facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

Brass in Concert Gala Concert

Foden's Band
Conductor: Michael Fowles
Featuring: Matt Ford & Mike Lovatt
Sage Gateshead
Saturday 17th November

The ongoing debate about how brass bands can successfully attract new audiences to hear them perform in a different way was amply displayed by this evening of outstanding entertainment.

Foden’s have already linked up with big-band singer Matt Ford for a series of acclaimed concert performances in the past year or so, drawing an increasingly diverse audience to medium sized venues that allow for an intimate appreciation of stylised musicality combined with high class showmanship and swagger.    

Interesting and intriguing

Around 700 people (about two-thirds capacity) were persuaded to come along here. Many were traditional brass band concert goers of course, but quite a few would surely have been the type of occasional listener to who a night like this held interesting and intriguing appeal.  

The duo was joined by the imperious Mike Lovatt - also fresh from teaming up with the Sandbach band for a brand new CD release entitled, ‘56° North’ – with the renowned lead trumpeter on searing form throughout on a programme billed as ‘Sinatra and the Swing Legends’.

What we got was pizzazz and polish by the bucketful on no less than 20 items neatly arranged with stylistic understanding by the likes of Foden’s trombonist John Barber and Colin Skinner.

What we got was pizzazz and polish by the bucketful on no less than 20 items neatly arranged with stylistic understanding by the likes of Foden’s trombonist John Barber and Colin Skinner. 

Relaxed tether

The ‘classics’ such as ‘Malequena’, ‘Caravan’, ‘Minnie the Moocher’ sounded fresh and authentic, whilst ‘Moon Dance’, ‘I’ve Gotta Be’ and ‘If I Never Sing Another Song’ never came across as stilted or inflexible - thanks to Matt Ford’s malleable phrasing and MD Mike Fowles’ ability to extend a relaxed tether on pace and dynamic.

John Barber also took the opportunity to shine as a sole performer on piano with Matt Ford on ‘My Funny Valentine’, whilst Mike Lovatt displayed the full array of his talents on great arrangements of ‘Under Mount Lee’, ‘Mame’ and ‘China Town’. His CD would have sold rather well on the night.

‘New York, New York’ and ‘My Way’, sung with suave nonchalance by Matt Ford rounded off a refreshing, invigorating evening. 

It may not have been packed to the rafters, but this was a concert that held the promise of a bright future for all concerned. 

All we can hope is that there are more like it to look forward to in the years to come.

Malcolm Wood

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Enderby Band - Enderby Band Christmas Concert

Monday 17 December • Enderby Church. Corner of Leicester Lane/Blaby Road. Enderby. Leicestershire LE19 4AR


Foden's Band - Little Lever High School

Tuesday 18 December • Little Lever High School ,Church Street, Little Lever, Bolton, BL3 1BT


The Wigston Band - The Wigston Band Christmas Concert

Thursday 20 December • St Thomas Church, South Wigston LE18 4TA


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Thursday 20 December • St Alfege Church. 3 Greenwich Church Street SE10 9BJ


The Wigston Band -

Thursday 20 December • St Thomas Church, South Wigston LE18 4TA


Haslingden & Helmshore Brass Band

December 18 • Haslingden & Helmshore, North West 1st Section Brass Band. . MD Mr. Simon Cowen (Principal Trombone with RLPO) . Require 2 front row Cornet players & Percussionist to complete the band. . A very sensible mix of engagements with rehearsals every Tuesday 8pm


Meltham and Meltham Mills Brass Band

December 18 • We have a vacancy for a Soprano and BBb Bass to complete the line up for the areas. Nice Schilke Sop sat waiting for the right person! The band currently competes in the 2nd Section and has a full program of concerts and contests.


The Corsham Band

December 18 • The band are currently looking for an experienced Back Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team. Second or Third Cornet position available.


Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator