On Tour in Leiden and Amsterdam, Holland

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Once again, the late May bank holiday weekend saw the band venture to distant lands in order to partake of the local food & drink. We also managed to fit in a couple of concerts to educate the locals on the delights of the brass band repertoire. Read the full Tour Report below for all of the details.

Tour Report

Tour Report by Ian Lanceley

By 5pm on Friday 25th May, all 48 of the band members and friends who were going on the band’s tour 2018 to Leiden and Amsterdam had arrived, loaded their stuff onto the coach and excitedly claimed their seats. Derek, our coach driver for the weekend introduced himself and we set off. The journey to Leiden via the Channel Tunnel was entirely unremarkable except for the regular sound of opening cans and bottles. Our arrival in Leiden at about 1.30 in the morning was somewhat complicated both by the coach not being able to get nearer than 400 yards to our hotel, and the hotel not booking enough rooms, which meant that poor old Derek had to sleep in a dormitory that is normally used by school parties

Saturday dawned bright and sunny and, as our first concert was at 4pm, people split up into groups in order to enjoy the sights of Leiden. What a beautiful city it is! As well as walking around the streets and taking in the sights, most of the band went on boat trips around the rivers of Leiden. This is a great way to experience the atmosphere that comes from have the various markets along the riversides – it is wonderfully colourful and lively without being in anyway brash.

The day got hotter and hotter so that the temperature in the shade was around 290C by the time we came to assemble at the hotel. There was a wonderful old church right opposite and many of us took the time to go in and cool down whilst listening to an organist practicing for a recital later in the afternoon. The actual concert venue was in a square about half a mile from the hotel so we all (David excepted – apparently he needed to give Derek directions!) walked there as the coach made its way with our gear.

The acoustic in the square was such that, although the players in the band couldn’t really hear what was being played, the audience could hear every note so it was very gratifying to have some many compliments from listeners at the end. It was also well into the mid 30’s in the Sun and the band did extremely well to maintain such a high standard of playing throughout the performance.

After packing up quickly at the end there was a concerted rush for space under the awnings of one of the many bars around the square and, rather surprisingly, a great many beer orders were placed!

Saturday evening was extremely mild and most people chose to eat in the various eateries on offer. One large group ended up in a super Argentinian restaurant where the staff were suddenly dealing with orders for 20 or so steaks all of which arrived very promptly and were perfectly cooked. Some bar time followed and I believe that the last samplers arrived back at about 3.30am.

Sunday began with a trip to Zaanse Schans. This has a collection of well-preserved, working, historic windmills and houses and is a very popular visitor attraction. The site is very open and even though the day was already very warm, I can imagine what it would feel like in January with a cold north easterly wind blowing.

We then moved on to play on the bandstand in Oosterpark, Amsterden – thanks to Pete Stoner for not only coming up with this venue, but organising it as well. It has to be the best bandstand I’ve ever played on – the high roof threw the sound back at us when we played but also allowed everyone in the park to hear the music. There was plenty of space for the band to set up so no one felt cramped as it often the case on a bandstand. The only potential fly in the ointment when we arrived was that it was occupied by a class of kickboxers and none of us wanted to upset them in case they decided to practice on us!

In reality, they were very courteous (as was everyone in Holland) and quickly made way for us to set up. Bearing in mind Saturday’s acoustic we decided to warm up on the stand with a couple of hymn tunes – I think that every single player was totally amazed by the sound that came back at us. The concert was a standard two 45 minute sets with a 20 minute break and, looking around whilst we were playing, there was a an audience of around a thousand people a number of whom came over during the break and at the end to enthuse about the level of performance that they had enjoyed.

After packing away it was time to go back to Leiden and out for dinner again. Strangely, the bars seemed just as popular with the band as they had been on Saturday evening…

Monday dawned somewhat cooler that the weekend had been, not a bad thing considering the coach journey to come. However, it soon warmed up again and we were all grateful for the air conditioning on the coach – even if it didn’t work terribly well at the back. The journey back went without any real hitches and it just remains for me to thank David Newsom for his tireless efforts in organising what was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for us all.

Solo Cornet player Vicky Mace recorded both concerts but unfortunately the live recordings were of variable quality so we can’t bring you the whole concerts. However Vicky has produced a small slide show edited together with some of the usable highlights.

1. Ticket to Ride, 2. Moon River, 3. Three King Swing, 4. Donegal Bay, 5. MacArthur Park


Leiden Concert

  • Make His Praise Glorious
  • Con Fuego (Cornet Soloist : Richard Warren)
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Donegal Bay (Baritone Soloist : Phil Alker)
  • Les Miserables
  • Serenade
  • Three King Swing
  • An Untold Story (Horn Soloist : Alan Smithers)
  • Concerto D’Aranjuez (Flugel Soloist : Emma Pettifer)
  • Light as Air
  • MacArthur Park
  • Haven’t Met you Yet

Amsterdam Concert

  • Make His Praise Glorious
  • Don’t Cry for Me (Soprano Soloist : Bob Turner)
  • Moon River
  • I’ll Not Turn Back (Duet: David Newsom, Euphonium & Vicky Mace: Cornet)
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Con Fuego (Cornet Soloist : Richard Warren)
  • My Fair Lady
  • MacArthur Park
  • [a[_li]The Wind Beneath My Wings[/ap_li]
  • Death of Glory
  • An Untold Story (Horn Soloist : Alan Smithers)
  • Haven’t Met you Yet
  • Queens Park Melody
  • Light as Air
  • Les Miserables
  • Three King Swing

More Pictures
We have three albums of tour photos on Flickr.

Visit the Cranbrook Town Band Flickr Pages – Over 100 Photo Albums and Counting !

The Band
The band for the 2018 Tour, Left to Right :-

Front Row (Left to Right)

Stephen Bennett (BBb Bass) — Phil Alker (Baritone) — Viv Lovewell (Euphonium) — David Newsom (Euphonium) — Robin Traves (Eb Bass)

Middle Row

Ian Lanceley (Musical Director) — Emma Pettifer (Flugel Horn) — Liz Hatcher (2nd Horn) — Siân Lanceley (Solo Cornet) — Isabel O’Neill (3rd Cornet) — Vicky Mace (Solo Cornet) — Dave Pettifer (Repiano Cornet) — Meta Fisher (2nd Cornet) — Bob Turner (Soprano Cornet) — Russell Kemp (Solo Cornet) — Alan Smithers (Solo Horn) — Hilary Grieg (Trombone) —

Back Row

Graeme McAusland (Second Cornet) — Hazel Walsh (Second Trombone) — Colin Batt (First Trombone) — Peter Stoner (Kit Percussion) — Richard Warren (Principal Cornet) — Nathaniel Crick (First Horn) — Yvetter Hutchin (Third Cornet) — Brian Lewis (Solo Cornet) — Geoff Collins (Bass, Tuned Percussion) — Keith McClintock (Bass Trombone) — Edward O’Neill (Second Trombone)

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