Monday, 14 December 2009
Is it me?
This will be a photo light post as I've lost my camera. I've no idea how that happened as we are usually inseparable. It hasn't been a good week - my computer died in the week so I lost everything. Recovery is not looking good so I have invested in a laptop. I haven't even taken its plastic wrap off yet!
Last night I went with my Mum to see the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. I know - I should have checked the dress code in advance but I forgot and dressed up - I was going with my Mum after all! I felt as if I was drowning in a sea of greige ( a Laura Ashley shade name which adequately describes that colour between grey and beige)! I hadn't realised that a cardigan was obligatory topped with an anorak. I also had neglected to check out the minimum age requirement which must surely have been 70. Now I know its not that far away for me but I am determined not to let colour disappear from my life as I get older. Why do they do that?
We sat down (in the stalls as Mother doesn't like heights)and I had a delightful view of 60 brilliantly polished black shoes and grey trousered legs but not a lot above that.
Grimethorpe Colliery Band were the band behind the fabulous Brassedd Off film released some years ago. My mother grew up playing the cornet as the only girl in an all male band with my grandfather, a euphonium player, so I confess to having always enjoyed a good brass band. (There's lots of normal music I like - honest!)
The conductor arrived, the band struck up and I was enveloped by the wonderful rich tones of this fabulous band. My foot was tapping and I had a broad grin on my face. (Rather different to seeing David Bowie or Eric Clapton where I'd be likely to embarrass anyone with me!) I know its not everyone's cup of tea and is very much a northern "thing" linked to the pits and the large employers but their professionalism, skill and absolute pleasure was clear to see. They put on a fabulous performance and I loved it. I know it brought back precious memories for my Mum too. I admit to losing several tears when they played "Danny Boy" with the lights down and wearing their pit helmets with the helmet lights on - except they were brand new shiny white helmets which had clearly never seen a pit. And while I'm glad that we no longer have thousands of men suffering the daily toil of the pits and the resulting dreadful lung diseases I can't help but be sad for those who are still struggling with the fall out from the closing of the pits - especially in Nottinghamshire where the impact lives on...
So I have questions - why don't brass bands attract younger people? Have these bands had their day? What music would you go to with your Mum?
Hope your Christmas preparations are going well!