Hi all, I'm Scott and I welcome you to the next installment of this fizzing blog series. Along with James (aka Champ) I'm also a member of the engine room, however, I operate far superior machinery in the form of the Eb Bass. My back story is that I transitioned from the Wellington Youth Brass Band into Wellington Brass when it re-entered the A Grade in 2009.
We are now bang smack in the middle of our UK band tour and it has been a very busy day. We started off the day with an exclusive brass banding feature being aired live on TV3's nightly Story programme - which featured some nice little intimate close up interviews with our own Buzz Newton and Mark Davey.
Next on the agenda, for the football fanatics scattered throughout the band, some excitement was had as we dribbled (Mark in more ways than one) through a tour of Manchester United's stomping ground (the 76,000 capacity Old Trafford stadium). Before the tour began we ventured into a museum filled to the brim with Manchester United paraphernalia, including rooms fully lined with glorious trophies and others draped with various forms of football attire - which interestingly featured the English football god's (Wayne Rooney) old moonboot.
Getting back to the tour of Old Trafford, we were lead through various awe-inspiring crowd stalls, the home and the away team changing rooms, and also the prime seats of the coaching staff. There was a 'getting hit in the feels' moment indeed when during the tour the guide explained that the prices to get into a football game nowadays were becoming out of reach for the common man/woman (they average out to be about 50£ per game). Also of concern to the guide was the fact that the football stars are receiving grossly out of control wages and becoming increasingly out of touch with thw fans. However, don't worry too much loyal readers - Wellington Brass would never dream of inflicting this harsh reality upon our own supporters, in particular it's WAGs (our equivalent of the 1960s and '70s football hooligans). Anyway the tour was a great experience for all - even the ones who couldn't even name a member of the Manchester United team before the today!
Next on the days list of events was a visit to the classicly English settlement of Dobcross for a mock Whit Friday march and also a concert performance. Upon arrival we suddenly became entrapped down the narrow main street for an extended period of time. Once successfully out of this complex traffic complication, we consumed a quick local brew at the quaint little town pub and then had a quick topping and tailing rehearsal at the Dobcross Band and Social Club. At 6.30pm the band set off from the Club wearing our new walking out ties. We marched through the town until we ended up in Dobcross' main green space and from here, we took up band formation and played through a march in Whit Friday style. The crowd turnout for this in such a small town was really fantastic.
At 7pm we performed our concert to a completely packed out crowd at the Dobcross Club kitted out inour new Wellington Brass getup. It was a different experience for many of us, especially considering that the venue had a fully operational bar (throughout the entire concert) literally 1 metre in front of the trombone section!
One of the highlights of the concert was having composer Peter Graham conduct Hine e Hine. Such a treat for the band to have this iconic composer lead the band.
Once the concert had finished we were treated to some classic English pie delicacies (cheese and onion, and steak and potato) and some more beer. It was great to meet Black Dykes conductor Nick Child's who popped in for a pint with us.
It's now 11pm and we are heading off for the trek back home to Birmingham! Estimated arrival time: 1am. Cheers and stay tuned to the next blog tomorrow!