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2011 Midlands Regional Championship — Bedworth preview

The new Bedworth experience is producing solid results but perhaps the bands here need something of the old Burton on Trent to get them really 'going'?

Civic HallNothing spectacular – just good solid non-nonsense banding: That’s the recipe at the Midlands of late.  

Spark into life

The Area contest at Bedworth has yet to memorably catch fire –although there are signs that things may be about to spark into life after the smouldering form of late of bands here in all five sections.

There is undoubtedly passion and emotion running through the veins, but it only occasionally provides the fuel for a flashpoint of startling contesting brilliance. 

Plenty of talking points over results, but not many over a performance that singed an indelible stamp of permanency in the memory banks.

Missing the grime and germs

Perhaps the players are missing the grime and germs of the old Burton on Trent experience – the old burger van certainly used to get those with pre contest nervous dispositions ‘going’…  

2010 was a case in point – solid qualifiers produced decent returns at both London and Harrogate, but no winner and no podium finishers.

Three top six finishes and two other bands in the top 10.  OK – nothing more, nothing less. 

A bit more squeaky bum, edge of the seat stuff may do the Midlanders some good in preparation for the finals.

Talent

The talent is there – as seen by a host of strong performances at Butlins, but it’s a frustration that an area that boasts 76 bands making it to the starting blocks (down 4 this year) has only three National champions to boast about in the past five years – and only one since 2008.

Could that change this year we wonder?

Well run

Bedworth is a very well run event  - with two cracking venues providing excellent facilities for the bands. The organisation is slick and professional and there is always a warm welcome to be enjoyed.

It is a pity that numbers are slightly down this year, with no Thoresby Colliery Youth, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Coleshill, Audley, Syston or Burbage Silver (and with Dronfield opting for Yorkshire), but there is good news in the return of Ifton and Skegness.

There is also the big field of contenders in the Fourth Section as always – a sure sign that the grass roots banding in the area is still in a pretty healthy state.

Interesting choices

Meanwhile, there are also some interesting choices in the box too (a feature of this contest in recent years) with Philip Harper joined by Peter Bassano in the top section and Paul Norley, David Horsfield, Alan Hope and Steve Pritchard Jones making up an eclectic mix to decide the Cheltenham places.  

Let’s hope there is something spectacular to get them all going then…

Iwan Fox



St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Clifton International Festival of Music - Let Trumpets Sound - Crispian Steele-Perkins

Saturday 1 June • Clifton Cathedral, Clifton Park, Bristol BS8 3BX BS8 3BX


Bollington Brass Band

May 25 • Bollington Brass Band require a Kit and a tutti cornet player to complete our line up. We will be playing at the 2nd section National Finals this September before promotion to the North West 1st section..


Dobcross Silver Band

May 25 • Dobcross Silver Band are looking for a B FLAT BASS player for Whit Friday.. Come and join a Saddleworth band, playing the Saddleworth circuit, including our very own Dobcross contest.. . A great chance to come and enjoy an unforgettable experience!


Stannington Brass Band

May 25 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Gary Davies


Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator