Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A Wee Bit O Sheer Nostalgia..........



Hullo ma wee blog,


I know its a bit lazy posting video when I normally do more writing but can I suggest you listen to this. I know its not something that most folks have in their musical tastes but it is, it really is, worth listening to.

Please.....

Indulge me.

I spent about 20 years playing in brass bands, starting at school and continuing on well into my working life so this is a sound I understand. It calls to my soul. I was brought up in a mining area where there was a strong tradition of bands even though by the time I started they were well out of fashion. Learning to play an instrument gave me a great start into learning about self discipline, about consistency and about teamwork. I recognise all these things now of course when I hadn't a clue about it back then. Then, well then it was just.... fun!

I played in the school band - we were Scottish champions for 5 out of the 6 years I was at high school, and afterwards I joined the senior band that the school band master was conductor of. The Dalmellington Band was also Scottish Champions when I was part of the band. Not that I put it down to me by the way, but I remember the work that went into delivering excellence whether with the school band or with Dalmellington. This performance, individually and collectively is excellence.

I remember the weeks and months of hard slog that went into preparing for a competition. The repetition, the detail that was gone into was astounding and the criticism for poor performance was constructive but very real. There were several competitions to prepare for across the year and the pressure to get it right was palpable. The competitive nature of the brass band world was incredible. To play your part - literally - not to let yourself or the others down was something that was drilled into you through the constant preparation.

When things went well - well look at the clip and you will understand some of the elation and comradeship that was a highlight as well as the understanding and sheer joy of doing something brilliantly well. To know that and to hear that from inside the guts of the performance is an incredible high.

The musicianship and the emotion are well portrayed here.

I hope you enjoy it.

see you later

8 comments:

Morning's Minion said...

I think we've decided its OK to remember past times--and if that's "nostalgia", so be it. I hadn't thought much recently of my experiences in jr high and high school band--I played 2nd clarinet. I think, looking back, that my mother, a music teacher, was more enthused about this than I was. Practising 2nd anything is not terribly inspiring--especially when I could go to the piano and play 4 part harmony.
The man who taught band in our junior high was a vastly interesting and talented man--he was at the time first chair trumpet in the State Symphany. He was exacting, a bundle of nerves, profane, prone to whacking the unwary among us with his baton. The boy I sat next to was a superb musician, but a dreadful cut-up as well. I always flinched thinking a miss-aimed swish of the baton-as-weapon-of-discipline was going to connect with me. Then, there was marching band--vintage wool uniforms that sweltered on Memorial Day parades, but were forgiving of the extra layers bundled beneath for the odd Christmas time parade. I can see me now: the grey and red cape swinging, tucked white shirt and white bobby sox rolled above pristine white bucks. I expect only those of "A Certain Age" have heard of white bucks!

The Scudder said...

I listened Al ,,I indulged you !! But sorry, I know they were excellent but I prefer my Brass Bands to do the traditional Hovis type tunes .,., however I'm not really a BB fan at all ,, I did like the boy, whatsisname, Peter Skellern, who used the BB sound as his backing music ,, and I too was once a budding musician ,, Piano, but sadly haven't played a note in 40-years now ,,, I do intend taking it up again though ,, maybe ,,,,one day ...

Alistair said...

Hullo Scudder,

Peter Skellern! Thats a blast from the past. We did a gig with him in Derby at the peak of his fame {your a lady? or 'She's a Lady' - something like that} White tie and tails and all the gear. He was piddled most of the time and was locked in his changing room with a woman when not on stage. Came on with a huge love bite on his neck!!!

All above is 'allegedly' in case PS ever reads this...

Piano lessons? Is that before or after you finish this book then.......

Al {lol}

Alistair said...

Hullo MM,

Named this post for your daughters comment about bloggers 'welling in nostalgia'.

seems fair...

Sorry but what are 'white bucks'? are they shoes? Must be an Americanism......

regards......Al.

TWD said...

Great clip. I fell in love with YBS the first time I heard them about 10 years ago.

As far as nostalgia goes...shoot, I pine for my college days all the time. It's too bad we don't know how much fun it all is until we've gone beyond it.

Alistair said...

TWD,

Pine for them myself.

ER - not for the music though!

Jings......

Regards....Al.

Kate said...

Hi Alistair, That was absolutely breathtaking - a bit nostalgic yeah! but completely compelling !!! Thanks (as usual with something as beautiful I've been brought to tears). I am so jealous of your experience playing in a band I never got the opportunity - but one of my brothers did - not in a band but in the school orchestra - violin, 'jammy beggar' ...

Cheers, Kate.

Alistair said...

Cheers Kate, glad you enjoyed it......

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