Chat Brass – We’ve Been At It Again!

About four times a year, in the region of Chat Moss, Leigh and Wigan a calling occurs. Something is in the water, there is a crackle in the air and those who are affected receive both an urge and  inspiration through their bones, then begin to find themselves drawn without any apparent choice; converging to play for the amazing Chat Brass Band. Here is the photographic evidence…11206541_10153319209334282_4644167562184357692_o-1

Chat Brass is so named because it gave the first performance in The Chat Moss Hotel, in Chat Moss. Chat Moss is best known for being the place where Milliam Husskisson, the MP for Liverpool was run over on the maiden journey of Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ and so became the world’s first ever railway victim!

It is 12 months since Chat Brass got together and gave a concert in St. Joseph’s church. A certain amount of success was achieved one that occasion. This year we were giving another concert in St. Joseph’s Hall on Chapel Street on Monday 25th May at 2:30.

We do this on a voluntary basis and any monies made at this event go to the upkeep of St. Joseph’s Hall. A venue that is used by many local people.


St. Joseph’s Church Hall, Leigh.

Chat Brass have no set musical philosophy or pre-determined musical genre. We are brass players from far, wide and various backgrounds who are motivated by a desire to take on the classics of the genre to the highest standards and play with a smile. We never rehearse, we just all convene and perform concerts.

The group grew out of a desire to play serious music three years ago and such was the success the group has attracted a growing number of players from the professional sector, military and famous brass bands to get together, playing great, ambitious programmes, display technical wizardry and discerning musicianship for their own and the audiences delectation.

It is also a good laugh!

The voice of Classic fm, John Suchet likes to join Chat Brass when his schedule allows.

The voice of Classic fm, John Suchet likes to join Chat Brass whenever his busy schedule allows.

The group have a regular core of key players who help to organise the concerts, this is done purely for the love of making music and the friendship it engenders.

Anyone from the Brass fraternity and the local community are always welcome to come along and support… there is always a bar, refreshments, food and ticketing guarantees you a seat which is allocated on a first come first seat basis. Everything is informal  and intimately relaxed … so you can enjoy a pint at the same time as being entertained.


The Basstie Boys! L -R Mike Johnson; Lee Dunkley; Ryan Breen; Grenville Moore and Toby Bannen


The flawless Dave Moore treats the packed house to his dulcet tones during his reading of the Concerto d’Orange Juice. In the background are Al Gustavson, Hannah Mackenzie and Lynne Daniels.


Take it from me, without doubt both the best and most happy bass section in the country. No other band in the UK has such a solid foundation to play on top of.


You could have heard a pin drop as RLPO regular, Emma Crossley dazzles the awestruck audience with a fiercely daring rendition of Tico Tico.


Maestro Phil Boardman, recently retired: our founding father and much loved common denominator, appearing to be looking for his lost ‘Euph’.


Only one blot on the landscape. Second Euph Paul Andrews (conductor of Wingates Band) dropped and broke his pint of beer! This is considered a heinous crime! Chat brass hate to see waste…  There was much debate over whether he was to be horse-whipped on the steps of his club but we were half way through the second half so the music won over. Butterfingers!


Andy MacDonald has been Principal Cornet of Wingates for about twenty years. He is regarded as one of the best tunesmiths and also one of the nicest guys in banding. He was Chat Brass Principal Cornet on this occasion.


Penny for your thoughts Si…


Perhaps this BBb bass section may be the most over qualified in the UK. Mike Johnson and Lee Dunkley


Tony Wyatt is superb at conducting these unrehearsed proceedings. He is a consumate musician and always personable, despite the obvious stress of having to follow the likes of me during solos etc.


Maestro Tony Wyatt, who masterfully shepherded the band from the baton through this unrehearsed programme, takes a brief breather betwixt pieces.

The stage is set as we begin to convene. 10985439_10153352769174282_8993833928876154014_nWith so many august ensembles sharing representation, it comes as no surprise that a power struggle ensues when Chat Brass meet. Here are Toby Bannen (Cory Band), Chris Morley (RLPO and Greenalls) and Wingates legendary Principal Cornet Andy MacDonald taking their places on the dance floor for the fight! All proudly displaying their famous band badges. Nancies!10986984_957630310947825_1155154994653526534_oChat Brass – 25th May, 2.30pm, St Joseph’s Hall, Leigh.
County Palatine
Le Domino Noir
Little Serenade
Facilita – (Brendan Ball)
U&I – (Brendan & Simon Cowen)
Clog Dance
Don’t You Make My Brown Eyes Blue – (Chris Morley & Beth Dilworth)
Hat Trick – (th’orns)
Lincolnshire Poacher
Olympic Fanfare & Theme
Tico-Tico – (Emma Crossley Xylophone)
Summon the Heroes – (Brendan Trumpet)
Concerto De Aranjuez – (Dave Moore Flugel)
The A Team
Lark in the Clear Air – (Ian Twiss)
Hymn to the Fallen
Tuba’s Holiday – (The Basstie Boys)
Procession to the Minster
Encore – Floral Dance


Si and I playing U & I by E. Sutton. I still can’t work out whether Si, or I, is U or I but the piece seemed to delight the audience. All these former classics are seldom performed nowadays. one of Chat Brasses missions to reintroduce to a new unaware audience that the old original repertoire is fantastic and to remind them where everything comes from.


A thorn amongst two roses and Mike Johnson in the background, clearly getting caught out pedaling again!

Chris Morley, above, played a scintillating duet with Wingates Flugel star Beth Dilworth (left). Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue was a magical moment.

Hege playing a beautifully styled version of Lark In The Clear Air.

Hege playing a beautifully styled version of Lark In The Clear Air.

A music lover is fascinated by the mellifluous tones of The Godfather.

A music lover is fascinated by the mellifluous tones of The Godfather.

The personnel for this august occasion

Tony Wyatt – Maestro

The Sopranos – Ian Twiss & Hege Øvrebø
Repiano – Brendan Ball
Solo Cornets – Andy McDonald, Rick Cowen, Allen Gustafson, Hannah McKenzie, Lynne Daniels,
2nd Cornets – Emma Johnson, Stuart Peacock,
3rd Cornets – Carole Morris, Sandra Ball
Flugel – Dave Moore, Beth Dilworth
Th’orns – Chris Morley, Jane Moore, Sue Mc Donald, Kate Turner
Baritone – Tilly Tompkins, Tony Hodgetts, Jane Street
Euphonium – Phil Boardman, Paul Andrews,
Trombones – Simon Cowen, Jimmy Kitchen, Amanda Stewart, Jimmy Ball,Adrian Morris
Basses – Toby Bannan, Ryan Breen, Lee Dunkley, Mike Johnson, Grenville Moore
Percussion – Emma Crossley, Patrick Connelly.

The highlight of the performance was undoubtedly The Basstie Boys playing that timeless classic by Leroy Anderson, Tubas' Holiday. When the music is travelling in excess of the National Speed limit don't you think they should be wearing seat belts?!

The highlight of the performance was undoubtedly The Basstie Boys playing that timeless classic by Leroy Anderson, Tubas’ Holiday. When the music is travelling in excess of the National Speed limit don’t you think they should be wearing seat belts?!


Such occasions work up a strong thirst! So, over the road to The White Lion to achieve an advanced state of refreshment on the wonderful array of Allgates beers that landlord Harry knocks out at £2.00 a superb pint!


That’s Harry in the middle of some Chat Brass stalwarts. Tip top landlord!

Harry, a very cultured man, is himself now a regular at RLPO concerts (he also travelled to London for our latest gig at the Royal Albert Hall!). white-lion

Meanwhile in Liverpool, the 175th anniversary of Cunard! Yes, Cunard were founded in 1840, the same year as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the British Isles.29107CF200000578-3096052-image-a-84_1432565994890


About brendanball

Professional Trumpeter: Soloist, Orchestra Player, Chamber Music, Contemporary Music & Education.
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4 Responses to Chat Brass – We’ve Been At It Again!

  1. Pingback: Xmas Chat Brass At ‘The White Lion’! | Brendan Ball's Blog

  2. Pingback: The next Chat Brass Concert… | Brendan Ball's Blog

  3. Ian Howe says:

    Hi There, can you help. Im looking to obtain the arrangement You & I for Brass band, can you point me in the right direction

    Many Thanks

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