Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band with their big bold brass sound

Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band perform at St George’s Hall in Bradford.
Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band perform at St George's Hall, BradfordGrimethorpe Colliery Brass Band perform at St George's Hall, Bradford
Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band perform at St George's Hall, Bradford

I had been looking forward to this gig after recently re-watching the excellent Pete Posslethwaite film that made the band a household name in the '90s.

There was a time when every pit had its own band and it seems many of these community-led ensembles have faded away with time.

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The show starts with all of the pomp of the current national situation with a rendition of God Save The Queen (or King as we now have to remember) and flows nicely into number after number, displaying the individual and collective brilliance of this assembled group of fine musicians.

Dave Kelly reviews (photo: Chris Page)Dave Kelly reviews (photo: Chris Page)
Dave Kelly reviews (photo: Chris Page)

There's something very endearing and honest about brass band music. You can't hide behind amps or technology and it looks bloody hard work to play along to, never mind keeping up!

Sadly the auditorium was only two thirds full, perhaps a sign of the times concerning the current trends of popular music?

However, those in attendance shared a good bit of banter back and forth with the band leader, who was very engaging, and the two main soloists, who were outstanding in their performances, their rendition of Riverdance worthy of a notable mention.

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I wanted my lad to see something a bit different and hoped he would catch the bug, as I have after watching Brassed Off, or just the magic of catching a Salvation Army Band.

Brilliant renditions of classics from the film and some newer numbers were delivered with delicious precision.

Hopefully, the magic of brass bands does not fade out over time as the pits they represented have been consigned to the history books.

The imagination and skill put into performances like this can stay relevant to ears, young and old.

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All in all it was a good Sunday gig with my ten year-old, who was by far the youngest member of the audience.

By the end of the gig my lad was on his feet. It’s the kind of emotive output live brass can do to you. Those with dry eyes after the rendition of Danny Boy have either a heart of stone or are just plain fibbers!