facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

CD review: Patrons' Choice X

Foden's Band
Conductor: Michael Fowles
Doyen Recordings: DOY CD370

Foden's

This recording - the tenth in the successful ‘Patrons'’ series is dedicated not to an individual or even to a historic anniversary, but to an undeniable, indefinable sense of spirit.

The fire that destroyed Foden’s rehearsal home in April 2016 robbed them of a great swath of tangible history – pictures, trophies, music, artefacts and memorabilia. 

Thankfully, some were restored and saved, but it was the emotional vacuum created when the touchstones of memory were lost that will, unfortunately, never be replaced.

Resolute mood

This then is Foden’s of late 2016 in resolute mood; a musical display of gratitude to friends and associates within the wider brass band movement who offered help when it was needed most.  It is heartfelt and genuine - and well played. 

The fourteen tracks, half of which feature soloists (some no longer with the band) on fine form, are selected with more than a nod of appreciation to the successes that were marked by the smoke damaged silverware, but also to the prospect of new honours yet to come.

Michael Fowles does a splendid job curating the repertoire; from the opening ‘Grand Fanfare’ with its feverish rhythms and exotic flavours, to the panoramic, but ultimately pyrrhic glory of ‘The Triumphal Entry of Spartacus’.

Elsewhere, Howard Snell’s intuitive appreciation of Ketelby’s ‘The Clock with the Dresden Figures’ remains a masterful delight, and it’s good to hear the warm sensitivity displayed on ‘The Seal Lullaby’, ‘Just As I Am’ and the more robust ‘Dunlap’s Creek’. 

All the soloists shine - with David Thornton and Mark Bousie athletically jumping through ‘Gypsy Earrings’ the size of the hula hoops Bet Lynch used to sport on her lugholes behind the bar in Coronation Street.

Hula hoops

All the soloists shine - with David Thornton and Mark Bousie athletically jumping through ‘Gypsy Earrings’ the size of the hula hoops Bet Lynch used to sport on her lugholes behind the bar in Coronation Street.

And whilst there is just enough interest in ‘A Farewell to Arms’ - inspired not by the famous Ernest Hemingway novel, but by the slightly less famous service of a retiring Dutch Military Commander, there is certainly something to savour with the pop detours of ‘All Night Long’ and the surreal mix of Led Zeppelin meets James Bond that is ‘Supremacy’ by Muse.

Jimmy Page as 007 would have been an absolute hoot. 

Iwan Fox


To purchase: http://shop.fodensband.co.uk/patrons-choice-x.html

Play list:

1. Grand Fanfare (Giancarlo Castro D'Addona)
2. Aria con Variazioni (Handel arr. Matthew Eden)
Soloist: Mark Wilkinson
3. Dunlap's Creek (Robert Bernat)
4. When Sparks Fly (Tom Davoren)
Soloist: Sarah Lenton
5. Blue (Thomas Gansch arr. John Doyle)
Soloist: Richard Poole
6. A Farewell to Arms (Harrie Janssen)
7. All Night Long (Lionel Ritchie arr. Leigh Baker)
8. Someone Like You (Frank Wildhorn arr. John Barber)
Soloist: John Barber
9. Supremacy (Matthew Bellamy arr. Simon Kerwin)
10. Gypsy Earrings (Ardeshir Farah arr. Ryan McGeorge)
Soloists: David Thornton and Mark Bousie, John Barber (piano), Andrew Cattanach, Mark Landon, Anthony Mann
11. The Seal Lullaby (Eric Whitacre arr. Paul Sharman)
Soloist: Melanie Whyle
12. The Clock with the Dresden Figures (Ketèlby arr. Howard Snell)
Soloists: Mark Landon, Anthony Mann, Eve Knowles, Matthew Brett
13. Just As I am (Wilfred Heaton)
14. The Triumphal Entry of Spartacus (Khachaturian arr. Howard Snell)

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    



Thundersley Brass Band - Quiz Night

Friday 16 November • Richmond Hall, Richmond Avenue, Benfleet, Essex SS75HA


Regent Hall Concerts - Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment

Friday 16 November • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London W1C 2DJ


Mossley Band - in concert - Last Night of the Proms

Friday 16 November • George Lawton Hall, Mossley OL5 0HR


Contest: Youth Brass in Concert

Saturday 17 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays NE8 2JR


Foden's Band - Brass in Concert Gala Concert with Matt Ford

Saturday 17 November • Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, NE8 2JR


Milton Keynes Brass

November 14 • MK Brass need a Bass player to complete the Section. If you are a Bass player with space in your life for Tuesday rehearsals, additional rehearsals in the run up to contests and about 12 concerts a year we'd be pleased to hear from you.


Blackpool Brass

November 14 • Friendly and sociable 2nd Section band requires Solo Euph, front and back row cornet, 2nd Horn and percussion, although anyone is welcome to come for a rehearsal and to meet us. Some movement around the stands possible. Rehearsals Tues/Friday 8 - 9.45 pm


Strata Brass

November 13 • PRINCIPAL EUPHONIUM & CORNET (assistant principal or repiano). Rehearsals MON/WED,bandroom 5 mins from J35/36 M1 (Hoyland). MD Jonathan Bates. Good bandroom atmosphere,sensible concert/contest schedule.


Darren R. Hawken

PGdip, BMus(hons) PGCE, dipABRSM, LRSM
Conductor, Arranger, Teacher, Adjudicator, Band Trainer