• Liv Appleton

Ten Fibs From The Banding World

We know them all…so we may as well poke fun at them.

Not suitable for the easily offended…

1. We’re going to run this section just one last time.

It’s NEVER the last time. Has any MD said this and meant it?

2. All applications for [insert position here] will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Just the chairman, MD, Principal Cornet and the rest of the band at the pub later…

3. [Insert player name here] has left [insert band here] for other commitments/time out to focus on other projects/family time/solo career.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the player magically appears in another band. Occasionally, you get two reports of two different banders leaving two different bands at the same time to ‘focus on other things’, to then wait a few days until it’s announced that they’ve taken each other’s seats in their respective ex-bands. It’s like musical chairs…

4. Yes, I’ve totally practised that section…

Yep, it’s all I’ve did all weekend. Selfies in the pub on Facebook? I don’t know what you’re on about. I don’t even like drinking…or the pub…or Facebook. You must have me mistaken for someone else.

5. If you leave our band to go to a higher section, we will be pleased for you.

Uh huh, easily said before the person actually leaves. Now some bands actually are supportive, let’s not tar them all with the same brush. I have seen lovely posts on social media by bands who are proud of what their former players have achieved, which is what I think the movement is all about. Some players want to progress and attain the best seats they possibly can. Some just like the playing and the social aspect. Both are fine, and no one should be judged or punished for either.

However some bands prefer cryptic Facebook statuses the day after you leave and moan about the player to anyone that listens (FYI banding gossip spreads quicker than nits in a primary school, so be careful who you’re talking to if you don’t want it getting back to said person) despite that player being loyal for years and turning down offers from higher section bands for a long while before accepting an offer when the time was right…it happens.

Do not let that put you off though, I’ve also had a really positive experience when I accepted a seat in a championship section band and my friends from the band I was currently playing with were beyond supportive and I’m still friends with them now- you know who you are and I’m still grateful for how supportive you were (#EFL, if you know, you know).

Whilst on the subject, can we also ban the word ‘poaching?’

We’re not Rhinos. The only things we have in common with them are horns (bah-dum tish!…sorry) and if we’re not careful, banding could become endangered. We do have a choice to go to a band…we’re not forced to go there by guys in Khaki, wielding AK-47s. If a player wants to better themselves by moving to a more challenging band…what is the issue? I understand there are less players in the lower sections, but what are you doing to fill those ranks other than chastising players who leave (which would make them less likely to help you out if you needed a dep)? Surely it’s better to encourage players, even if they leave you, rather than let them get bored in a section that is too easy and they pack in all together, leaving the banding world with one less player…please refer back to the endangered comment I made earlier.

Ok, stepping off my soapbox…normal programming will now continue.

6. You can start drinking after the fifth village at Whit Friday.

‘Let’s keep it sensible for another few villages, ok?’ Sorry, no, we can only accept your first answer which was five villages…which we’ve done.

7. I left my valve oil at home again, can I borrow yours?

You’ve left it at home for the entire time you’ve been in this band. Why do I get the feeling that you’ve not bought valve oil since 2004?

8. Can I borrow your pencil? Mine is on the practise stand.

You know if you go into any music shop you can buy a pencil and valve oil right? Better still, Amazon sells both. How do I know this? Because in the last year, I’ve had to buy two packs of pencils and three bottles of valve oil BECAUSE YOU KEEP STEALING MINE!!! I don’t think you even own a practise stand, otherwise you’d sound like you practised!

9. WE WAS ROBBED!

Did you listen to every band in your section? No? Then how do you know you were? If you did listen to every performance and still don’t agree, welcome to contesting, where we expect 1-2 humans to remember the quality of 27 performances of the same piece. Maybe you should apply to be an adjudicator at the next contest?

Cheer up sunshine.

10. Anyone played this piece before?

*entire band puts hand up to show they’ve played it.* Me, who’s never played it, decides to raise my hand too. Let’s hope my sight-reading decides to be impressive today…


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