Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beefeaters, Brass, mel-Bourne, loughBorough, duBlin

So, here starts yet another catch-up, though at least now I have a decent reason for not having blogged for almost 3 months. I joined a brass band! OK, that might not be the biggest and best news anyone's ever heard and but its a big new committment to a group of people who don't work within 5 meters of me, which has to be good, right?

So now I am trying to re-adjust to a) playing the trombone again, b) changing to the bigger, badder, bass trombone, both out of c) interest and d) the fact that the English do something weird and take 'normal' tenor trombonists out of their natural environment and write music in treble clef and force them to transpose. Almost like trumpets. Urrrgh. But bass 'bone is special...

It is the Hathern Band,
Hathern is a village about 2 miles outside of Loughborough. And even though some of the music is a bit stiff as you could expect, alot isn't and some of the great music involes 26 horns all playing as loud as possible... hard not to enjoy that! It's fun, challenging, and requires a lot of practice to fill the biger horn. So although I joined the band to be more social, on the other hand I am a bit less social locally, staying home to practice as much as possible coz I need to. And not blogging.

The band is a competing band, and "banding" is talked about in the same way football is; at the pub afterward I can't distinguish between the two. League tables, points, star players, the tantalising thought of jumping up from the 1st division to the championship division after the national finals... Competetive music playing is a strange thing for someone who's always done it for the love of it. And for the chicks. And potentially the money. But mostly the chicks

Replicating ye olde time warbly sound, by reflecting the flugelhorn sound out of a tuba with the fingers and valves going gangbusters.

The original town of Melbourne! Famous for something historical in a civil war, but mostly as the birthplace of Thomas Cook, who organised the first ever group tour between Liecester and Loughborough. Small, about 5000 people, nice enough as far as small English villages go.

Because it can!

There's even a Wesley in Melbourne! And notice the colours? You can run, but you can't hide...

Tower of London

A stone in a shoe can feel as big as a cannonball sometimes.

On a different trip to London, the Royal Albert Hall, were a daily series of summer Proms
concerts mean you can see world class orchestral concerts for a fiver, standing room only.

Birmingham Symphony, playing a program of Russian music

Portobello Rd. Market

The Loughborough fair

If I'd known this was the last night of the fair, I'd have given this one a go - 3 different axes of rotation.

The Loughborough Canal

Dublin, and red leaves... months before I go to Japan for the red leaf season

Dublin and Schatz-ett

A WW2 amphibian tour of Dublin streets and docklands. A good mixture of touristy cheese and dry irish humour