Snowmen, Stoke City fan

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 18. Delilah

Why, why, why… More Tom Jones?

  • Piece: Delilah;
  • Composers: Barry Mason/Les Reed.

What links Glasgow with Hyde, Pontypridd and Stoke-on-Trent? It is this song, covered by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Biggles Wartime Band, originally sung by PJ Proby, though more famously by Tom Jones. As for the Stoke-on-Trent connection, it is a long time chant beloved of Stoke City fans.

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Welding Machine

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 17. What A Feeling

The theme from Flashdance in brass form

  • Piece: What A Feeling;
  • Composer: Giorgio Moroder;
  • Arranger: Frank Bernaerts.

Metal on metal: a phrase that can be descriptive about rail travel. Without welders, Kraftwerk’s favoured mode of transport would be impossible. Even welders of a fictitious kind.

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Scotch Mist

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 16. Misty

A jazz standard performed with the most overlooked of solo instruments

  • Piece: Misty;
  • Composer: Erroll Garner;
  • Arranger: Alan Fernie;
  • Soloist: Brent Heyworth.

Few jazz standards could lay claim to have influenced a Clint Eastwood film. Misty, the muse in Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty For Me, is by far Erroll Garner’s best-known work. The song was first recorded in 1955 for the album Contrasts.

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Church Of St James, Crowden (Barrie James, 2018).

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 15. Faith

One of the UK’s biggest selling singles of 1987 in brass band form

  • Piece: Faith;
  • Composer: George Michael;
  • Arranger: Philip Harper;
  • Soloist: Rhys Cave.

Following on from Wham’s track record in the UK singles chart, George Michael became a hugely successful solo star in his own right. After Wham! split up, he complemented his two solo Number One singles (Careless Whisper in 1984, and A Different Corner in 1986) with a best-selling solo album in 1987. The result was Faith, and today’s Brass Band Advent Calendar Door focuses on its title track.

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Love Hearts Hand Sanitiser

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 14. The Power of Love

The UK’s biggest selling single of 1985 – in brass band form

  • Piece: The Power of Love
  • Composer: Gunther Mende/Jennifer Rush/Candy DeRouge/Mary Susan Applegate
  • Arranger: Barrie Gott.

Jennifer Rush’s The Power of Love was, is, and will remain for the foreseeable future, her best known chart single. Well after this fellow has left his mortal coil. It was a UK Number One Single for five weeks and an international smash. To the untrained chart music enthusiast, she is seen as a One Hit Wonder, yet her previous UK single Ring Of Ice peaked at Number 14.

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Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 13. Innuendo

One of Queen’s later classics – with a supporting role from trumpet legend Mike Lovatt

  • Piece: Innuendo
  • Composer: Freddie Mercury;
  • Arranger: Peter Meecham;
  • Guest Soloist: Mike Lovatt (trumpet).

From 1991, Queen’s Innuendo gave the group their first Number One chart single of the 1990s. Overlooked in favour of Bohemian Rhapsody, it is the title track of an album which includes other gems like I’m Going Slightly Mad, Delilah (a song about Freddie Mercury’s cat) and The Show Must Go On.

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Cornish Pasty by David Johnson, 2007.

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 12. The Floral Dance

That rare beast of a pop music and brass band crossover hit!

  • Piece: The Floral Dance
  • Composer: Katie Moss (lyrics);
  • Arranger: Derek Broadbent.

If it wasn’t for Paul McCartney’s Mull of Kintyre, this tune would have been 1977’s Christmas Number One. Brighouse and Rastrick’s The Floral Dance peaked at Number Two and introduced many new converts to brass banding. So much so that Derek Broadbent’s tune could be both a godsend and an albatross.

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Red Dragon plasticine

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 11. Tom Jones in Concert

A medley of Tom Jones songs at a brass band concert? That’s not unusual…

  • Piece: Tom Jones in Concert
  • Composer: Various;
  • Arranger: Frank Bernaerts.

Wales has given us many great musical exports. One of them is the Manic Street Preachers. Another is The Cory Band, who starred in our fourth door in this year’s Advent Calendar. For many people, Wales is associated with Male Voice Choirs, and a certain heartthrob which gave us Delilah and The Green Green Grass of Home.

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Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 10. Just The Way You Are

A Billy Joel classic, immortalised in brass band form

  • Piece: Just The Way You Are
  • Composer: Billy Joel;
  • Arranger: Darrol Barry;
  • Soloist: Nicóla Shaw (flugelhorn).

The Stranger, Billy Joel’s fifth album, was the singer-songwriter’s breakthrough LP. Its tracks included Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), She’s Always a Woman and Just The Way You Are, which is behind our Advent Calendar door.

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Sugar cubes.

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 9. Last Christmas

Another Frank Bernaerts arrangement: this time with Wham!’s Christmas classic

  • Piece: Last Christmas
  • Composer: George Michael;
  • Arranger: Frank Bernaerts.

If you said Do They Know It’s Christmas Time? by Band Aid was the Number One single that pipped this Last Christmas in 1984, well done. For our ninth entry, it was only a matter of time before we had a Christmas piece that fitted the popular music premise of our Advent Calendar.

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