Published Apr 27th, 2024
Time to Read 2 minute

Deeply respectful tribute

Some days after its appearance at Castleford Salvation Army and I’m still reprising Black Dyke’s performance in my head. Let’s begin with the programme itself… so sensitively chosen for this audience, featuring distinguished composers who have strong links to the Salvation Army to the fore…. Heaton, Bosanko, Graham, Ball, Steadman Allen and Lovatt-Cooper. The whole evening was a deeply respectful tribute from the very finest of bands to some of the greatest of composers of the genre.

Audience near silent

‘His Provision’ was performed with such sensitivity this audience was near silent at its conclusion… understood by Nick Childs and the band as the greatest of compliments. The same could be said of Richard Marshall’s rendition of ‘Don’t doubt him now’, simply beautiful. The rapport between Black Dyke and the audience was excellent… witty interludes and great fun with ‘Rule Britannia’, featuring the very gifted Adam Bokaris on euphonium (I swear that man could make a radiator sing if it had a mouthpiece)! ‘Strictly Black Dyke’, a tribute to its TV namesake made us tap our feet and smile.

A short interval followed, during which the stage was adjusted for Black Dyke and Castleford SA Band to play in massed formation. We were then treated to Eric Ball’s timeless ‘Star Lake’ and to conclude the evening, a magnificent rendition of Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s ‘Fire in the Blood’. Within this glorious music I was so impressed with Laura Conway’s oh so plaintive rendition of ‘Lord you know that we love you’, it reduced this ex Salvationist cornet player to tears.

Black Dyke is the very finest of bands and I repeat this phrase quite deliberately. From deportment to performance, from ultra pianissimo to triple forte, from section to section, from soloists to Musical Director Professor Nicholas Childs, Black Dyke Band delivered, and I thank them sincerely for it!

Review: Brian Driver

Photography: Mark Elliott