15th September 2019 John Coles Park Concert, 3-5pm

A brilliant last of the summer concert season at John Coles Park, Chippenham; the sun shone as if it was the height of summer! There was a brilliant turn out of visitors to the park and the bandstand itself was filled nearly to bursting.

We played a variety of tunes, concentrating on the more well known big band and theme music – definitely putting our newest members through their paces as there were a few pieces they hadn’t rehearsed yet! Everyone played really well – more than deserving of ice-cream in the interval.

Hopefully when we start the summer season next year in May we will have some new songs in our repertoire. (We use the winter season to practice new tunes as well as maintaining the old ones).

26th August, Lacock Fair

What an incredibly hot day! We played two sets in the school yard under an unrelenting sun; thankfully the applause from the audience was a worthy reward for our trials. Many a fetching hat was worn, much sun cream applied and lots of water was drunk. Ice lollies were enjoyed in the interval too.

The fair was exceptionally popular and other local events caused quite some traffic build-up which meant that I and a few others were slightly delayed – thankfully this didn’t cause any disruption to the music.

We played a mix of music from Basin Street, Locomotion and Take the “A” Train to medleys including Disco Lives, Beach Boys and Ellington. Even our very worn copies of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic saw play (such a delightful tune). Tequila was another fun one played. We finished with We Will Meet Again; there were quite a few friendly faces in the audience – hopefully some of those we’ll see at our next event, John Coles Park on 15th September.

Moon River, Lacock Fair

11th August 2019, Bandstand Concert, Swindon Town Gardens, 3-4:30pm

It was our first time to play in the Swindon Town Gardens bandstand; quite a stunning park (particularly the rose garden). Unfortunately there was a slight mix-up which meant the bandstand was double-booked so we were only able to play for the second half of the time.

We took shelter from the rain as we waited to be able to play, listening to the latin style music.

Waiting in the rain

The other group were very helpful in packing up quickly for the changeover. We got through as many pieces as we could in our 45 minute set, all of us keen to play what we’ve been rehearsing.

The weather eventually cleared up and there were quite a few visitors to the park who listened to both bands. Definitely weather for a cup of tea instead of ice-cream despite it being August!

Biddestone Fete

The hottest day of the year so far (not a cloud in sight) so we were grateful to have the shelter of a marquee whilst playing our 2 sets at the Biddestone Fete. We played 2-4 with an interval when it’s always a delight to wander the various stalls – my particular favourite is the Refreshments tent where the cakes once prizes have been awarded end up on sale!

Our sets included a great variety of tunes from The Muppets to My Way, Barnyard Castle to our Star Wars medley. Alan even opened the fete at 2pm with a bugle call.

Biddestone Fete Map source: https://www.facebook.com/events/378618676199080/

Start of Bandstand Season, John Coles Park, Chippenham

Whilst it was a bit cooler than some previous May concerts, there were smiles all round and quite a few audience members enjoying ice cream whilst others warmed up with hot beverages from the kiosk instead. It was fantastic to have such a supportive audience for the first John Coles park concert of the season and the bandstand was filled near to bursting as almost all musicians were able to attend. We played a variety of tunes including Shrek, Curly’s Airships (March 1919), Frank Sinatra’s My Way and medleys such as a selection of Robbie Williams, Viva Italia and Beach Boys.

Our next concert at John Coles park will be 14th July and we will be ending the season on 15th September. For other concerts in the park please follow this link.

John Coles Park Bandstand Concert May 2019

End of bandstand season, John Coles Park Chippenham

Although there was a distinct chill in the air, there was a great turnout of people enjoying the park and our music. John Coles park was a cheerful place with people playing fetch with dogs, flying kites, cycling around the bandstand and sitting on benches enjoying ice cream. Whilst it was rather windy the potential rain held off and we had a brilliant concert to end the summer bandstand season at Chippenham.

We played several marches “Barnyard Castle”, “Musket, Fife and Drum” and “Blaze Away” which are always well received. We also played medleys of familiar tunes including “Beach Boys” and “Viva Italia”, some swing pieces such as “Cheek to Cheek” and songs to dance by – with our own conductor going off-stage to dance to “Rock Around the Clock”. I wasn’t certain if anyone joined in with the motions for “Loco-Motion” and the YMCA part of “Disco Lives” but I heard a few sing along to “Tequila”! Some film music made it to the mix including “Toy Story 2” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

John Coles Park, during Disco Lives

Lacock Village Fair

Despite an overcast day, there was a tremendous turnout of people attending the fair and it’s various stalls. Morris dancers also entertained (thankfully far enough away so our music didn’t clash!) We played a variety of pieces with the crowd applauding most the RAF March Past and Viva Italia medley. I couldn’t tell if anyone joined in on the YMCA or sang along with Tequila as I was concentrating on playing!

Our two sets were at 12:30-13:30, 14:30-15:30 in front of the war memorial. Some ex-band members were a pleasant sight in the audience and band members’ families enjoyed the afternoon too.

Notes for next time:

  • The National Trust car park, even with diligent car park attendants, had a queue almost back to the A350 before 12:00 so try to head over earlier if posssible.
  • Lacock Church itself is a great source of tea, coffee and generous portions of cake – all for a good cause.

John Coles Park Bandstand

Whilst not quite the deluge of our concert last September, the weather was a drastic change from the bright sunny weather of recent weeks; threatening to rain and strong winds! A valiant crowd still joined us for an afternoon of tunes. We mostly played marches and theme tunes. During the YMCA portion of “Disco Lives” a gust of wind caught several stands and instrument cases but we managed to play on!

Tockenham Fete

Another superbly sunny afternoon for a splendid fete. Lots of stalls, vintage cars and even a family dog show. It was delightful to see so many dogs out and about! This was our second year to be invited to play at Tockenham and we enjoyed every second.

We played following the 2pm opening announcements, had a brief break for sandwiches, tea and delicious cake then continued until gone 4pm. Our repertoire included Beach Boys, Moon River, Toy Story 2, Mondo Glissando, A Bridge Too Far, Fly Me To The Moon, Barnyard Castle and Locomotion to name but a few.

Here’s a more unusual perspective for a photo (I had a few bars rest…):

Tockenham Fete 2018, mid-Moon River