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2014 North West Regional Championships — As it happened

All the action from the 2014 North West Regional Championships — as it happened.

North West • Sunday 9, 20:53:32

All the results from the North West are now available and it brings to and end our contest day coverage from Blackpool.

Apologies to bands 9, 10, 11 in Section 1 for the live comments not being posted at the time - this was due to connection problems in the hall.


North West • Sunday 9, 19:56:41

Results for the 2014 North West Regional Championships from the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Championship Section:
Test Piece: 'St Magnus' - Kenneth Downie

Sunday 9th March
Opera House

Adjudicators: Jim Davies & Barry Thompson

1. Fairey (Garry Cutt)*
2. Foden’s (Allan Withington)*
3. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
4. Milnrow (Mareika Gray)
5. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
6. Leyland (Michael Bach)
7. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Maersk)
8. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
9. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
10. Wardle Anderson Brass (Steven Walsh)
w. Bollington Brass (Peter Christian)
w. Freckleton (Paul Dalton)

Percussion AwardL Fairey

*Top 2 Qualify for National Final

First Section:
Test Piece: 'Cry of the Mountain' - Howard Lorriman

Sunday 9th March
Pavilion Theatre

Adjudicators: Simon Kerwin & Richard Marshall

1. Ashton-Under-Lyne (Phil Chalk)*
2. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)*
3. Roberts Bakery (Simon Stonehouse)
4. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Neil Samuel)
5. Morecambe (Andrew Warriner)
6. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
7. Poulton-Le-Fylde (John Wood)
8. Haslingden & Helmshore (David Holland)
9. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)
10. Crewe Brass (Jamie Meredith)
11. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
12. Diggle (Johnathan Evans)
13. Uppermill (Alan Widdop)
14. Hoover Bolton (Trevor Halliwell)
15. Flixton (Stephen Curtis)

Percussion Award: Ashton-under-Lyne

*Top 2 Qualify for National Final

Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Chaucer's Tunes' - Dr Michael Ball

Sunday 9th March
Pavilion Theatre

Adjudicators: Allan Holdworth and Alan Morrison

1. Mossley (Duncan Byers)*
2. Marple (Les Webb)*
3. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
4. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
5. Silk Brass (David Holling)
6. Eccles Borough (Andrew White)
7. Eccleston Brass (Daniel Brooks)
8. Pemberton Old Wigan DW “B” (Peter Ashley)
9. Delph (Philip Goodwin)
10. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)
11. Middleton (Martyn Evans)
12. Tyldesley (Robert Taylor)
13. Farnworth & Walkden (Peter Ashley)
14. Dobcross Silver (Tim Sidwell)
15. Besses Boys (James Holt)
16. Besses o’th’Barn (Alan Wycherley)

Percussion Award: Mossley

*Top 2 Qualify for National Final


Third Section:
Test Piece: 'Partita for Band' (Postcards from Home) - Professor

Philip Wilby

Sunday 9th March
Empress Ballroom
Split Draw 10.00am & 12.15pm
Commence 11.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Brodie & John Roberts

1. Darwen Brass (Steve Hartley)*
2. City of Chester (Malcolm Peach)*
3. Old Hall Brass (John North)
4. Boarshurst Silver (David Ashworth)
5. Backpool Brass (Tariq Ahmed)
6. Golborne (Matt Whitfield)
7. Coppull & Stanish (Matt Stringer)
8. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
9. Lostock Hall Memorial (Brian Harper)
10. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)
11. BMP Europe Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
12. Parr (St. Helens) (John Ludden)
13. Eagley (Matthew Ryan)
14. Trinity Girls (Jonathan Davies)
15. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
16. Hawk Green (Marple) (Neil Hewson)

W. Nelson Brass (Roy Waite)
Disq. Douglas Town (Robert Mitchell)

Percussion Award: Darwen Brass

*Top 2 Qualify for National Final


Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'Three Spanish Impressions for Brass Band' - Alan Fernie

Sunday 9th March
Opera House

Adjudicators: Gordon Higginbottom & Brian Rostron

1. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)*
2. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)*
3. Skelmersdale Prize (David Chapman)
4. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
5. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)
6. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)
7. Blackley (Daniel Price)
8. Mereside Brass (Mike Phenton)
9. Formby (Louise Hough)
10. Cadishead Public (Craig McFarland)
11. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)
12. Tarleton Brass (Gillian Bould)
13. Dobcross Youth (Jon Parkes)
14. Hesketh Bank Silver (Alastair Burrows)
15. Whaley Bridge (Matt Shaw)
16. Denton Brass (Marcus Jones)

Percussion Award: Valley Brass (Haydock)

*Top 2 Qualify for National Final


North West • Sunday 9, 19:04:29

Championship Section Result:


Championship Section:
Test Piece: 'St Magnus' - Kenneth Downie

Sunday 9th March
Opera House
Draw 1.45pm
Commence after Fourth Section

Adjudicators: Jim Davies & Barry Thompson

1. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
2. Foden’s (Allan Withington)
3. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
4. Milnrow (Mareika Gray)
5. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
6. Leyland (Michael Bach)


North West • Sunday 9, 18:46:16

Overall

It’s been a really mixed bag today—its very easy to say St Magnus has tamed many and it has.

Foden’s have done enough to win it today but then it’s a scrap for the other places.

Fairey Milnrow and Leyland with Pemberon, Rainford close by

4BR Prediction:

Malcolm Wood has gone for:

1. Fodens
2. Fairey
3. Milnrow
4. Leyland
5. Pemberton
6. Rainford


North West • Sunday 9, 18:44:04

Section 1:

9. Poulton-Le-Fylde (John Wood)

Another controlled opening. The dynamics are well graded and the excitement is bubbling away nicely. It perhaps gets a little too excited as the ensemble just sways a little. The euph solo it well handled and the band have gotten right out of the way to let it shine through.

The band sound is well balanced and not overblown. The tuning with the mutes is good too! Its a well controlled final section, not rushing off and therefore the detail is heard. Should do well this one.

10. Flixton (Stephen Curtis)

A bit of a muddy start to this one. It gets going though and the dynamics are well graded. The technical playing is all going in but it's not exactly happening together and the confidence is wavering. The euph solo has a couple of slips but it's well recovered. Suddenly, there's life again! The avalanche has brought some good ensemble playing and a new lease of life.

The dialogue between the cornets and trombones is confident and clean. If only this confidence had been running throughout, this would have been a different story.

11. Ashton-Under-Lyne (Phil Chalk)

The opening is oozing character. Such a warm sound, so well layered. The MD is looking as relaxed as the band sound. He's now dancing around a little, just as his band is playing. This is playing of the highest order. Into the Euph solo and the band is taking a risk with the dynamics and it's working beautifully.

This just sounds so easy. The euph is sublime, truly effortless. A moment of minor insecurity at the end of the third movement but this is nitpicking. Into the Avalanche and the interplay between cornet and euph is so delicate and precise. Then the troms and cornets show more quality, it's a big noise but it's not out of control.


North West • Sunday 9, 18:38:10

Championship Section:


10. Foden’s (Allan Withington)

A confident opening that is played with real music belief—lovely, lovely stuff.

Mr Withington has put his forensic finger prints all over this—this is thought out so well. There are some lovely subtle touches on display here, its so well detailed and delightful tuba close.

A great tempo allows them to play with such razor sharp clarity—classy stuff, it’s a heck of journey to the end.

Overall:

Classy stuff that has done enough to today—really tasty stuff


North West • Sunday 9, 18:26:34

Section 1:

4BR closing thoughts

Final Thoughts

Today's performances proved a real mixed bag. A lot of euphonium players excelled themselves in a tricky movement. Tuning with mutes proved an issue with only some truly taking care of it.

As for a winner, it's close at the top. One band stood out, then the following 4 or 5 were really very close and could come out in any order.

4BR Prediction:

Matt Shaw has sat through the First Section and has gone for:

1. Ashton-Under-Lyne
2. Longridge
3. Roberts Bakery
4. Vernon
5. Oldham
6. Morecambe


North West • Sunday 9, 18:19:30

12. Hoover Bolton (Trevor Halliwell)

The opening is bumpy and intonation takes time to settle. It gets going but there's an unease running that just isn't going away. Into the faster music and it starts to pull together, although it's not without error.

The slow playing is dynamically well managed but the tuning leaves something to be desired. The euph managed well but it's still not a happy band sound. Into the avalanche and the first note is hit like an avalanche, it's messy and danger ensues. It still hasn't settled on the drive to the finish. The band didn't quite get to grips with this today.

13. Roberts Bakery (Simon Stonehouse)

It's a serene opening before the trombones stand to make their contribution. The link into the second movement is neat and all of the effects are being brought out nicely. The slow movement is started well by euph and cornet.

The band are staying well out of the soloists way, and the soloist duly obliges with some super playing. The band sound just gets a little rough which is a shame but backs off again nicely. Some slight scrappiness to end the movement but the avalanche kicks off in style. This is going some now, the effects are being brought right off the page. Quite an ending that. Well done band and MD!

14. Morecambe (Andrew Warriner)

A neat opening, well planned and well executed. More neat playing in the second movement before a slight slip knocks the rails for 10 bars or so. It's back under control now and there are some great effects coming out, especially the trombones.

The slow movement entails more quality playing, if a little loud. The movement was rounding off well but then the tuning got ugly and carried into the start of the avalanche. Once it gets going the good playing resumes. The bass section are perhaps a little too heavy now and the ensemble wanders as a result. It closes in style. This had some magnificent moments but was just let down occasionally by little errors.

15.Crewe Brass (Jamie Meredith)

A slightly hesitant start soon grows into itself. The second movement is uncertain to start as well but this takes longer to regain its composure. Once the ensemble is together it is apparent that there are some good ideas in play here. Into the third movement and the unease continues. The euph then starts to show some class and the whole thing steps up a notch.

Now we're hearing what this band has to offer and it's well balanced, some nice sounds and the interpretation is solid. Into the avalanche, the tempo may be a little over but the band are coping reasonably well. The latter part of this performance was highly commendable but the early nerves will have cost it today.


North West • Sunday 9, 18:15:50

Championship Section

So muck or nettles as they say in these parts - can Foden's go to London, we're about to find out


North West • Sunday 9, 18:14:52

Championship Section

9. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)

The opening isn’t bad and it settles well, but it just needs a little bit more impetus to make you sit up.

It’s hard working but it just lacks impetus and it just doesn’t hang together to well—it needs more dynamic contrasts as well.

It just gets tired towards the end and runs out of steam.

Overall:

It was a brave old effort but the piece got the better of them today.


North West • Sunday 9, 17:57:40

We now have full results for Sections 2, 3 and 4 and will post later


North West • Sunday 9, 17:57:00

Championship Section:

8. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes

It’s a cautious opening but it does settle. Co op not on their own though today to up the dynamic and make it one dimensional—its an up and at them approach but it just doesn’t sit right.

Yes, its hard working stuff, but it lacks the forensic detail and contrast to make an impact.

There isn’t too much confidence in the leading lines—real shame this.

Variation 5 just needs pace and whilst it goes up a notch, it needs more, but this is a band that ran pout of steam at the end today.

Overall:

Needed musical dynamics to give it a real chance. Was too top heavy to feature today


North West • Sunday 9, 17:30:25

Championship Section:

7. Milnrow (Mareika Gray)

A safe opening works well as Mareika Gray allows her players to find their feet. There is a nice lyrical approach to this—its lovely stuff.

Whilst not everything knits together, the build up to Var 4 is confidently handled and the euph does well. There’s real thought and purpose into this, but it works.

Some sensible tempo choices follow and they are effective—its not bold or brash, it’s musical—bravo, not many done that today.

Build to Var 4 is neatly handled, and the euph then leads with a touch of élan. Its a touch more artisan after this, but you can't fault the solid delivery and the way the music flows with such purpose.

It builds with purpose and they go for it at gthe end—blimey, it’s terrific stuff but so well controlled.


Overall:

A superb bit of musicianship from Mareika Gray—its put the cat amongst the pigeons today and it fully deserves to give plenty to ponder for judges


North West • Sunday 9, 17:13:42

Championship Section:


6. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Maersk)

It’s a tricky opening that takes time to recover its poise. The dynamics don’t impress us—its one dimensional and just doesn’t make you feel engaged in the music at all.

It just doesn’t have the flow which is needed. The Sop does well, but we need a little bit and whilst the euph and cornet do well, they didn’t get chance to really show any artistry.

It just needs more flow, it’s a little too ragged and rough round the edges and there is tiredness in evidence at the end.

Overall:

A bit disappointing really—the piece wasn’t completely beyond the band, it just needed more flow at times and was too ragged to really feature, but it promised more than we got


North West • Sunday 9, 16:52:36

Championship Section:

Half way and Fairey, Leyland are the only two to deliver the musical goods so far today - it's such a tough ask this, but full marks to the committed efforts.

Half way

1. Fairey
2. Leyland
3. Rainford


North West • Sunday 9, 16:50:15

Section 1:

7. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)

Quite a loud start to the piece in contrast to the other bands today and opening solo from the flugel is unfortunately a little flat. The band soon pick up in dynamic and build fast but this leads to the question where will they go from here? The technical playing shines through in the second movement and there is a strong sense of unity from the band and contrary to my earlier thoughts, the band have a lot more to give in sound!

A stunning euph solo with just a slight slip. A gripping build to a well controlled and well rounded climax. The band demonstrate great balance as the dynamic softens. Strong pace and drive to the finish. All in all a solid performance.

8. Haydock (Mark Quinn)

The band admirably aim for a very quiet start but it's a little bumpy. When it settles, the band sound is balanced and not overdone. The second movement is generally good but there are some moments of discomfort. The curse of intonation with mutes is back.

A well-disciplined change in dynamics as the band venture into the third movement and a good solo from the euph. The band step up the pace in the final movement but the fast playing unfortunately results in many scuppers. A good attack to the piece but the numerous slips will be costly.

Half Way thoughts

Another close one in the first section. Every band can be proud of their euphonium players, there really has been some terrific playing. Tuning with mutes is a telling factor so far, some have really suffered,

That said, there hasn't been a bad performance yet.

As for a mid-session leader?

We'll go for:

1. Longridge
2. Vernon
3. Oldham


North West • Sunday 9, 16:49:30

Championship Section

5. Fairey (Garry Cutt

It’s a confident opening that builds with momentum but there are tiny uncertain moments as well.

Maestro Cutt is working his magic from the off - he’s putting some subtle touches that we have not heard today and its working—some lovely touches of detail.

There are moments though of unease but these are overcome with musical belief.

The tempo brings out the clarity—bravo but its not pushed beyond the musical boundaries.

Its excitement with control on the rudder by Garry Cutt to take the band home in quite terrific style—it’s a performance that had so much to admire.


Overall:

Well that has given the judges something to ponder. A solid performance from Fairey topped off by a great reading from the man from Glossop.


North West • Sunday 9, 16:31:02

Section 3 Result:

Third Section:
Test Piece: 'Partita for Band' (Postcards from Home) - Professor Philip Wilby

Sunday 9th March
Empress Ballroom
Split Draw 10.00am & 12.15pm
Commence 11.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Brodie & John Roberts

1. Darwen Brass (Steve Hartley)*
2. City of Chester (Malcolm Peach)*
3. Old Hall Brass (John North)
4. Boarshurst Silver (David Ashworth)
5. Blackpool Brass (Tariq Ahmed)
6. Golborne (Matt Whitfield)
7. Coppull & Stanish (Matt Stringer)
8. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
9. Lostock Hall Memorial (Brian Harper)
10. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)
11. BMP Europe Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
12. Parr (St. Helens) (John Ludden)
13. Eagley (Matthew Ryan)
14. Trinity Girls (Jonathan Davies)
15. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
16. Hawk Green (Marple) (Neil Hewson)

W. Nelson Brass (Roy Waite)
Disq. Douglas Town (Robert Mitchell)


North West • Sunday 9, 16:24:04

Championship Section:


4. Wardle Anderson Brass (Steven Walsh)

Not the first band to be hesitant and take time to settle as the music evolves. Steve Walsh is using his common sense here—this is a young band

MD is working hard - and so is his band, they are walking a musical type-rope but crikey talk about grit for digging in—they will not be defeated by this, even if it’s a tough ask

Bravo euph and cornet—you shine well but the ensemble doesn’t quite gel.

A tired ensemble just can kick on as the piece needs and this is tough going all the way to the end.

Overall:
Full marks for commitment today, they gave it everything and we mean everything


North West • Sunday 9, 16:15:18

Section 3:

It's been a high standard of playing here today, but some bands just executed it better than others. The Third and Fourth Movements, for me, are what will have distinguished between the bands.

4BR's Chris Musgrave has been listening today and has gone for:

4BR Prediction:

1. Blackpool Brass
2. Golborne
3. Littleborough
4. Trinity Girls
5. Lostock Hall Memorial
6. Coppull & Standish


North West • Sunday 9, 16:12:58

Section 3:

15. City of Chester (Malcolm Peach)

Some nice work to open up this performance with dynamics proving key to emphasising the musicality that they've brought through here.

The Dance is brought to live by the band with real pulse and drive, emphasised by the percussion. However, doesn't quite fit together at times, which is a real shame.

The Third Movement really allows the band to show off their soloists, just a shame that tuning and intonation sometimes let them down. The quieter dynamics also took time to settle to me.

The Fourth Movement starts well with the tempo being more comfortable for the band to really go and attack the music. Just a few losses of clarity may prove a bit detrimental, but a fine account nonetheless!

Good effort here, maybe a bit out of reach on the day, but fine account!

16. Lostock Hall Memorial (Brian Harper)

Clinical opening movement from Lostock Hall Memorial, who execute the First Movement well.
This continues in the Second Movement with the dance being portrayed well across the band. Just a few moments of uncertainty, maybe cause the music to lose a bit of its focus, but nothing that stands out.

Third Movement starts with a bit of nervousness and a few clips creep in. Some fine playing from the Solo Cornet here though. It ends well but some slips may prior to it may cost them.

Again in the Fourth Movement, there's some very good playing from individuals and the band as a whole, but then some bits that's aren't quite as tight, and tuning may let them down. Good ending to the performance though.

Started off very well, but seemed to lose the energy it started with! Good performance overall though!

17. Darwen Brass (Steve Hartley

Starts off well here with some lovely sounds, but also some moments that don't quite fit.
The Second Movement is similar in the sense that some moments aren't quite 'there', but some fine playing as well to counter this.

The Third Movement contained some good solo playing, and the band backed them up well, but again some small slips and clips were heard.

The Fourth Movement really showed off the band sounds and how they can really fill a space, even as big as the Ballroom! It was a tight ending and a good close to the section.


North West • Sunday 9, 16:07:09

Section 1:

4. Longridge (Mark Peacock)

A nicely controlled opening with rich sound from the basses giving a warm depth. Very lyrical opening to the piece from the band and good transition into the second movement. The band show off with their technical playing here, and a dialogue is created between the upper and lower parts. Well managed change of dynamic between the movements again and despite a slight clip, a beautiful solo from the euph.

The band make a slow build to a spine tingling climax, just a few tuning issues between the cornets and once again the tuning with mutes proved to be difficult to settle. The fast pace of the final movement takes a little clarity away from the playing but solid bass line. Another strong performance in which the euph excelled.

5. Uppermill (Alan Widdop)

The opening is well managed but the tuning quickly becomes a problem. There is some neat technical playing going on but the balance is a little off and parts are going unheard. Although approached with gusto, the dynamics in the second movement sound a little forced and lack control. Oh dear - the final chord in the third movement was a real humdinger!

The avalanche brings some more good technical playing but the lower band may be over doing the dynamics a little too much. A good attack but control was lost in parts and tuning was a real issue in the quieter playing.

6. Diggle (Jonathan Evans)

A controlled start to the piece with a few unfortunate clips from the principal cornet. As the pace quickens, the playing becomes scrappy with a lack of cohesion between parts. The band pull in together towards the latter end of the second movement leading up to well controlled and lyrical solo from the euph.

Back on track, the band build together with a good balance between the parts and a strong top line emerges. Again, just a few clips from the cornets as the dynamic softens and the tuning suffers. A solid start to the final movement and the excitement builds to power on to a great finish.


North West • Sunday 9, 16:04:36

Championship Section:


3. Wingates (Paul Andrews)

Whilst it was hesitant to open, it does take a little time to settle and recover. When it does, Paul Andrews is aware that this is a tough musical journey for the band.

Errors keep creeping in between the confident parts but its just too inconsistent to make a mark today and its no surprise that tiredness is in evidence at the end.

Overall:

A tough one for Wingates to conquer, they can take solace in the fact they won’t be alone.


North West • Sunday 9, 15:52:06

Championship Section:

2. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)

It’s a safe opening that leads into a well negotiated first two variations that combine technique and lyricism.

Gareth Brindle is using his brains here—this is putting common sense first, he’s given his band the chance to play the piece without the elastic band snapping and the wheels coming off.

Build up to Var 4 is sensible whilst euph is composed . This is hanging by a safety net at times but they are digging in.

More sensible tempo choices follow—this isn’t a silly approach at all

There is a musical purpose as it heads for home—yes tiredness in the ranks, but they get home.

Overall:
A very well managed account from the MD—in fact full marks to Gareth Brindle for his thoughtful approach today—he never pushed the band beyond their limit. The MD played the piece with Faireys in 2004, he knew what he was up against. Full marks to him and the band for commitment.


North West • Sunday 9, 15:28:07

Championship Section:

The decent audience certainly enjoyed Leyland, they've set a good marker.


North West • Sunday 9, 15:26:36

Section 1:

1. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)

The mysterious character of the start is well managed. Lots of excitement here and a great contrast of dynamics utilised. Euph does well, just a couple of minor blips in the ensemble.

The different characters are well captured and the music has great qualities. Tuning is an issue here but all in all, a good marker here.

2. Haslingden & Helmshore (David Holland)

The opening is a little scratchy, not all entries are convincing. Tuning with mutes looks as though it is going to be an issue today. Euph carries well.

The avalanche comes with a real kick and some neat technical playing. This performance has grown as it has gone along and there is some real quality playing on show now. A solid finish, just a few scuppers early on.

3. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Neil Samuel)

In incredibly quiet start with well graded dynamics. Mute tuning creeps in again but is quickly forgotten and there's some good technical playing on show now. There is a real sense of excitement and pace as the band take on the second movement. There is real finesse to the euph solo and the band show control as they glide to a glorious climax. A few tuning inaccuracies as the dynamic softens but the band are soon back on track and storm on to give a great performance. Well done!


North West • Sunday 9, 15:21:27

Championship Section:

1. Leyland (Michael Bach)

It’s a safe but composed opening that bodes well. Michael Bach pays attention to dynamic contrasts and tempo’s which are effective.

There are some tricky moments but the pulse is present. Nice bit of soprano work before euphonium and cornet shine.

This is typical Michael Bach, so well thought out and good attention to detail.

There’s a real buzz in the air as it heads for home, MD can push it and push it, but he keeps a great deal of control but it finishes well

Overall:

Leyland had nothing to lose here today from number one. It was solid without never pushing the musical boat out


North West • Sunday 9, 15:10:36

Section 3:

12. Greenall's (Phil Boardman)

Vibrant opening that grips you, but some moments where the it feels uncertain.

The Second Movement again is good to listen to, but isn't without untidiness which seems to unsteady the ship at times.

Some very good soloist to be heard here from Greenall's, but sometimes, the tuning sometimes seems to suffer under the quieter dynamics. Some very musical moments are there though.

The Fourth Movement is at a good tempo for some of the faster passages, but still some detail seems lost in the band sound, and some untidiness across the band makes it falter. It grows to the end though with a tight finish!

Gave a good account of themselves, but some untidiness may prove costly!

13. Parr (St. Helens) (John Ludden)

Uncertain opening to the performance, and it takes a while to settle from where I am. Parts don't sounds together across the band. Good bass trombone at the end!

Second Movement carries on in the same way. Some good dynamic contrast but doesn't feel settled or together unfortunately.

Third Movement starts well and blossoms under some fine playing. Slightly quicker tempo seems to suit the band. However, there's some tuning issues and dynamically could've been more for me. Nice ending to the movement though!

More of the same here. The Fourth Movement has good shape to it, but not always settled.

A piece that may have just been out of reach for the band today.

14. Coppull & Standish (Matt Stringer)

More subdued opening here but some very nice musical phrases and a the band really shows off here.

The Second Movement is one of the best I've heard today! Very tight and some great playing across the band, something that some bands haven't really achieved here today.

The Third Movement starts well with the Euphonium soloist and this continues throughout the movement. Some odd moments of nervousness but only minor things. The ending seems a little uncertain and could be costly.

The Fourth Movement starts well at a tempo that seems to suit the band well. Some good playing in the faster passages, just a few loose moments that might again deter from the overall performance, but this is a very good rendition for me!

Very good attempt and one that may sneak up there today! Thoroughly enjoyable


North West • Sunday 9, 15:06:06

Championship Section:

So here we go then in the Championship Section. Only 2 bands will go to London. Draw is tasty, Leyland open, Fairey, middle, Foden's last. Bollington and Freckleton have withdrawn


North West • Sunday 9, 15:04:00

Section 3:

9. Douglas Town (Robert Mitchell)

Not a bad opening but sounds unsettled and unbalanced at times.
The Second Movement again is unsettled and almost frantic at times with the band and percussion not seeming as one. That said though, there are some good sounds coming from the band.

The Third movement again doesn't seem to flow. Good soloists, but the tuning across the band doesn't sound bob on at times, which could prove costly. Nice ending but some untidiness can be heard.
Steadier Fourth Movement than some on show today, but detail and clarity is there which is beneficial. As before though, some tuning issues, which detract slightly from the overall performance.

Not a bad effort from Douglas Town but maybe just a bit too much asked today.

10. Trinity Girls (Jonthan Davies)

Thrilling opening that they attack with real conviction! One of the best openings here today for me.
More of the same in the Second Movement, but just a few loose bars between percussion and the band. None of the excitement is lost though, with the trombones particularly shining through. All leads up to the end of the movement which sounds great from where I am!

Unsteady start to Third Movement though which could be costly. A more brisk rendition of this movement from the MD and Band, which sometimes causes the clarity to be lost, but not a bad effort here.

One of the more exciting Fourth Movements heard today, but feels like the band gets caught up in it all at times with some scrappiness at times here. That said though the louder dynamics are fantastic and leads up to a brilliant close!

Possibly the most exciting performance so far today, but wasn't perfect though! Great effort though, could be up there at the end!

11. Hawk Green (Marple) (Neil Hewson)

Another fine opening but seems to lose control slightly. Just some tuning issues to end as well.
Tidy Second Movement follows with good effects brought out in cornet section. Again though, as the movement progresses, almost feels wild which is a real shame.

Some good soloist playing here, but untidy entries let them down unfortunately. Some nice sounds heard towards the end though and good ending to close the Movement.

Brisk start to the Fourth Movement here, but tuning issues are evident and there's a loss of clarity due to tempo. This really grows towards the end with some great band sounds and dynamics. Superb ending, possibly one of the best heard today!

Some great playing in this, but other moments that weren't quite there today!


North West • Sunday 9, 14:53:20

Section 1 Draw:

Ashton-Under-Lyne (Phil Chalk) 11
Crewe Brass (Jamie Meredith) 15
Diggle (Jonathan Evans) 6
Flixton (Stephen Curtis) 10
Haslingden & Helmshore (David Holland) 2
Haydock (Mark Quinn) 8
Hoover Bolton (Trevor Halliwell) 12
Longridge (Mark Peacock) 4
Morecambe (Andrew Warriner) 14
Oldham (Lees) (John Collins) 7
Population-Le-Fylde (John Wood) 9
Roberts Bakery (Simon Stonehouse) 13
Uppermill (Alan Widdop) 5
Vernon Building Society Poynton (Neil Samuel) 3
Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns) 1


North West • Sunday 9, 14:47:48

Championship Section Draw:

Championship Section
Test Piece: 'St Magnus' - Kenneth Downie

Sunday 9th March
Opera House
Draw 1.45pm
Commence after Fourth Section

Adjudicators: Jim Davies & Barry Thompson

1. Leyland (Michael Bach)
2. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
3. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
4. Wardle Anderson Brass (Steven Walsh)
5. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
6. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Maersk)
7. Milnrow (Mareika Gray)
8. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
9. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
10. Foden’s (Allan Withington)


North West • Sunday 9, 14:46:16

Section 4 Result:

Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'Three Spanish Impressions for Brass Band' - Alan Fernie

Sunday 9th March
Opera House
Split Draw 9.00am & 11.00am
Commence 10.00am

Adjudicators: Gordon Higginbottom & Brian Rostron

1. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)*
2. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)*
3. Skelmersdale Prize (David Chapman)
4. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
5. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)
6. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)

We will publish full result later


North West • Sunday 9, 14:35:51

Section 2 Result

Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Chaucer's Tunes' - Dr Michael Ball

Sunday 9th March
Pavilion Theatre
Split Draw: 8.30am & 10.30am
Start: 9.300am

Adjudicators: Allan Holdworth and Alan Morrison

1. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
2. Marple (Les Webb)
3. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
4. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
5. Silk Brass (David Holling)
6. Eccles Borough (Andrew White)

We will publish the full placings when we get them - which we anticipate later today


North West • Sunday 9, 14:30:58

Section 4:

We're awaiting the Section 4 result, we think the delay is just due to the second section results


North West • Sunday 9, 14:11:38

Section 4:

Overview

Cor blimey! 4th Section bands found Alan Fernie’s tricky little piece tough going today. This really could go anyway as the bands didn’t knit three sections together.

4BR prediction

1. Pilling
2. Tarleton
3. Greenfield
4. Blackley
5. Stacksteads
6. Valley Brass

Dark Horse: Sale Brass


North West • Sunday 9, 14:05:41

Section 4:

15. Skelmersdale Prize (David Chapman)

Not bad at all, a few teething troubles that all bands have had through the opening. The waltz is gentle nostalgia and the closing Fandango, perhaps a bit too much today.

16. Hesketh Bank Silver (Alastair Burrows)

Starts off ok, but has some very tricky moments and the waltz doesn’t quite come to life and the closing section doesn’t quite gel together.


North West • Sunday 9, 13:57:25

Section 4:

12. Tarleton Brass (Gillian Bould)

Tarleton are another band whom opens up well but soon find problems. The Waltz isn’t too bad and nor is the Fandango although tiredness in evidence.


13. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)

Really good approach that works, and the waltz isn’t bad at all. The style is backed up by good ensemble and a reasonable tempo in the closing section.


14. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)

Starts off nicely, in nice style, good control and the waltz has a romantic feel to it. The closing Fandango isn’t bad either.


North West • Sunday 9, 13:55:07

Section 2

Matt Shaw's analysis:

Section 2. Comments

It's been a very close contest. With many of the heavyweights drawing early on the bar was set high and some had it in their sights, others didn't quite manage it.

As for 4BR's prediction, it really could go any way.

Necks on the line once again, we'd say:

4BR Prediction:

1. Eccles Borough
2. Eccleston
3. Delph
4. Middleton
5. Cheshire Constabulary
6. Silk Brass

Dark Horse - Manx Concert Brass


North West • Sunday 9, 13:53:35

Section 2:

15. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)

Some big sounds to open here, the intent is clear. The lyrical passage is flowing nicely but the sounds just overstep the mark every now and then. The lower band are making a great sound here, and it's clean in articulation as well. The carol is well handled with some good dynamic contrasts. Into the chase and again, the sound is massive but mistakes are creeping in. It's an exciting close and represents a slightly different approach today. Heading to be the dark horse?

16. Silk Brass (David Holling)

The last band in the 2nd section kick off in fine style. The lyrical passage is so easy, the cornet and euph are on fine form. The ensemble it tight and well controlled. The carol brings some untidy moments but it's generally quite good. The chase is a little untidy before a rapid ending. Started well and lost its way a little towards the end but should still achieve a reasonable result.


North West • Sunday 9, 13:53:14

Section 3

Bands to come:

9. Douglas Town (Robert Mitchell)
10. Trinity Girls (Jonathan Davies)
11. Hawk Green (Marple) (Neil Hewson)
12. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
13. Parr (St. Helens) (John Ludden)
14. Coppull & Stanish (Matt Stringer)
15. City of Chester (Malcolm Peach)
16. Lostock Hall Memorial (Brian Harper)
17. Darwen Brass (Steve Hartley)


North West • Sunday 9, 13:37:44

Section 4:

12. Tarleton Brass (Gillian Bould)

Tarleton are another band whom opens up well but soon find problems. The Waltz isn’t too bad and nor is the Fandango although tiredness in evidence.


13. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)

Really good approach that works, and the waltz isn’t bad at all. The style is backed up by good ensemble and a reasonable tempo in the closing section.


14. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)

Starts off nicely, in nice style, good control and the waltz has a romantic feel to it. The closing Fandango isn’t bad either.


North West • Sunday 9, 13:35:17

Section 3

4. Blackpool Brass (Tariq Ahmed)

Very good opening to this one from Blackpool Brass. Rich bass end sounds to close the movement.

Very musical from the band in the Second Movement. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this as there was lots of pulse giving the music a real dance feel. Lots of fine playing to be heard here from all sections of the band.

The Third movement is very good, with the soloists performing well. Dynamic range is very good here as well which adds to the overall musicality. The band sounds very tight and well drilled.
Fourth Movement again is a triumph musically and the band here sounds great! The MD can be proud of his band with this one because it is tight and well executed throughout the performance!

A rendition that could do very well today I feel!

5. BMP Europe Goodshaw (Mike Cotter

The opening feels nervous from where I'm sat, maybe a delay before playing added to the nerves. Takes a while to settle, but when it does it feels a lot better!

Again, the Second Movement seems to take a while to calm down into the dance portrayed in the music. Some good sounds as it progresses though and you can tell the MD has worked hard with this band.

The Third Movement starts well but a few clips creep in here and there in solo lines. Good dynamics though to be heard and musically, it feels really sound.

Once more, it feels a bit unsteady for a while and loses a bit of its flow in the Fourth Movement. It feels as if there is a lot of promise, but it never really seems to arrive to its full extent for me. However, there is lots of good work to be heard.

A performance that didn't seem to settle properly, but had promise to be som much more.

6. Eagley (Matthew Ryan)

A good opening with lots of musicality on show. There are parts being brought out that haven't been quite heard from other bands here.

The Second Movement flows well and once again is very musical in execution. Just a few lapses in concentration though where it seemed to lose shape, but were quickly dealt with.

The Third Movement is good to start with some fine playing on show. As before there are a few loose corners that could be costly but on the whole there is real shape to this movement, with great dynamic contrast.

The start of the Fourth Movement again takes a few bars to settle, but when it does, it's a treat! The MD is really getting into the music and is very enthusiastic here and you can tell it is paying off on his band!

Good performance with lots of energy and musicality, but maybe a few too many loose ends to really be up there.

7. Golborne (Matt Whitfield)

Great opening there! Loved the rich tones from the lower band. Possibly the best opening heard so far today!
The Second movement takes a few bars to settle, but when it does, it's a real treat. Dynamics seem to be up, but the band does well to contain itself and not overdo it and sounds very good. Sometimes loses focus and tempo seems to shift around, but control is regained quickly, and a good finish to the Movement.

Great start to the Third Movement from the soloists here, the best heard so far today. A few clips follow but nothing major, just a bit unbalanced for me.

The Fourth Movement again is very good to start but maybe the tempo is a bit quick and some of the clarity is lost. Louder dynamics are superb though with the band excelling with their overall sound. Very enjoyable to listen to!

Very good performance that could be up there at the end with just a few loose areas.


8. Old Hall Brass (John North)

Good opening here with some nice sounds appearing. Just a tad unbalanced for me though and could be a bit quieter.

The dance sounds well with a drive from the percussion that comes across well. Just a couple of clips here and there but overall not too shabby. Just feels like it is rocking as well at times between the percussion and the rest of the band, but nothing major.

Good start from the soloists here in the Third Movement, particularly the horn player! Some moments just sound a bit nervous though. I like the quieter dynamics here, but some notes don't seem quite centred, but very nice close to this section of the piece.

As with other bands, it seems to take a few bars to be fully settled, but when it does it sounds good. Just a bit scrappy in some of the faster moments of this movement. The louder dynamics come across well and the band sounds very good towards the end.

Good performance but may just be lacking in a few areas, one to be proud of though!


North West • Sunday 9, 13:18:13

Section 2

Just 4 bands left in this section:

13. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)
14. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)
15. Skelmersdale Prize (David Chapman)
16. Hesketh Bank Silver (Alastair Burrows)


North West • Sunday 9, 13:16:12

Section 2

12. Tyldesley (Robert Taylor)

The opening is well thought, if not always accurate. Again, the interpretation is well laid out but the execution is not yet matching it. There are some moments of good playing but the error count is building. The carol is more of the same, the tuning needs work but if that had been fixed this could have done well.

The chase brings some exciting moments and the most consistent playing we've heard from this band. There was a lot of promise but poor execution will cost them today. Shame, the MD seemed to have some good ideas.

13. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)

A finely balanced opening leads to a stunning lyrical passage from the cornet and euph, what a sound! The band is giving this everything they've got in a wonderfully restrained manner and withheld dynamics are keeping it clean. The carol is kept simple and again, this works well. Just gets a little untidy towards the end of the carol. More fine playing in the chase with a small minor error count.

A very commendable performance that should finish well.

14. Dobcross Silver (Tim Sidwell)

Another one that doesn't quite hit the ground running. It gathers itself reasonably well but there are moments of insecurity. The carol brings a bit of a change in luck and there are some lovely sounds. The chase is on. It's exciting, if not always accurate.

Another band that couldn't quite rise to the challenge today but again, no lack of commitment and there's a lot to be said for that. The young MD can hold his head high knowing he and his band gave this a really good attempt.


North West • Sunday 9, 12:56:54

Section 4:

We are into the last five now in Opera House. It's a contest that's never really caught fire as of yet. The opening is very tricky but bands have not been able to knit everything together today. Interesting to hear what the judges will say later.

The bands to come are:

12. Tarleton Brass (Gillian Bould)
13. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)
14. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)
15. Skelmersdale Prize (David Chapman)
16. Hesketh Bank Silver (Alastair Burrows)


North West • Sunday 9, 12:50:47

Section 4:

9. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)

Not bad at all in the opening, very dark and brooding. The Waltz is a touch uncertain, but the Fandango has spirit, for sure although it tires towards the end.


10. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)

It’s a gentle cautious opening and confidence builds from there. The waltz isn’t quite on the button, nor is the Fandango. It just didn’t come off for them.

11. Formby (Louise Hough)

It’s a nice tidy opening, but it does suffer from caution as the opening section goes on. The waltz isn’t bad at all; it certainly has its moments.

The closing Fandango is a tasty bit of playing as well, although they could just do with pulling back on the dynamics.


North West • Sunday 9, 12:40:10

Section 2:

9. Pemberton Old Wigan DW "B" (Peter Ashley)

Took a short time to settle but the effects are being worked nicely. Lyrical passage claims a few victims but not the first today, probably not the last either. The next quick passage is generally well managed without much fuss. The carol is well introduced but tuning just goes a little astray.

The band sound is getting a little less focused and the tuning is going with it. A fresh start at the chase brings the ensemble back together and it all adds up for a strong finish but you fear the damage was done earlier on.

10. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)

Opening is a little unsure and leads to some scrappy moments. First lyrical passage is started well by cornet and ensemble responds quite well. Still not quite found its feet as we approach the carol. This brings more uncertainty but the lower band are holding themselves well.

The chase represents a little change in the fortunes of this band but once again, the damage was already done.

11. Middleton (Martyn Evans)

Another stall well presented from the off. The effects are being brought out brilliantly. The first lyrical passage is well played by the cornet and euph, if perhaps a little heavy, but that is really nitpicking. Again, the quicker playing is still full of detail, although the basses are just a little on the heavy side. The carol is confidently played with the tuning just wobbling a little.

The ensemble then has a little lapse in concentration and sways for a few bars. Once it's back on the same song sheet, the sound is balanced and flowing. The chase and finale are on the money as well. Should fare well this one.


North West • Sunday 9, 12:29:10

Could there be potential problems in the North West today as a few bands are tweeting that they are stuck in traffic on the M61 due to a police incident.

Hopefully the organisers have been informed - we don't want to lose anyone from the contest because of a traffic jam!!

Can someone make sure Peter Bates or the organisers are kept in the loop !


North West • Sunday 9, 12:11:07

Section 4:

Back under way in Section 4 with Greenfield after comfort break and they put the lights out strangely, very bizarre.
Still up for grabs in this Section, all to play for over next 2 hours.


North West • Sunday 9, 12:03:13

Section 3:

1. Littleborough Public (Adrian Woodhead)

Good opening, very good band sounds. Picture set well with that first movement.
Second movement, takes a few bars to feel settled across the band but again, good sounds created with good dynamics. Well balanced, just seems to lose a bit of tempo at times but doesn't detract from the overall flow of the piece. Strong ending to movement.

Good soloist lines, few clips at the start of movement. Settles nicely, just balance issues at times when parts are lost within the overall picture, but a lovely close to the movement.

Fourth movement again starts very well, but maybe a touch too quick for all the band to keep up with some faster passages. No holding back in this one, with a really good finish to it. Lots of musicality in this one.

Great opening to the section, with an animated MD to go with the band!


2. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)

Tidy opening, but suspect tuning in quieter parts of the first movement.
Second movement continues at a slightly slower tempo than the previous band, but allows more of the effects and music to come out for my liking.

Very good close to the movement, with a tight ending and good sounds coming from the band.
Nice opening to the third movement, but again a few tuning issues that slightly detract from the sounds that fill this great ballroom. Some nice shapes created by the MD and band throughout the movement and indeed the piece as a whole.

Fourth movement again is at a steadier tempo than heard previously, but this allows some of the detail to come through more prominently. Doesn't feel settled until later in the movement, but the band sound really does make you smile. Well balanced across the dynamic range. Good closing to the piece, although not as tight as could be.

Another good rendition, but a few to many loose areas for my liking.


3. Boarshurst Silver (David Ashworth

Solid opening to the First movement from Boarshurt Silver. Good dynamic range shown with the quieter dynamics being the quietest heard so far today. Nice close to the movement, and possibly the tightest ending heard so far today.

Second movement is lively and the sound dances around the ballroom. Very good band sound here, and the pulse can really be felt throughout the movement. You can tell the MD has really worked with this band to bring the dance alive!

The Third movement has some lovely moments, especially at the quieter dynamics midway through, with some stunning sounds coming from the middle of the hall. However, just let down at times with tuning across the band.

The Fourth Movement continues what the previous movements started, with musicality shining through.

Just a few loose ends that could cost the band here.

Possibly the most musical heard so far, but untidy in places which could cost them.


North West • Sunday 9, 11:56:32

Section 4:

7.Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick

You know what, its not a bad little opening at all as Haydock, some have not caught the style. The waltz is a touch of the romantics whilst the closing Fandango isn’t too bad.

8. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)

It’s not a bad opening section that broods well. The Waltz wouldn’t be out of place at The Tower Ballroom here in Blackpool. The Fanandango has lots too admire as well, not a bad effort this.

Halfway opinion

It’s been a bit of Spanish struggle for the North West outfits so far. Has one band really nailed it yet? Not really.

1. Blackley
2. Stacksteads
3. Valley Brass


North West • Sunday 9, 11:42:48

Section 4:

4. Whaley Bridge (Matt Shaw)

The opening section proves just as tricky as it has for other bands today, but the style isn’t too bad with some tidy ensemble

The Waltz isn’t bad at all, captures the style, whilst the ‘Fandango’ certainly sees the band give it there all.

5. Blackley (Daniel Price)

Not bad at all, we like the brooding style and approach it works. The Waltz is like two old dears going around an old tea dance in Manchester—lovely stuff.

Fandango isn’t bad either, it works


6. Mereside Brass (Mike Phenton)

It starts well, and the waltz isn’t badly executed, nor is the closing Fandango.

Section 4:


Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick

You know what, its not a bad little opening at all, some have not caught the style like Valley has. The waltz is a touch of the romantics whilst the closing Fandango isn’t too bad.


North West • Sunday 9, 11:38:34

Section 2

7. Mossley (Duncan Bryers)

Another well set out opening with a beefy bass sound. The first lyrical passage is played beautifully by the cornet and euph. The ensemble is working well as a unit. The ensemble just goes a little astray just before the carol and takes a short time to regain its step.

The band go for the spectacular with the dynamic contrasts at the end of the carol and it almost works. The band are going for it now and it brings just a couple of scrappy moments but there were plenty of positives here.

8. Marple (Les Webb)

Plenty of effects being brought out in this opening passage. The lyrical passage comes about with some fine playing. The melodies are being passed around nicely here. The carol brings some good playing but the tuning is just creeping out. The chase is off to a great start.

There are just a couple of wobbles in the ensemble but the MD is on top of it. The close is energetic and ends another solid performance.


Comfort break thoughts:

We've seen many of the favoured bands play so far and it's close at the top. One or two have struggled today but not one band has showed a lack of commitment which is credit to all. The early start doesn't seem to have caused many problems and there has been some quality playing on show.

As for the leaders, it's very close. Eccleston. Delph and Eccles Borough have all put in great performances and could slot in any order.

To stick our necks on the line, we'd say;

1. Eccles Borough
2. Eccleston
3. Delph


North West • Sunday 9, 11:36:00

Section 2:

4. Delph (Philip Goodwin)

The stall is set out here for a good one. The band is showing all of the characters. What a sound coming from the lower band. Strength matched by some quality ensemble playing. The MD is showing his band precisely what he wants and they're responding well.

The carol isn't without a couple of slips but once again the character is showing well. Into the chase and again it's clean with a mighty bass sound. A fine one this. Great interpretation and good playing to match.

5. Farnworth & Walkden (Peter Ashley)

A fairly tidy start here, if a little heavy. Not all the players are trying to tell the same story here, the scrappiness is spreading.

The carol brings a bit of a regrouping, although the tuning is questionable. The chase represents another regrouping but the tuning and error count are really playing havoc. A struggler today.

6. Eccles Borough (Andrew White)

A purposeful opening backed with a fruity sound. The melodies are sitting nicely on top of the band sound, there's potential here. The ensemble is so tight, a couple of blips from soloists but nothing concerning.

The band sound is so well layered. There's some real quality on show here. The MD could do no more to prepare his band here and for the most part it has paid off.


North West • Sunday 9, 10:52:59

Section 3 Draw

Third Section:
Test Piece: 'Partita for Band' (Postcards from Home) - Professor Philip Wilby

Sunday 9th March
Empress Ballroom
Split Draw 10.00am & 12.15pm
Commence 11.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Brodie & John Roberts

1. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
2. Parr (St. Helens) (John Ludden)
3. Boarshurst Silver (David Ashworth)
4. Backpool Brass (Tariq Ahmed)
5. BMP Europe Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
6. Eagley (Matthew Ryan)
7. Golborne (Matt Whitfield)
8. Old Hall Brass (John North)
9. Douglas Town (Robert Mitchell)
10. Trinity Girls (Jonathan Davies)
11. Hawk Green (Marple) (Neil Hewson)
12. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
13. Parr (St. Helens) (John Ludden)
14. Coppull & Stanish (Matt Stringer)
15. City of Chester (Malcolm Peach)
16. Lostock Hall Memorial (Brian Harper)
17. Darwen Brass (Steve Hartley)

withdrawn: Nelson Brass (Roy Waite)


North West • Sunday 9, 10:45:49

Section 4:

Three bands in Section 4, this could be a long four hours or say. It's a tough piece at this level, but some seem in awe of Opera House stage and surroundings, hence quite nervy and cautious accounts from first three.


North West • Sunday 9, 10:42:04

Section 4:


1. Dobcross Youth (Jon Parkes)

It’s a nice dark opening section, although not everything gels together completely. The Waltz is light and delicate, but there a few little gremlins along the way tuning wise.

Fandango isn’t too bad and not a bad marker off 1.

2. Cadishead Public (Craig McFarland)

Cadishead takes time to settle in what becomes not the most precise opening brooding movement. The waltz is nicely portrayed with a hint of romanticism. The upbeat concluding section moves freely with but not all of the ensemble clicks together.

3. Denton Brass (Marcus Jones)

It’s not a bad approach from Denton but it does take to settle. The waltz needs to be a touch lighter on its feet for us to work.

Fandango isn’t bad, but it needs a touch more life about it to come off

Whether swapping trombones and cornets to different sides will work, only time will tell.


North West • Sunday 9, 10:27:25

Section 2

1. Eccleston Brass (Daniel Brooks)

Plenty of early promise here with the MD going without a score. Will removing this block allow him to get more from his band? The solos are being well handled, very few signs of the dreaded "morning lips".

The band sound is well managed with just a couple of harsh sounds creeping in but they are quickly extinguished. It's a good show and the band will be happy with that.

2. Besses Boys' (James Holt)

Its a beefy, bass led sound. The intent is clear and it's mostly being achieved. The soloists are coping well. A couple of minor blips but the music is flowing nicely. The tuning is starting to show a bit of an ugly face in the carol section.

The chase is on and the band are really giving it some now. The scrappy moments are just detracting but this should hold its own for a solid finish today.

3. Besses o'th'Barn (Alan Wycherley)

Took a little time to settle this. The ensemble seems a little spooked by the occasion but the MD has gathered it back. Now that the ensemble is working as a unit there are some wonderful characters coming out of the music.

The carol leaves the band a little unstuck again but the MD can once again be congratulated for regathering his troops. The chase is fairly tidy and brings the performance to a decent close. This piece proved a little difficult for this band today but there were glimpses of promise.


North West • Sunday 9, 09:59:42

We're about to get under way in Opera House in Fourth Section. What will the 16 North West challengers make of the Spanish piece?


North West • Sunday 9, 09:56:40

Section 4 Draw

Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'Three Spanish Impressions for Brass Band' - Alan Fernie

Sunday 9th March
Opera House
Split Draw 9.00am & 11.00am
Commence 10.00am

Adjudicators: Gordon Higginbottom & Brian Rostron


1. Dobcross Youth (Jon Parkes)
2. Cadishead Public (Craig McFarland)
3. Denton Brass (Marcus Jones)
4. Whaley Bridge (Matt Shaw)
5. Blackley (Daniel Price)
6. Mereside Brass (Mike Phenton)
7. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)
8. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)
9. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
10. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)
11. Formby (Louise Hough)
12. Tarleton Brass (Gillian Bould)
13. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Len Charnock)
14. Sale Brass (Grenville Moore)
15. Skelmersdale Prize (David Chapman)
16. Hesketh Bank Silver (Alastair Burrows)


North West • Sunday 9, 09:29:37

Section 2 Draw

Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Chaucer's Tunes' - Dr Michael Ball

Sunday 9th March
Pavilion Theatre
Split Draw: 8.30am & 10.30am
Start: 9.30am

1. Eccleston Brass (Daniel Brooks)
2. Besses Boys' (James Holt)
3. Besses o'th'Barn (Alan Wycherley)
4. Delph (Philip Goodwin)
5. Farnworth & Walkden (Peter Ashley)
6. Eccles Borough (Andrew White)
7. Mossley (Duncan Bryers)
8. Marple (Les Webb)
9. Pemberton Old Wigan DW "B" (Peter Ashley)
10. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
11. Middleton (Martyn Evans)
12. Tyldesley (Robert Taylor)
13. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)
14. Dobcross Silver (Tim Sidwell)
15. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
16. Silk Brass (David Holling)


North West • Sunday 9, 09:23:44

We're getting ready for the off in Blackpool. Matt Shaw has made his way from the Midlands and will be in the Pavilion Theatre for the Second Section which starts at 9.30 followed by the First Section in mid afternoon.

Chris Musgrave will be in the Third Section whilst Malcolm Wood is in the Opera House for the Fourth and Championship Sections.


North West • Sunday 9, 08:08:39

Good morning from Blackpool. All the last minute preparations are taking place, before the draw for the Second Section takes place at 8.30am.

The North West contest is unique to the Regional's as everything is done and dusted in three halls today.

There will be a cracking atmosphere all day and that's without the matter of qualification for Cheltenham and London.

The challenge for top honours in the Championship Section promises to be a titanic battle with only two places up for grabs for The Royal Albert Hall as the pre-qualification spots were dominated by Wales and Yorkshire.

It's a situation North West challengers have not had for some time.

An interesting day beckons, join us throughout the day to see how it all goes.


North West • Friday 7, 11:38:14

For North West preview & predictions go to:
www.4barsrest.com/­articles/­2014/­1436.asp




Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD


Enfield Citadel Band -

Saturday 25 November • The Salvation Army. 42 Clarence Road. Southend. SS1 1AN SS1 1AN


Contest: Swiss National Championships

Saturday 25 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820


Newstead Brass -

Saturday 25 November • John Godber Centre. Ogle Street. Hucknall. Nottingham NG15 7FQ


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE


Hitchin Band

November 21 • Due to a re-shuffle in our cornet section we are now looking for a REPIANO or FRONT ROW cornet player. We are a busy band currently at the top of the 1st section in the London and Southern Counties area. We rehearse Mon + Thurs - 7.45-9.45pm.


Blidworth Welfare Band

November 21 • The Blidworth Welfare band, Midlands Championship section, require a 2nd cornet player to join our friendly but ambitious and hardworking band. A good programme of concerts, recordings and contests will provide an enjoyable challenge.


Blidworth Welfare Band

November 21 • The Blidworth Welfare band, Midlands Championship section, require a principal cornet player to join our friendly but ambitious and hardworking band. . A good programme of concerts, recordings and contests will provide an enjoyable challenge.


David Barringer

BMus(Homs)
Conductor and Adjudicator