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2012 Yorkshire Regional Championship: Championship Section — live

4BR is covering the Championship Section contest in Bradford — live from St George's Hall

St Georges

 

4BR is covering the action as it happens at St George's Hall in Bradford in the Championship Section.

Additional comments and thoughts on our twitter site:
http:/­/­twitter.com/­4barsrest

Championship Section:
Test Piece: 'The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea' (Derek Bourgeois)

Sunday 4th March
Draw: 3pm
Commence: 4.30pm approx after First Section

Adjudicators: Paul Cosh & Frank Renton

Comments: Iwan Fox

What do we think?

It’s been a riveting contest—from start to finish.

And what a finish too, with a performance from the reigning champion that could either win by a country mile or end up struggling to make it into the top six.

David King put everything and more on the line to make banding history here, but we think it may come up short—but by how much?

It’s a rejuvenated Grimethorpe for us by the narrowest of margins from a brilliant Black Dyke, with Rothwell just behind. Carlton Main and Hepworth’s lyrical musicality should we think see them into the top six with that huge risk taker from Brighouse in sixth. Our dark horse is Skelmanthorpe.

4BR Prediction:

1. Grimethorpe
2. Black Dyke
3. Rothwell Temperance
4. Carlton Main
5. Hepworth
6. Brighouse & Rastrick

Dark Horse: Skelmanthorpe


13. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)

Opening:
They are going for it in a huge way—right from the word go. There are immense dynamic contrasts, with some of the quietest playing of the day on show. What a sense of atmosphere and impending release of built up tension,

Prestissimo
157 on the button and it flows with a vicious fluidity that has devilment in every last drop. MD controls everything—satanic micro management. Real purpose and drive. Fugue is immensely stylish—the Devil in an Armani suit.

Little blips here and there but they are minor ones, although the pull before the fanfares is right on the edge of nearly stopping.

Finale:
Huge chords and precise fanfare work herald a bit of Dana that is almost over sweetened—but not quite. MD is pulling this around all right—like a personal elastic band factory. Blimey!! This makes Michael Bach’s effort sound mechanical.

The Devil loves a risk taker—and this was one heck of a risk. If it comes off you should ask the MD for the lottery numbers. Even the troms are standing. The repose subsides to a close that almost never came. Wow.

Overall:
MD really put everything on the line here—with a performance that really explored the extremities. Amazing risk taking. If it works for the judges it may win by a mile—if not....


12. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)

Opening:
Wow—that was a big old opening chord. It segued into a tasteful build up of tension too, although the first signs are that it is on the ripe side with the dynamics.

Prestissimo
Not hell for leather at 157, but this is Satan giving it all he has got in the dynamics. Does he really have to state his case for eternal damnation as forcefully as this we wonder? The Fugue is played just a notch below but soon gets whipped up into a frenzy. Perc is doing its best to wake the dead too.

Finale:
Huge fanfares will be heard in Hades at this rate. They are some intro for Dana—bless her. The contrast in styles is heard to good effect, but she wasn’t a Welsh tenor. Again—just over ripe in the dynamic stakes for us.

Final repose comes as a bit of a blessed relief but you have to admit this has been a performance that left an impression on the mind.

Overall:
A huge performance in many ways—not least with the dynamics. Just needed a bit more contrast for us, but it was a rendition that was meant to make a mark—and it did just that.


11. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)

Opening:
A solid opening is well maintained despite a few early signs of nerves. There is a growing pulse to this though that draws on a dark sense of tension.

Prestissimo

157 is a devil with a purpose but in a hurry to catch a few errant souls. There is a neat sense of style about this despite the unevenness in execution. MD has obviously used his noggin (or has sold his soul to Beelzebub) because this hangs together despite the shortcomings. Fugue is played with a flow although there are errors and plenty of camouflage work on show.
Finale:

Big fanfares are delivered for all their worth and lead into a decent bit of Dana: Nothing overdone and with some fine lead lines. Not everything comes off but it has been played with tasteful restraint.

Reprise is tired though and the balanced focus has been lost. MD holds things together to ensure that salvation comes with the aid of a tasteful repose.

Overall:
MD used all his experience and knowledge to help make the most of this one. Helped by players who gave everything to the cause. It was a test of championship credentials which they overcame—just.


10. Skelmanthorpe (John Roberts)

Opening:
A well balanced opening is packed with intent and tension—led by a fine bass end. Just the odd blip detracts but it has a real presence this and growing momentum.
Prestissimo

Not a flyer at 157, but quick enough, and the band feels comfortable. MD makes a subtle change of gear in the fugue but keeps the intensity and drive thanks to good dynamics and clear execution. Not red hot on the temperature gauge but more than enough to give a nasty 3rd degree burn in hell. The Devil would be well pleased by the MDs imposing control.

Finale:

Messy fanfares just take the gloss off, but things are redeemed by a super horn and flugel lead. It’s a bit nuts and bolts in the Dana though—just needed a touch of Irish tweeness even.

It’s all in the right place though and the reprise and final glimpse of what might have been is well handled too. The resolve saves a worthy musical soul.

Overall:
A performance based on intelligent direction and management of resources. Lots to commend and enjoy in a Devil that had taste and style. A bit of a dark horse for us.


9. Black Dyke (Dr. Nicholas J. Childs)

Opening:
A huge opening is a statement of intent from Old Nick himself... There is the odd little blip but this has built and built with tension and dark hearted intent.

Prestissimo
It fairly flies — real bat out of hell stuff. 162 on the mark to start and then it pulsates like a virgin's heaving bosom when faced by Beelzebub's hot breath on the back of her neck. Fugue is magnificent playing — it bubbles like a bath of sulphuric acid. You can hear the very bare bones of this construct.

Finale:
Fanfares are played with an air of crushing finality. Dana is moulded with such tasteful restraint — led by beautiful horn and flugel. There is a real fluidity to this.

Huge trom lead peers into the abyss, but slightly early entry just robs atmopshere. What a tremendous close though — salvation snatched from the very jaws of hell.

Overall:
A huge performance — built on brilliant ensemble work and a fluidity of interpretation from the MD. Contest winning playing of a very, very high class.


8. Wakefield Metropolitan (Michael Howley)

Opening:
Fine opening chord holds promise, but the ensemble tuning takes the patina off the well constructed feeling of impending malevolence. Builds with purpose though.

Prestissimo
It's 160, but it is on the edge. Nothing quite gells in the uneven execution, despite MDs best efforts. A bit of a wayward Devil this. Fugue starts well but once more its so hit and miss. It drives on, but towards the wrong road to hell.

Finale:
Fanfares help things recover, but the tuning really does hinder. Sounds tired despite fine lyrical approach. Bravo sop.

Reprise is well handled, but the final sense of repose is blighted by the tuning issues once more.

Overall:
The Devil proved to be too powerful an adversary on this occassion. A brave effort, but this was a real test of top section character for the band.


Halfway Point:

The contest has reached halfway and we have heard some interesting and contrasting quality. The best has been brilliant.

Grimethorpe really did take a trip to the dark side to produce a stonker and lead by a margin and a half so far...

Rothwell are in second spot for us, and may just hang in there for a London spot, just ahead of Hepworth.

Halfway 4BR Prediction:

1. Grimethorpe
2. Rothwell Temperance
3. Hepworth


7. Marsden Silver Prize (Glyn Williams)

Opening:
Fine opening has that dark, plummy depth and the edge of growing tension. Little moment or two though in cornet section raises a eyebrow. Something not right here? Recovers with pacey intentions.

Prestissimo
Its on 160 but quickens in places. It's certainly exciting, but it's also very scrappy in the cornet section. Great start to fugue has a wicked pulse, but not everything knits together. This Devil is leaving a few stragglers behind in his wake.

Finale:
Fanfares fizz with precision, and it leads into a firmly shaped bit of Dana — very Reubensian — all lovely plump phrasing. It's big, bold and buxom. She's ripe for the Devil's picking.

Reprise has fragile start, but recovers well. Fine horn and lead lines, it finds salvation in lovely close.

Overall:
MD knew what he wanted to deliver, but just didn't quite have the arsenal at his command to do it. Much to enjoy, but plenty to have a quizzical ponder over too.


6. Grimethorpe Colliery (Garry Cutt)

Opening:
Lord alive. An opening chord that came right from depths of hell. Superbly balanced and as black as a raven's wing. Such a sense of deep rooted malevolence about this.

Prestissimo
161 means the Devil is keeping something back in speed but not in sheer spiteful brilliance. This is some playing. Fugue is delivered with such clarity, especialy in cornets. Basses are ferociously menacing. Wicked.

Finale:
Fanfares are razor sharp and leads to a vestal virgin in the old Irish warbler who is caressed by the MD with the devil's own intentions (even the tasteful amen corners have a glint in the eye).

Reprise sends a shiver down the spine. The final repose reminds you of the end of the 'Carrie' film. Dead but not buried... Brilliant.

Overall:
This was a trip to the darkest side of town. Down right possessed this. They may need to get an exorcist in with the holy water after this in the bar. An absolute stonker.


5. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Phillip McCann)

Opening:
A crepusculour opening is suitably dark and moody, with solid lead lines which follow fine dovetailed opening chord. Builds with a sense of tension too.

Prestissimo
It's around 161 and flowing. Bass trom is possessed by an evil spirit — a sound from the bowels of hell. Spot on matey! It's not always even in the ensemble though despite the exciting treatment of the fugue.

Finale:
Horns lose cohesion in fanfares, although its still demonically inspired. MD seeks salvation with lyrical treatment of Dana's classic but little rough edges detract. It's close to being very lovely, despite the obvious fragility in some lines.

Great reprise — a real blammer, and the ending has the touch of the old devil having one final snipe on the last tuba blob. Cool.

Overall:
An interesting one. Not everything came off, but the intentions from the MD were spot on. Just a few too many little rough edges may cost, but there was something about it that really held the interest.


4. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)

Opening:
Some little tuning issues marr an opening that hits you between the eyes with a satanic sledgehammer. This is as mean and moody as a junk yard dog — great.

Prestissimo
More boldness at 161 beats and counting. Bass trom gives a real cutting edge. It's very driven and full malevolent intent, but the devil reveals his mezzo forte side too. Clever stuff. Real dynamic contrasts are on show here.

Finale:
Horrid tuning and uneven fanfares spoil things, and it takes time to settle into flowing, if slighty robust 'All Kind's of Everything'. Horn, flugel and sop shine like cherubs — very classy.

Reprise is a chiller — before MD leads a wonderfully controlled ending credit.

Overall:
A high class performance of contrasts this — with great use of dynamics and some splendid indivdual work throughout. Tuning issues and odd bit of scrappy playing may just cost though.


3. Hade Edge (Simon Wood)

Opening:
A deliberate opening is just marred by some nasty little clips, but it recovers to build with dark intent and momentum.

Prestissimo
Just a notch up at 154 means it's close to the mark, although it's on the limit for the ensemble. Uneven in pulse and execution, it never settles. Fugue is better handled, but a young band is finding this hard going. The devil has got the upper hand here.

Finale:
Solid fanfares led to a sweetly played bit of Dana. Just starts to sound a little tired and forced in places, although MD encourages the lyricism.

Tiredness really creeps in to the close with a satanic blob on the perc leading to a fragile repose.

Overall:
The Devil claimed one here, despite the brave musical intentions from the MD and players. Will struggle to make a mark.


2. Hepworth (Russell Gray)

Opening:
What a luscious black as pitch opening — full of lyrical menace and intent. It's tad elastic in places, but it sets the scene.

Prestissimo
It's a ripper! 164 and a tad more in places, but played with real brio. It does have its scrappy moments, although the detail is evident (esp back row cornets). It's cracking bat out of hell stuff.

Finale:
Blazing fanfares lead into the contrasting sugar sweet Dana warbler — which is tastefully shaped — led by a horn on Euro Song Contest winning form.

Fianl climax is heralded by sweeping trom look into the abyss, before salvation comes with slightly bumpy close.

Overall:
A good one this — boldly shaped by that little devil of an MD. A little scrappy at times, but a very persuasive interpretation played with such confident aplomb.


1. Hebden Bridge (Sandy Smith)

Opening:
The opening has atmosphere but also little tarnishing clips too that do detract. Builds with distinct intent and purpose.

Prestissimo
In and around 153 — so it's bang on the mark. It's clear, but not that precise though. Neat moments, but the rhythmic pulse varies. MD drives things through at even pace at fugue, but the Devil is not breathing scorch mark flames here — more like singed edges.

Finale:
The fanfares are bold and darkly hued and it leads into a sweet take on the Dana classic. Horn and flugel do well, but other lines are not so secure.

Bold final climax just sounds tired, although final repose is well handled.

Overall:
A band that found the Devil tested them to the limit here. Good direction from the middle ensured they didn't stray too far to the dark side though.



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