and which benefited from an excellent
interpretation from Phillip McCann and equally fine playing form
his players around the stand.
Whitburn started the year by claiming 2nd spot at the Area contest
behind CWS (Glasgow) and since then they have continued to improve
and develop into a band that is now more than capable of coming
high up the prize list in London. The traumas of Troon seem to have
a galvanising effect on the band and this will put them in good
stead for the Finals.
Not a bad record of late at London but one that they feel they
can improve on. 9th in 1999 is a realistic target to beat for the
band at the moment.
Conductor: Howard Snell
Best Result: 7 wins
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (4, 2, 3, 5, 8)
Overall Record: 7 Wins (1945, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1965, 1986, 1993):
4 Seconds (1946, 1947, 1994, 1997): 5 Thirds (1966, 1978, 1980,
1992, 1998): 3 Fourths (1984, 1987, 1996): 4 Fifths (1962, 1975,
1988, 1999): 6 Sixths (1953, 1958, 1959, 1982, 1990, 1991): 9 Unplaced
(1948, 1955, 1957, 1963, 1972, 1979, 1983, 1995, 2000)
One of the perennial favourites for the title, Faireyís gave notice
of their intent to win the Nationals this year with a scorching
performance at the Areas that left a high class field in itís wake
and took the North West crown in some style.
Since then however it hasnít all gone the Stockport based bandís
way and the Masters was an acute disappointment off a number 2 draw
when they came 9th and followed this off another number 2 draw at
the Open to come a slightly fortunate 6th. The concert the following
day however confirmed that they are still more than capable of playing
to a standard few others can match, and they will be hoping for
a kinder draw in London to enable them to really make a better impression
than they managed last year when they came 8th.
Howard Snell will be directing with his usual brilliance and he
is able to call upon a team of solo players of the highest class.
With a bit of luck then, the Nationals could be heading back to
Stockport for the first time since 1993.
Yorkshire Building Society:
Conductor: David King
Debut: 1957 (as Hammonds Sauce)
Best Result: 2nd (1995, 1998):
Last Five Years: 1996 onwards (5, DNQ, 2, 8, 17)
Overall Record: No Wins: 2 Seconds (1995, 1998): 1 Third (1994):
1 Fourth (1972): 1 Fifth (1996): 9 Unplaced (1957, 1968, 1969, 1975,
1976, 1979, 1980, 1999, 2000)
What can possibly stop David King and his Yorkshire Building Society
Band winning the National title for the very first time and in doing
so finally confirm the brilliance of the past ten years that has
seen them win every other contest on more than one occasion?
What indeed. At the Masters this year it was a combination of a
slightly dodgy placing from a judge and the brilliance of Brighouse,
whilst last year at the Nationals it was possibly a combination
of speed of tempo and a little over confidence. Whatever it was,
you can guarantee it wonít happen again if David King has anything
to do about it.
The Open and European Champions are playing to a level few can
ever hope to match at the moment, but they can and have been beaten
Ė first by Black Dyke at the Area contest in Yorkshire and then
by Brighouse at the Masters and it must be said, the Royal Albert
Hall in recent years hasnít been their most favourite venue Ė coming
17th last year and 8th the year before.
They are due a slice of luck though and with a conductor and players
at the peak of performance the Hall and audience in 2001 may witness
and hear a show that will take the title at last.
Given that we did pretty well at the Open in getting 5 out of the
top 6 right, we have got to think we could do well this time. However,
itís a much more open field at the Nationals and there are some
bands that tend to play better at the Royal Albert Hall than others.
So weíve gone for horses for courses a bit and plumbed for those
bands that tend to do the business year after year. There may a
surprise or two, but in reality itís going to be a shoot out between
the big boys we think. Thatís why weíve gone for YBS to take the
one title that has eluded them so far Ė itís time for them to produce
a real scorcher of a performance at London, and we think itís going
to very close between the real big blowing bands of Cory, Black
Dyke, Fodens, Brighouse and Faireys. Travelsphere and Tredegar should
do well as should Whitburn, Leyland and CWS (Glasgow). After that
itís anybody's guess.
Yorkshire Building Society
Buy As You View Cory
Brighouse and Rastrick
Dark Horses: Travelsphere Holidays
Last Years Result:
Buy As You View Cory
The Ransome Band
Brighouse and Rastrick