Fresh from their memorable British Open victory, the world’s number 1 ranked band enjoyed a relaxed weekend ‘tour’ that included an enjoyable Saturday evening concert in Southampton, followed by this afternoon event that helped Bratton Silver Band celebrate its 160th anniversary.
Not even a late change of venue could dampen the enthusiasm of a packed audience, helped by Philip Harper’s equally enthusiastic engagement with them throughout the afternoon.
The tone was set with a sparkling rendition of Andrew Baker’s ‘A Short Ride in a Brass Machine’ that was revved up with pulsating excitement. Von Suppe’s ‘Light Cavalry’ overture that followed was a display of horse power of a different kind; an elegant muscularity brimming with prancing colour.
Sop star Steve Stewart displayed the full array of his talents in a cracking rendition of ‘Over the Horizon’ whilst Liz Lane’s quirky ‘Grand Union Waltz’ with its stylish undulations, was a quirky delight.
The stage was then set for close on 90 performers for the joint items, with ‘The Young Amadeus’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ followed by the world premiere of the evocative 'The Lost Village of Imber’.
Written for the occasion by Cory’s composer in residence, Chris Bond, it recalled the story of a tiny village on Salisbury Plain which was evacuated in the Second World War to provide the army with urban warfare practice, but after VE Day never saw the residents return. Today it remains a ghostly presence, its church opened on one day a year for an annual service.
Today it remains a ghostly presence, its church opened on one day a year for an annual service.
The second half certainly saw Cory return. T.J Powell’s ‘The Spaceman’ march, ‘Blue-Sleeve Step’ and a brace of riveting solo spots from Tom Hutchinson and Glyn Williams added the glitz to a reprise of the Cory/RWCM&D Composer Award winning entry ‘Colossus’ as well the engaging ‘Pandora’s Box’ written by Bratton percussionist Naomi Styles.
‘Capriccio Espagnole’ was given the full tour-de-force treatment before the encore of ‘It’s Raining Men’ brought a wonderful afternoon of 160th anniversary entertainment to a close.