7th June will doubtless be long remembered by band members. It was the day when we fulfilled four gigs in Portsmouth and Southampton simultaneously: two concert bands and two dance bands! Clearly this challenged our systems and procedures somewhat but the acid test was that success was achieved at both locations and there was no doubt whatever that the respective audiences were well pleased with RMACB’s extensive efforts that day.
This report concerns only the D-Day celebration events on Southsea Common where one of those massive covered stands had been erected (as for Glastonbury etc!) for various shows during the 70th anniversary weekend. Our half of the Concert Band had the task of accompanying the Milton Glee Club Choir directed by Brian North, and also the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir led by Lt Sam Hairsine RM. Much fine singing resulted all of which was well received on a beautiful summer’s evening as the crowd gathered and eventually peaked, according to The News reports, at 12,000.
Then it was the turn of our Big Band directed by Dave Clackett, and what a treat that was: terrific playing of all the popular big band numbers such as Glenn Miller’s repertoire from the 1940s along with many firm favourites of that era including Benny Goodman’s ‘Sing Sing Sing’ with its fast pace hammered out on the percussion kit in true Gene Krupa style while the audience (who had been previously persuaded to wear 1940s fashions) jived on a packed dance floor in front of the stage while the sound systems’ speakers and amplifiers worked overtime to project the throbbing rhythms several hundred yards to the folks at the back of the arena. Phew! There’s not much else to say really except well done all concerned.