2007 Pontins Championships - Second Section retrospective


The judges Stan Lippeatt and Kevin Wadsworth knew exactly what they were looking for in the Second Section - and Wakefield Metropolitan gvae it to them in spades.

Adjudicator Stan Lippeatt laid out very clearly at the end of this contest just what the adjudicators were looking for and a full transcript of his interesting comments from the stage are available to hear on the podcast. 

With that in mind Wakefield Metropolitan and Norman Law justifiably took the winners prize. They gave a wonderfully controlled performance that found favour with the judges and their compelling and controlled account was rewarded with the top prize.

Behind them though, things were a little more difficult for the men in the box. They had to consider the style more than the technical hurdles presented by the musical intention set out in the score - the variations on a German carol were little musical pictures in their own right.

The runners-up place was awarded to Tylorstown Band (Arriva Trains) Wales whilst third place went to Kippax, the defending champion. Such were the small margins between the performances that nobody would have begrudged either of them if the prizes had been awarded the other way around. 

We at 4BR had them in 3rd and 4th places but there was no denying that these were two fine accounts that just left the door for the more complete performance of Wakefield to squeeze through. In that respect we had Kippax conducted by Alan Morrison just ahead of Gary Davies and his band - but that was just a personal choice from two intelligent readings from the respective MDs.

Rainford under Neil Samuel certainly performed with plenty of enthusiasm and style and they were being tipped by many as potential winners. We had them in runners-up spot just falling short of the rounded performance by Wakefield Metropolitan. Following promotion nationally this year Rainford certainly cemented themselves into the thoughts of many at the contest with a most persuasive reading of the score and they may feel a touch miffed at missing out on the podium places.

Fifth place eventually went to United Co-op 2000 Brass led by Jamie Meredith who produced a well rounded show that just rocked a little at times in crucial moments. The final top six place went to Holywell and their interpretation certainly caught the attention of many, including us at 4BR. From start to finish we applauded their efforts and we thought they too might have had a chance of picking up a possible trophy with a detailed and balanced approach to the work.

Meanwhile the other bands in the field were much of a muchness with plenty of good individual playing, but often the choice to opt for speed and big dynamics cost them nearly all dear. That said, there wasn’t really one poor performance – all had considerable merit, but consistency was the key, and without it the bands outside the top six fell short.

Congratulations though to the winners Wakefield Metropolitan, celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, on a cracking show whilst the other top five also showed a command of the music that was very pleasing on the ear. We felt Holywell had plenty of positives whilst below that a few difficulties set in for the rest.

Overall it was a fair standard from the top to the bottom but the better performances were there to be heard and were rightly rewarded.

John James


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