Past Gigs

  • Winter Warm Up 2008

    Date and Time: 
    Sat, 22/11/2008 - 14:00 - 16:00

    The day dawned cold and bright with a blast of cold air descending from the Artic to chill east Berkshire and set an appropriate seasonal mood. BWCB were booked to perform a unique brand of extreme busking at 2:15pm outside Waitrose in Wokingham, as an advertisement for the Wokingham Winter Carnival taking place the following weekend.


    A large group of musicians gathered hopefully outside Wokingham’s Waitrose, looking slightly out of place, and played some lovely loud music - didn’t we have fun! The great thing about belonging to a wind band, if you’re a little flute player who tootles away nicely, is being part of such an enormous big sound. What a tremendous pleasure to feel the noise and vigour of a well co-ordinated brass section behind you!

    (The additional beauty of playing in such a large, tightly-knit, band is that your flute neighbour to the left has their instrument pointing into your left ear and you could volunteer several comments as to their tuning etc....... Whereas your own musical offerings are far away, being melodiously delivered into the ear of your neighbour on the right, which gives you a strange feeling of unaccountability......!)

    We started with some carols - set A4 plastic wallet to landscape - accompanied by the merry tinkle of flutes hitting music stands every time we brought them up to play and tried to find a direction to point them in! Then - back to portrait - we played “Dies Irae”, well, faster than we’ve ever rehearsed it. On to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, played with feeling and expression. We were even looking up to see what the beat was by the second line.

    Next was “The Blue and The Gray” where the flutes played beautifully together. We played the solo together, the duets together and the unison parts together. In fact, we were so together that we all forgot to come in for one section near the end and were, together, surprised to find that the band went on without us. (Phew - think we got away with that one chaps; don’t think Marc noticed.)

    Marc - what a cool guy! - with his best busker’s smile for the passers by - and conducting in his shirt sleeves (I imagine some kind of thermal vesting arrangement going on there, but......calm down to stop imagining!)

    Standing up, I saw faces across the band that I’ve never seen before. “Best of Bond” - portrait - probably the best we’ve played it, without a peep during any of the G.P.s and lots of lovely loud vigorous bits. By the time we got to “Movie Blockbusters” some of the clarinettists looked frozen solid (hint: fingerless gloves in Claire’s for just £2) and the flutes were gently dropping warm spit down their neighbours necks. Then “Singing in the Rain” with not a drop in sight. We plinked and we plonked with increasing pride as it really isn’t often that the 2nd flutes get to lead the whole band.

    Plenty of applause from the audience made it all worthwhile.

    Preparations had started a few hours earlier with some trusty helpers (thanks Richard, Andy, Tony, Claire, Fay, Phillip et al) descending on the Open Learning Centre to load percussion. chairs and stands into the van very kindly provided by Tony Angus. Claire had identified our equipment needs well in advance and the usual confusion over what to take and how to pack it was avoided (there was only one concert on this day and often BWCB plays on the same days as other Maestros bands using them same kit so the logistics can get very hairy!).

    A short drive later the kit was being unloaded outside Waitrose. A very helpful duty manager organised the clearance of the trolley park area and in double quick time percussion, chairs and stands were installed in front of some rather bemused passing shoppers.

    The rest of the band materialised clad heavily in thermals, fleeces, gloves, hats and every other possible device for retaining heat. There had been some apprehension about the location and conditions for this performance but as it turned out the band fitted compactly in the available space and the surrounding buildings provided a reasonable acoustic.

    A short warm up on a couple of carols and we were off! The wall of sound which is the band’s signature tune of “Dies Irae” assailed the shoppers of Wokingham (much to the alarm of a young girl passing during one fff moment!). The bands improvised layout with sections standing on both wings gave a nice stereo quality to the brass soli on this piece.

    We rocked our way through the “Sergeant Pepper” medley and evoked the spirit of the US Civil War through “The Blue and the Gray”. Within the ranks of the band Victor and Alan mused uneasily on the origins of the title of the tune “Tenting Tonight”. (Was this a euphemism for some unmentionable 19th Century practice?).

    This was followed with some more carols. With the bands ears still ringing after “Dies Irea” the inevitable chinese whispers followed the calling of the tunes (“OK we’ll do number thirteen.” “What did he say?”, “Thirteen”, “Thirty?”, “No Thirteen” “Eighteen?”, “No Thirty!”). Then it was off to the movies and we thundered our way though “Best of Bond”, “Movie Blockbusters” and “Singing in The Rain”.

    A few carols to finish, (notable for a failure of the brakes as Marc tried to bring the band in on a final rall on “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”!) and we were home and dry.

    Huge thanks to those who braved the cold to come and watch, and especially those who helped with all the loading and reloading of the kit on the day. The band played a blinder and Waitrose and the Wokingham Winter Carnival were delighted with the end result. Onwards and upwards!

  • Race for Life 2008

    Date and Time: 
    Sun, 20/07/2008 - 14:00 - 16:00

    BWCB were delighted to be asked to provide music for this charity event.


    No reviews at present

  • Brassed Off Day 2008

    Date and Time: 
    Sun, 13/07/2008 - 10:00 - 16:00

    This performance was part of an inaugural fringe event to the Bracknell “Big Day Out” Festival and was christened “Brassed Off” day as it featured several Berkshire Maestros brass and wind bands as well as BWCB.


    After uncertain weather throughout the Summer this particular Sunday dawned bright and fine and this helped set a lovely atmosphere for the day. From 11:00 onwards streetband music from one part of South Hill Park mingled with the sounds from the main stage and the audience could have a relaxed picnic whilst they enjoyed the carnival atmosphere.

    BWCB were on stage in the middle of the running order and just managed to all squeeze on even though the stage was quite substantial. The repertoire on this occasion reprised most of the tunes from the April concert with the addition of an Abba medley and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. The sound on stage was in fact earsplitting at times (although not when the percussion section bravely decided to preface the British Grenadiers with an extract from John Cages 4’ 33”). After another rousing performance the band transformed themselves back into the audience again to soak up the ambience, try out some very tasty Indonesian noodles and a fair quantity of beer!

  • Inaugural Concert 2008

    Date and Time: 
    Sun, 27/04/2008 - 19:00 - 22:30

    The band was well and truly christened with this inaugural performance at the Wellington College Old Gym.

    With only 3 months elapsed since the first ever rehearsal in January nerves on stage were running a bit high prior to the start. However “Dies Irae” got things off to a start blazing start and there were some hairs rising on the backs of several necks as the intro blasted out and the brass section raised the tension during their gripping soli in the middle of the piece.

    After this nerves were steadied and the band never looked back as it steamed through Majestia, The Lion King Medley, Grundman’s English Suite, Holst First Suite in E flat, a Duke Ellington medley and the Liberty Bell march. After this it was time to bask in the praise of the audience who included some quite hard to impress teenage offspring (who were impressed) and Tony Angus’s workmate who was going to take the mickey on Monday morning but discovered he couldn’t because, “actually it was really good”! Rare praise indeed - onwards and upwards!

    There are a few photos from our inaugural concert scattered around this website, including the one at the top of the main page but there are also a few more shown on our 'localgiving' page: