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2018 Butlins Mineworkers Festival
Butlins, Skegness
13-14 January 2018

Live comments

Live coverage by Iwan Fox, Malcolm Wood, Chris Thomas & Wilson Taylor .

Sunday 14, 21:47:48

You can't beat Butlins in January

4BR catches up with First Section winners Eccles Borough

4BR catches up with Fourth Section champion Stamford Brass

That's the end of live coverage from Skegness and its a weekend in the banding calendar that is so thoroughly enjoyable.

Warmest congratulations to David Childs and Flowers who take the spoils in the Championship Section, along with Eccles Borough, Haydock, Hoover Bolton and Stamford Brass for their triumphs in Sections 1-4.

Great to see 3BA Brass return and well done for taking the Youth Section title and to Gresley in the Junior Ensemble.

Finally, our thanks go to Festival Director, Steve Walker, Brian Eggleshaw and the army of volunteers for not just a warm welcome, but their help throughout the weekend.

News reports will come in the days ahead, but for now, its goodnight from Skegness.

Sunday 14, 21:11:55


Championship Section

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Paul Holland & Ian Porthouse (Music on both disciplines)
Paul Andrews and Kevin Wadsworth (Entertainment)

(Set test + Quality of Music Entertainment + Entertainment) = Total

1. Flowers (David Childs): 2 + 2 + 1 = 5
2. Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Michael Fowles): 1 + 3 + 4 = 8
3. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs): 4 + 6 + 2* = 12
4. Friary Guildford (Chris King): 5 + 4 + 3 = 12
5. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise): 3 + 5 + 5* = 13
6. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke): 6 + 1 + 6 = 13
7. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea): 7 + 7 + 8 = 22
8. Haverhill Silver (Paul Filby): 8 + 8 + 7 = 23

*Entertainment placing takes precedence in event of tie

Highest Placed Mining Band: Desford Colliery (LCITWF)
Set Test Winner: Desford Colliery (LCITWF)
Most Entertaining Band: Flowers
Test Piece Soloist: Nikki Longden (Flugel) — Desford
Geoff Dove Soloist Award: Paul Richards (soprano) — Flowers

Sunday 14, 19:22:14


Youth Section and Junior Ensemble:

Adjudicators: Mark Walters

Youth Section:

1. 3BA Brass (Benjamin Markl)
2. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)
3. Shirland Welfare (Lyndon Cooper)

Other competitors: Enderby Youth (Trevour Hounsome) & Gresley Youth Band (Duncan Jackson)

Best Soloist: Sophie Stevenson (Xylophonist) Youth Brass 2000

Junior Ensemble:

1. Gresley Youth Band B (Duncan Jackson)
2. Wigston Enterprise Band (Matthew Davis)
3. Shirland Training (Jack Newborough)

Sunday 14, 17:04:38


The results will be announced around 9.00pm during the halftime break in the evening concert given by the Superbrass ensemble.

We will get them posted as soon as possible.

Sunday 14, 17:03:34

Championship round up:

We have enjoyed a fine day today with the entertainment provided by the eight bands. Lots of variety but also some varied performances. The best were excellent, led by Flowers with a well constructed programme that was played with slick execution.

Close behind today came GUS who really upped their game and Desford who just fell short of yesterday.

Enjoyable stuff from Woodfalls and Redbridge with very different approaches and Friary who did something different. Lots to enjoy from them all in fact.

Overall though it's Flowers for us, closely followed by Desford, GUS, Redbridge, Woodfalls and Frairy for the top six,

Entertainment prediction:

1. Flowers
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Desford
4. Woodfalls
5. Redbridge
6. Friary Guildford
7. Jaguar Land Rover
8. Haverhill

Overall Prediction:

1. Flowers
2. Desford
3. Virtuosi GUS
4. Redbridge
5. Woodfalls
6. Friary Guildford
7. Jaguar Land Rover
8. Haverhill

Sunday 14, 16:19:01

Championship Section:

8. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Enter the Galaxies (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael)
Soloist: Kevin Lea (trombone)
Moondance (Van Morrison)
The Lake of Tenderness (Ben Hollings)
Two movements from Fragile Oasis (Peter Meechan)

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On Stage — Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Paul Lovatt-Cooper's celestial opener sees its second outing of the day with JLR Band also delivering the second space themed programme of the contest. It's a touch loose in places though with the rhythmic ostinato passages not always pristinely tight and the detail not clearly audible.

A welcome reprise for a classic trombone solo with Kevin Lea in the spotlight and demonstrating a lovely sound. This just needs a touch more languid fluidity at times though.

From trombone to three flugel horns as the trio of soloists sit on the edge of the stage. An effective arrangement by John Barber although its not without one or two uncomfortable moments along the way on the stage.

The glowing tones of Ben Hollings deeply felt music provide both the emotional fulcrum of the programme but also emerges as the most successful piece of Jaguar Land Rover's performance so far, played with both warmth of sound and depth of feeling.

The closing section of Peter Meechan's work can take the stuffing out of any band and this doesn't quite engage us today. It's a tired sounding band that concludes the programme and the contest.

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In Performance — Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Sunday 14, 15:33:08

Championship Section:

7. Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs)

Ride (Samuel Hazo)
On the Track (Jack Simpson)
Soloist: James Foster (xylophone)
Memories of a Lost Child (Ben Hollings)
12th Street Rag (Bowman arr. Daniel Hall)
To Boldly Go (Peter Graham)

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On Stage — Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs)

A jazzy, white knuckle ride of an opener that portrays a journey in a car at full speed; a racey opening number and a breathless introduction to Woodfalls programme of tenuous transport links.

A blast from the past this (most recently to Fodens) with a classic xylophone solo that James Foster despatches with impressive virtuosity and more than a dose of fun. The audience loves it!

Played out in burnished tones from an opening that gently pulses with vibraphones and subdued vocals from the band, a sonorously moving evocation of grief that demonstrates playing of deeply felt emotion from the band. The hush in the hall speaks for itself.

A new take on a ragtime classic featuring the band's cornet section but disrupted by a dismantled trombone and complete with basses with dust bin lids as wah-wah mutes….you'll have to take our word for it!

In one of only two duplications of music today, Woodfalls closes its programme with Peter Graham's To Boldly Go in common with Desford. It really is a Graham fest, chock full of self references but also with hints of Star Wars and that reference to the song classic 'Feelings' once again! It's despatched in bold colours and tones in a barnstorming end to a well constructed programme.

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In Performance — Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs)

Sunday 14, 15:14:19

Youth Section:

Youth Entertainment Bavarian style....

The Youth contest closes with the defending champion, 3BA Brass from Bavaria taking to the stage and taking them into the rehearsal room. Once they have finished warming up and the MD has called for order, straight into practice with the March, Army of the Nile, which is taken at a great tempo and the obligato sop is like the 4BR Editor in his hey day — classy stuff that brings smile to the face.

So does the mobile phone going off to stop the M.D. conducting Flying Mallets only to shoo away the impromptu conductor upon his return.

Even the opening to Amazing Grace is vocally harmonised and in tune.

Entertainment Germany style, but slick and so polished....bravo, could be another title here....

Sunday 14, 14:59:18

Youth Section:

War theme from Gresley...

Gresley seniors (their junior band played earlier) have played homage today to 2018 being the centenary of the end of World War I.

It's all been played with vigour especially their closing number, 'British TV at War' which is a medley of comedy programmes from the 1970s and 80s, Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Allo, Allo. Don't half make you feel old.

Sunday 14, 14:45:41

Championship Section:

6. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

Cherry Blossoms and Yagi Bushi from Japanese Tune (Soichi Konagaya arr. Christian Overhead)
Bushido (Christian Overhead)
Soloist: Matthew White (euphonium)
A Song for Japan (Steve Verhelst arr. Gustav Aaberg)
The Burning of Mount Wakakusa (Eric Guinivan)
Tale of the Dragon (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

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On Stage — Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke) with Matthew White's euphonium solo

GUS's Japanese themed programme opens in subdued, evocative fashion with a twilit stage and the gentle enunciation of a folk song like theme that suddenly erupts into the furious Yagi Bush dance that propels the programme towards Matthew White's euphonium solo.

Christian Overhead's music takes the ancient Samurai code of Bushido as its starting point, weaving Japanese like melodies into a short but technically formidable showpiece that euphonium soloist Matthew White takes in his stride. Musical swordsmanship at its best!

A quintet of the band's principal players plays from the side of the stage in Steve Verhelst's poignant tribute to those that lost their lives in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. So touching and played with heart melting sensitivity.

A fast and furious musical picture of an annual Japanese event that provides another technical fulcrum in what is proving to be an inventive programme. This is impressive playing indeed and is GUS on a different level to the bands performance on Saturday.

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In Performance — Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

Egremont Junior Band - Egremont Town Band and Workington Town Band

Friday 27 April • Workington CA14 3AW

Regent Hall Concerts - Clarendon Brass Ensemble

Friday 27 April • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE

Wotton and District Silver Band - Tom Hutchinson

Saturday 28 April • St Mary's Church, Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7LS

Black Dyke Band - Lincoln Cathedral

Saturday 28 April • Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PX

The Fairey Band - Pre-European Championships concert

Sunday 29 April • Glossop Old Bandroom. Derby Street, Glossop SK13 8LP SK13 8LP

Kippax Band

April 26 • Kippax Band. Require a Musical Director. Due to the work and family commitments of our current MD, Kippax Band are looking for a new Musical Director to take us forward.. We rehearse Monday and Thursday at our own bandroom in Kippax 8.00-10.00pm.

The Corsham Band

April 26 • Due to work commitments, a vacancy has arisen for a Tenor Trombone player. First or Second position available. We are a newly promoted Second Section band with a friendly and enthusiastic team.

Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

April 25 • MUSICAL DIRECTOR required to take the helm. With a 5th place in the 1st Section we are in a great position for promotion in 2019. Do you have the drive and ambition to help carry on with our progress and gain us championship status ? If so get in touch!!!

Chris Wormald

B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, adjudicator, arranger