A Brass Band Advent Calendar: 10. Under The Boardwalk

Yes, you could almost smell the hot dogs in this solo work

No self-respecting brass band concert is ever without a soloist. The most prestigious solo spot is often gifted to the Soprano Cornet or Principal Cornet player. Next up in the pecking order is usually the flugelhorn soloist.

For today’s flugelhorn soloist in our Advent Calendar, we return to the Cory Band. This time Helen Williams’ solo of Under The Boardwalk. As with some concerts we have heard at Boarshurst Band Club, the rubbing of sandpaper blocks can be heard in the background.

Under The Boardwalk is one of The Drifters’ best known songs alongside Up On The Roof and Save The Last Dance For Me. In 1987, it was covered by Bruce Willis and featured on his fairly successful LP Return of Bruno (which also had a cover of Devo’s Secret Agent Man). Closer to home it has been adopted by fans of FC United of Manchester.

Helen’s rendition is crying out for a good set of headphones or speakers. To enjoy this piece at its best, this needs to be turned up to a fairly high level.

We are close to the halfway point of our Advent Calendar, and our eleventh door offers a complete contrast to today’s offering. All will be revealed.

S.V., 10 December 2018.

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