The photo was taken at Haigh Hall, Wigan by Hayley Green using Pete's camera
Following a decade of playing in brass bands formed for particular events, musicians from the Preston area, aided by others from West Yorkshire, formed the Red Rose Brass Band in 1969. Since then this New Orleans style brass band has been heard regularly at carnivals and festivals throughout Lancashire and the surrounding Counties. In recent years the band has travelled to London to play on demonstrations, has been a frequent visitor to Birmingham to play there at The Jazz Festival and has travelled north to Edinburgh to try to prevent a local brewery from closing! Amongst the more memorable outings the band has had, were several visits to Donnington Park and much closer to home, the three parades at the 1992 Preston Guild. and a further three at the 2012 Guild! The longest running engagement has been 34 consecutive appearances at Longridge Field Day which is about 99 less than Longridge Brass, but we are working on it! The band usually consists of eight players plus a Grand Marshal, but it can be enlarged to eleven players on special occasions, or reduced to six players if that is what the event demands. Weddings, Funerals, market openings, Christmas shopping have all been on the bands engagements lists over the years, but the band is most frequently seen leading the processions on field days, galas and demonstrations. The style of music played by the band can be compared to that of the brass bands of New Orleans, Louisiana and consists of a mixture of marches, rags, spirituals and both traditional and popular songs from past and present times. "All the colours and cacophony of the New Orleans Parade played by one of Britain's leading exponents" - (Birmingham International Jazz Festival Programmed 1993.)
Looking forward to the Christmas engagements and the 2018
programme of field days and such.
The Silver Bell Band was formed in the mid 1960's. With a break of about a year, the band has enjoyed a local residency throughout. In the recent past they have enjoyed a 14 year residency at The Lamb Hotel, in Church Street, Preston. More recently the band has enjoyed long runs at the Rickshaw Restaurant at Charnock Richard, Paul Heathcote's Brasserie, and The Unicorn at Preston where they played for some seven years. The band is now enjoying their eleventh year of residency at Ale Emporium, (Ex.The Bitter Suite), Fylde Road, Preston on alternate Thursdays. ( see "where to hear the band"on the menu for current dates.)
At the time in the late 1970's and early 1980's when there was a stream of regular visiting musicians from the U.S.A the band played host to many New Orleans instrumentalists such as Wingy Manone, Alton Purnell, Kid Thomas Valentine and Thomas Jefferson.
The number of musicians in the band is
usually five or six, string bass/sousaphone, banjo, drums, clarinet/alto saxophone and
trumpet. The band is happy to play in almost any
situation and has played in many of the Preston and District venues for events such as shop openings, and most social occasions including anniversaries, birthdays,
christenings, weddings and funerals. On occasion they have traveled as far away as
North Wales and deepest Yorkshire and Humberside. As there is little dependence
on amplification and most members play several instruments, the band is mobile
and able to function outdoors just as easily as playing in a reception room. The
music played is a mixture of jazz standards and older pop-songs with a few
spirituals and marches for good measure. Whilst clearly enjoying a common
heritage with the English "Trad" bands, members of the Silver Bell
Band have sought to avoid the excesses of such bands, preferring to use the
dance bands and small swing bands of New Orleans as their inspiration. The aim
of the band has always been to provide an atmosphere in which both young and old
Current Band line-up is Band Manager Pete Vickers (bass), John Rothwell (drums), Roy Freeman (trumpet) Brian Legan (reeds) Jack Moore (trombone)and Keith Simkin (banjo). Photo by Dave Toast.