Yesterday I took a trip to Saddleworth for the Whit Friday Brass Band Contests with my friend Tom, who is always running around the country/world finding fascinating traditions and events (I’ve previously joined him for the Chicken Races in Derbyshire).
Every year about a hundred brass bands come from all over to Saddleworth to compete in these contests, which are held in the various villages in the district. Each band performs two pieces – one as they march and a showpiece – in every contest they enter.
I went to Lydgate, Uppermill and Dobcross, which are all beautiful. Dobcross is so pretty – the contests here were held under a tree on the little village green.
Congrats to big winners Black Dyke Band, featuring Damian Wileman – also of Cornerstone Brass, who joined us for Roving Women and who we’re looking forward to playing with more this year, including at Tramlines in July.
Next gig though is tomorrow at the Harley in Sheffield, supporting Rozi Plain. We’re on stage at 8:15.