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Review: Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Cheltenham Town Hall

By thebuzz  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

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IF you combine a first-rate brass band playing with entertainment, you get the Grimethorpe Colliery Band,  the prize-winning performers who produced music for 1996 film, Brassed Off.

These days bands don't just walk on and begin to play, but set out to do something different that will intrigue the audience. Grimethorpe began with a lone player on the stage, looking around for his fellow musicians.They eventually joined him, section by section, until the whole band was present.
By mixing the humorous with the reflective, the band showed versatility under the baton of guest conductor, Gareth Pritchard, in his first concert with them.
The excellence of their musical understanding was shown throughout.

Opening with the concert overture, The Ruler of the Spirits by Weber, they easily moved between the dramatic and the lyrical. Their control of dynamics came out in Steinman's The Storm, and further in March  of the Cobblers by Barrett.

Those who saw Brassed Off would have recognised it as the composition played as bands moved between villages to compete.  It follows that a band of such quality contains fine soloists.

In Michael Dodd's euphonium solo, The Bluebells of Scotland, he showed off his articulation in high and low registers and Chris Gomersall made his trombone sing in  his solo, Dark Eyes.

The concert ended with an amusing skit on Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture which had moved back 100 years.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternooon.
Anne Dunn

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