Brass bands, just what is the point? I could never work it out but finding myself holed up in Kirkby Lonsdale on a Sunday afternoon I found the constant parping and oompahing strangely soothing. How very British: the walking day, the smiling policeman and the furtive traffic wardens, the chippy, the dodgy burger van and the kaleidoscope of umbrellas going up and then down as the briefest glimpse of sunshine appears.
I can see why Father Jack likes it but it must be an old person’s domain. Plus brass bands must almost exclusively be a Northern thing. You can’t imagine hordes of pensioners descending on say Swindon or Basingstoke to listen to a load of ruddy faced gentlemen and big bosomed, frilly knickered fat girls puffing and blowing away into a piece of metal. And as we retired to the pub we got the full SP as to the kind of person who performs in a brass band, as they sat there in their team huddle on the next table nursing their lemonades. They always wear their official band blazers as well which only come in three fetching colours: maroon, brown or green. Eurgh! Anyway, let’s meet the band….
1) Middle aged Mable. Chubby ‘girl’ with long hair in pig tails and wears glasses but has gone beyond that age where women should have long hair. Think that horrible Bunty off the appalling Catherine Tate Show. Has never blown anything other than an instrument and would have no life if it wasn’t for the band. Wears mid-length skirts coupled with hideous tights and it’s just as well you can’t see all the way up as David Bellamy appears to be living in there. Excessively loud and has extensive knowledge as to the standard of buffet pork pies at Wetherby summer fete.
2) The Sergeant Major. The main man, nobody told him the war was over. Treats every performance like a military operation and a victory and bitches incessantly about those buffoons from the next village. Fond of real ale and possess a surfeit of facial hair which has been groomed since birth. Has a wife twice as fat as him but never lets her out, she spends all her time in the kitchen making cheese from her own breast milk.
3) The Clark Kent. Every band must have one, a clean bespectacled fresh faced (well OK them in possession of an ample expanse of facial acne) youth who has somehow got roped into it while the rest of his class mates at school are out happy slapping and bumming teenage mums. Wanks incessantly, usually over 1) above. He will probably turn into a decent boozy, football loving when his voice finally breaks, at which point he’ll be 32.
4)The DS Kid. I can’t possibly reveal what DS stands for, you’ll have to work it out but again a staple member of each troop, looking smart as fuck grinning anyway in his full band regalia.
5) The fat controller. Senile benefactor who spends all week by wandering around his country estate making ‘pom pom pom pom’ noises in anticipation of watching a load of oddballs wearing shit ties invade market squares on a Sunday afternoon when most sane people are in the pub