The Band of the Life Guards

MICHAEL DRAKE Pavilion Theatre, Cromer

MICHAEL DRAKE

Pavilion Theatre, Cromer

How refreshing in these days of cuts and “can't afford” that much of the tradition of military music has been retained. The intimate stage of the Pavilion Theatre was practically overflowing with the red coated members of this famous band - with a quartet of helmeted trumpeters giving an opening fanfare, something they have been doing since the early 17th century when they were formed to guard the lives of gentlemen following the Restoration.

Last evening showed that duty in its expanded form - and although the dry acoustic took away much of the musical sharpness, the concert band showed great rhythmic precision in Philip Spark's lively Fiesta.


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In complete contrast Shokum Farewell, inspired by Scottish laments, was extremely poignant - despite the two violins not being always quite in tune.

Swinging it big band style, the gentle version of Ruby Tuesday and a medley of traditional Irish folk dances emphasised the band's versatility under their director, Major Bob Pennington, whose introductions were delightfully relaxed.

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A rather truncated solo flute version of Annie's Song was followed by the full blooded malaguina to complete “Something for Everyone's Taste” which, with the rousing Friedman Slavonic Rhapsody, just about sums up this “extra seaside special”.

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