In Praise of Superman: A Cheesy Tunes Special

The understated genius of Black Lace’s party anthem

Once upon a time forty years ago, the son of Enrico and a mate of his wrote a cheesy tune called Gioca Jouer. The songwriters, Claudio Simonetti and Claudio Cecchetto (the former being Enrico’s son) did pretty well with their tune. It was used as the opening theme for that year’s Sanremo Music Festival and a smash in their home country, Italy.

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Arcades Shopping Centre and open market

Ashton-under-Lyne Brass Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, 10 October 2021

Audience profit from highly enjoyable concert

Boarshurst Band Club’s journey back to brass gave us another enjoyable concert. This time with a brass band that was formed four years before last week’s band. As with last week’s concert, there was a welcome airing of one or two classic pieces. Though with half the number of solos as last week’s concert, a case of ‘quality not quantity’.

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Singing Our Way to Success with the Stronger Together Community Choir

How a blogger and a singer-songwriter took Future Directions’ inclusive choir to winning Care Sector’s Got Talent

Thursday 30th September 2021, 4.50 pm, five miles somewhere south east of Preston: after taking part in a nationwide talent competition, there were scenes of elation at a local community hall with a party of 15 people. Among the fifteen or so people were Stuart Vallantine, Kevin Phoenix, and Lorraine Chapman-Linnett – values-driven employees for Future Directions. With the Stronger Together Community Choir, they entered Championing Social Care‘s Care Sector’s Got Talent, a national talent competition.

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Diggle From Harrop Edge, Bill Boaden 2010

The Diggle Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (03 October 2021)

First concert at Boarshurst since March 2020 impresses audience with bona fide classics for all the family

Yesterday’s first concert at Boarshurst Band Club since the first lockdown was most entertaining and cathartic in equal measure. In one respect, it was great to see a return to normality at The Brass Band Mecca of the North. On the other hand, it made us slightly bleary eyed over the friends we have lost in the brass band movement since the pandemic began.

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When are the Last Trains to London?

Beat of the M60 finds an excuse to combine trains with music

“It was 9.29, 29… 9.29 back street, big city/The sun was going down, there was music all round, it felt so right.”

Last Train to London, Electric Light Orchestra (1979)

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Stalybridge Old Band getting ready for their deportment march.

You Know You’re Pining for Brass Band Music When…

The middle Saturday in May means Spring Festival day

Since the pandemic began last March, any form of normality was put on hold. Pub pints became dependent on the weather (till the 17th May at least). Theatres and cinemas went dark; concert halls, likewise.

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Interim Report, March 1979: A Beat of the M60 Music Review

Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan’s stunning album

It is a shame that so few great bands have named themselves after civic functions. The only one that springs to mind is The Chicago Transit Authority. They dropped the Transit Authority bit when they started climbing up the charts. After 1976’s If You Leave Me Now, their fame went stratospheric. I only wish I was a Child of the Seventies, who bided their time with Stalybridge Old Band and the as-yet-unrealised Chicago tribute act, SELNEC Southern.

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Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 26. Mr Blue Sky

ELO’s most famous work in brass band form

  • Piece: Mr Blue Sky;
  • Composer: Jeff Lynne;
  • Arranger: Christopher Wormald.

“More…” You want more… For this year’s Brass Banding Advent Calendar, we finish off our virtual concert with an ELO song from 1977. One that is as well known by toddlers as it is with grandparents and great grandparents.

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Happy Ball EM60

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 25. Happy

A Merry Christmas to you all with a modern day classic

  • Piece: Happy;
  • Composers: Pharrell Williams;
  • Arranger: Michael Pilley.

Well, you have shouted and clapped loud enough for the encore set. Let’s start with a modern-day classic, one that has increased in popularity over recent years.

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Elvis Presley

Brass Banding Goes Pop: EM60’s 2020 Advent Calendar: 24. An American Trilogy

Sorry folks, I couldn’t find any brass band pieces related to elves…

  • Piece: An American Trilogy;
  • Composers: Various (arranged by Mickey Newbury);
  • Arranger: Goff Richards.

We have come to the last door of our Brass Banding Goes Pop Advent Calendar. We thought it was rude not to have an Elvis Presley classic in our virtual concert, either. Apart from that, we understood there was a need to cover another Welsh band besides The Cory Band.

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