Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band may be known in some quarters for their unexpected number two chart hit, the Floral Dance, which saw the ensemble appear on TV’s Top of the Pops back in 1977 after huge support from broadcaster Terry Wogan.
But to enthusiasts of brass band music, B&R are much more than, having won virtually every major competition title that exists in the genre.
The band’s virtuoso playing ensures that its musicians can perform anything from contemporary pop hits to exquisite classical pieces, even those originally intended for solo piano.
B&R is coming to the Fylde coast on Saturday May 28 when it perform at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall from 7.30pm.
Regarded by many as the best and most consistent ‘public subscription band’ in the world, the band has avoided sponsorship in favour of public subscriptions and its own fund raising efforts.
Its amateur members traditionally pride themselves on being financially independent, never having been beholden to any commercial interest, yet they are still regarded as one of the ‘elite’ on the contest and concert platforms.
Chris Hardy, 29, a B flat tuber player with the band, says: “I think the fact we are a public subscription band means we have a much closer connection with our audience.
"Some people are still surprised by the fact that, although we are all amateurs and have other day jobs, we can play to such a high standard.
"I think people also love brass bands because they are part of a British tradition, there is a lot of nostalgia that goes with it.”
In recent years the band, still based at its Finkle Street headquarters in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, has been involved with collaborative projects outside the brass band tradition.
High profile appearances, on live-television at the BBC Folk Music Awards with The Unthanks folk group, and the summer outdoor Car-Fest events organised by media personality Chris Evans, have expanded the band’s popularity.
As for the Floral Dance, Chris Hardy added: “We have that disc in a frame on the wall and the tune is still part of our repertoire – we love playing it for people.”
For ticket details contact the Marine Hall box office on (01253) 887693.