2004 Rankings round-up - All the ups and downs of 2004

23-Dec-2004

So after another year of some fine contesting around the globe, who are the 2004 winners and losers in ther 4barsrest world rankings?


At the end of a momentous year in their relatively short history, Yorkshire Building Society complete 2004 at the top of the 4BR World Rankings, despite failing to retain the British Open title and yet again seeing the National title elude them by the narrowest of margins.

However, the first half of 2004 was extraordinary, even by the standards we have come to expect from YBS. Successive victories in the Yorkshire Area, European Championships and the All England Masters saw them in a commanding position and the ground regained by Black Dyke in the second half of the year, failed to overcome YBS's early dominance.

Last year, YBS became the first band to win the same major title five years in a row, but this year they increased that record to six with their fantastic victory in Glasgow and we await next year's European in Groningen to see if they can make it a magnificent seven.

In the final analysis though, the end-of-year rankings were a relatively close run thing, with Black Dyke and Buy as you View both narrowly behind, but YBS are the band at the top and they thoroughly deserve all our congratulations as the band that is currently the finest in the World.

Enjoying their finest year so far was Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) Band, who increased their score by more than any other band and therefore sit proudly at the top of our table of the bands that have enjoyed the best year relative to past performance. New sponsorship early in the year was a great boost for them, but the 3rd prizes won at Cambridge and London demonstrated that this is a band that has finally arrived in the top bracket of banding, after many years of knocking on the door.

Scottish Co-op enjoyed their second successive good year and have been responsible for Brighouse and Rastrick's removal from the top 6 for the first time since we began publishing the rankings in 2001. Co-op had a fabulous victory in the Scottish Championships and continued that form into the European Championships and British Open, finishing 3rd in both events. A curiously out-of-sorts performance at the Royal Albert Hall in October saw them finish 17th, but they recovered well to take the runners-up spot at the Scottish Open in November.

Another band enjoying 2004 was Phillip McCann's Sellers International. They narrowly missed out on the National Finals, but the Grand Shield victory, 5th place at the Open and 2nd at Brass in Concert indicated that Sellers are right back to the form that they enjoyed under their conductor's previous term there.

A good year for...

2003

2004

Band

Total

+/-

Rank

14

8

Reg Vardy (Ever Ready)

558.61

290.99

1

11

6

Scottish Co-op

649.06

280.49

2

12

11

Sellers International

520.15

222.68

3

13

13

Kirkintilloch

410.32

120.03

4

5

2

Black Dyke

1163.83

115.71

5

23

15

Hepworth (Persimmon Homes)

214.30

101.01

6

4

1

Yorkshire Building Society

1231.02

94.58

7

24

16

Desford Colliery

191.16

78.82

8

90

29

Dalewool Auckland Brass

68.46

58.35

9

31

23

Rothwell Temperance

108.45

47.38

10

46

26

Wingates

74.14

43.73

11

21

17

Travelsphere Holidays

172.67

43.23

12

22

18

Willebroek

155.65

40.29

13

73

37

Staffordshire

47.93

33.09

14

8

10

Whitburn

531.12

25.94

15

53

36

Tongwynlais Temperance

48.95

25.36

16

41

33

Freckleton

58.54

24.75

17

54

38

SWT Woodfalls

47.61

24.61

18

68

41

Lyngby Taarbaek

39.77

23.34

19

45

35

Kingdom Brass

52.58

21.37

20

It's not all been plain sailing for our top bands during 2004 though. Fairey FP (Music) have suffered one of the most difficult years in their long and proud history and they top our annual list of bands that have disappointed the most. Such was the magnitude of their personnel changes, the hat-trick attempt at the National was looking pretty unlikely long before the event, but they did show signs of recovery that weekend.

The Open had been a big disappointment for them though, likewise the European, where they never really challenged YBS for the title. They aren't renowned for facing adversity lying down though and will be working hard to get back on track next year.

It was a curious year for Brighouse & Rastrick too. They are still a very fine band, but their results at the Open and National were extremely disappointing and they find themselves near the top of our ‘bad year' list. Despite that, they did put in a fabulous performance at the All England Masters and were slightly unlucky not to take the title in Cambridge. If they can recapture that form next year, expect to see them on the other list in twelve months time.

A first British Open win in 40 years isn't a reliable indicator of a band suffering a bad year, but it is fair to say that the Symphony Hall event was the only contesting highlight of 2004 for Fodens Richardson. Like all the other bands on this list, you have to be a good band to be there in the first place, but few bands have been as successful as the band from Sandbach over recent years and to miss out on the National and have a disappointing English Masters means that they have dropped quite a few points this year, in spite of their historic Open win.

And a bad year for…

2003

2004

Band

Total

+/-

Rank

1

5

Fairey FP (Music) Band

747.02

-535.94

1

6

7

Brighouse & Rastrick

567.34

-257.85

2

3

4

Fodens Richardson

959.84

-183.43

3

7

9

Tredegar

551.95

-152.13

4

10

14

Leyland

261.45

-135.76

5

18

25

Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel

83.84

-60.76

6

25

31

Besses O' Th' Barn

60.27

-46.55

7

27

39

ASDA Stocksbridge

45.83

-41.91

8

16

21

Flowers

125.56

-40.80

9

15

20

Ransome

136.18

-40.56

10

19

24

Carlton Main

96.81

-37.79

11

17

22

Cwmaman Institute

116.11

-30.27

12

26

28

BTM

69.10

-27.18

13

29

44

Burry Port Town

35.68

-26.96

14

2

3

Buy as you View

1119.59

-25.98

15

48

81

Marple

12.73

-15.51

16

35

47

Treize Etoiles

31.56

-14.14

17

50

77

Point of Ayr

12.95

-13.81

18

36

49

Haydock

30.06

-12.94

19

32

40

Aveley & Newham

42.28

-12.33

20

Over the course of the year, the number of bands in the ranking system has increased from 425 to 565, with the top 200 being published as regularly as our technology has allowed us.

We've had a couple of technical problems during the year, but we've asked for a new laptop for Christmas and, if we get it, we promise that we will publish them more regularly in 2005.

We may also have a few changes up our sleeve, as we've used some of our ‘downtime' to make a few improvements to the system, but we're just getting some final testing done before we make any grand announcements!

We hope that your band gets what it's looking for in 2005. Any predictions for the top of the lists at the end of next year?

J. Casey

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