It’s said that despite its impressive architectural credentials, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium still lacks a footballing soul.
What it needs is a history of great memories to permeate deep into the molecules of the glass and concrete stands – a soul that comes with European football nights such as the recent one against Barcelona that saw it come to anthropomorphic life with a beating, pulsating heart.
It had been the same here at Bedworth – although there has been plenty of silverware on display here over the past few years – unlike the Emirates.
Not now though.
Bedworth’s Civic Centre and Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College are now worthy additions to the great list of British banding venues.
They have a banding soul thanks to a series of memorable contests – none more so than this weekend.
Fag and cup of tea
The traditionalists may well bemoan the fact that you can no longer have a fag, cup of tea and bacon butty courtesy of the car park trailer in Burton on Trent, but you cannot fault the amenities that are found here.
Meanwhile, the players appreciate the fact that they now have contest venues they can bring their family to without the risk of an E-coli infection.
Conductors tell us the acoustic in both main halls is pretty good and the audience enjoy the fact that they can sit in comfort to listen to the bands perform, without the contest having to be stopped due to the sounds of a Scottish bagpiper at a civil wedding ceremony next door (as was the case at Burton a few years back).
This year the Championship Section was a bit of an unexpected treat, the Second Section a delight, the Third and Fourth, really enjoyable events.
Only the First Section was a disappointment.
The place may not quite have the intimate atmosphere of St George’s Hall in Bradford, or the stunning murals of the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, but it now has the type of banding atmosphere that so permeates those venues on Area contest days.
They are now proper band contests.
The organisation here is first class, with Lesley Bentley and her team doing a fine job keeping the two days ticking over, whilst the playing standards were good and it all ended at a pretty respectable time too.
Come of age
The assorted press corps was superbly catered for – something that doesn’t always happen even at the most famous banding venues.
Bedworth has come of age.
All it is missing is that old burger van in the car park.