Fears of flatulence prove unfounded

I’ve been meaning to write about this all week, but something else has been taking up all my time.

Anyway, the point is this. Last Saturday I went to All Saints Church in West Dulwich to see Lambeth Wind Orchestra perform a neatly-conceived programme dubbed ‘Hampton Court to Hammersmith’.

I’ll confess: my pulse wasn’t exactly racing at the idea of hearing, or indeed seeing, an amateur wind band. I knew from experience how good London’s amateur orchestras can be, but some long-suppressed memory from school had my mind’s ear pre-echoing with flatulence on a frankly deafening scale.

Well, the reality was quite different. Under John Holland’s charismatic direction, the LWO was very loud at times, but never less than tasteful. The cross-capital repertoire – from Gustav Holst’s eerie Hammersmith to local composer Andrew Poppy’s hypnotic pulse-piece If I Could Copy You – was dispatched in unfailingly finessed, full-bodied arrangements. By the end, I had completely forgotten I was watching a wind band at all. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Three thoughts linger:

1. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor may not have been the greatest of all time, but it doesn’t really befit any classical composer to breathe his last at West Croydon station.

2. All Saints Church, which I’ve known from the outside for years, is a glorious building on the inside, too. Memorable as this concert was, however, the place will always be associated in my mind with the woman who sleepwalked to the top of a crane during its refurbishment a few years ago.

3. Walton’s Crown Imperial, which was the highlight of the programme, is arguably the most influential piece of music of the twentieth century. The inspiration for some of John Williams’ most memorable themes is so apparent in its stirring swagger that – London-centric though the evening was – I emerged into the Dulwich night humming a Superman and Star Wars mash-up. Which, unintended as it may have been, was a pretty good finale to a pretty fine night.


Posted on November 9, 2012, in Music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you for coming along, Tom, and for your kind words about our event! We’ve been working really hard on these pieces and for ‘Crown Imperial’ to be your highlight (and others’, too) that’s a real achievement for us. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Dulwich Books of West Dulwich - 6 Croxted Road, SE21 8SW - 020 8670 1920

Winner Best Independent Bookshop UK & Ireland 2014



Lonely Shopping

Shopping and socialising in Croydon in the '70s and '80s

Palace Stories

The Crystal Palace Podcast



Self-publishing adventures

How to self-publish books for children - practical tips from Karen Inglis

Campbell Edinborough

Artist and Movement Teacher


She turns coffee into books so she can afford to buy more coffee. And more books.

colleen e. kennedy

shakespeare & smells

1 Story A Week

Short stories to make you laugh or think. The world needs more of both.


The play's the thing... but not the only thing.





Cheyney Kent

Working in singing

%d bloggers like this: