“Sea Shanty music and Brass Band – never been done before” said Dave Buckley from Britain’s premier sea shanty group Kimbers Men. He continued, “But I have to say it blew me away! Being on stage with a group of the best musicians you could ever wish to meet was I have to say daunting to say the least. The concert went far away and beyond my wildest expectations.” He was of course referring to the concert in Huddersfield Town Hall with Skelmanthorpe Band and Skelmanthorpe B Band.
With a combination of two very different musical genres, the audience didn’t quite seem to know what to expect from the evening’s entertainment. However any feelings of doubt they may have initially experienced were quickly dispelled as the synthesis of brass, guitars and voices formed an arresting connection made possible by the Skelmanthorpe Band’s percussionist, Richard Hartnell and his remarkably skilled brass band arrangements of the Kimbers Men’s Shanty songs.
Neil Kimber, founder member and ship’s bosun of Britain’s finest Shanty band said, “We were amazed how well it all worked on the night. All credit must go to the guys in the band and to their Musical Director, John Roberts. I never envisaged it working so well. It would be brilliant to do something together again.”
Audience member and devoted follower of the Kimbers Men, Peter Little, said “The arrangements with the band added so much. They complimented the songs very sympathetically. The rumble of the timpani brought great effect to the song ‘Don’t Take the Heroes’. It would be terrific to consider doing a recording together.” Peter Little wasn’t alone in his thoughts, as ship’s captain Dave Buckley added, “I only hope we can all do something together again. I would dearly love to do a recording with Skelmanthorpe Band. That would be awesome!”
However, we mustn’t forget Skelmanthorpe B Band and its Musical Director, Phil Garlick, in all the jollification – they also performed magnificently on stage, featuring two young soloists, Oliver Booth age 16 on Baritone and Ben Scholes age 14 on the xylophone.
Rita Curry from Honley wrote to The Huddersfield Daily Examiner saying, “I was fortunate enough to attend Skelmanthorpe Band’s annual Town Hall concert. The Band was very entertaining and so too were the Kimbers Men; four men with their own individual voices but together what a fabulous sound they made. The highlight of the concert for me though was the solos played by two very young men who play with the B Band. They were both wonderful – a testament to the work done by the Skelmanthorpe Brass Band Community in encouraging youngsters into the band, looking to its future continuance.”
Watch some of the performances on YouTube: