Sadly, our trip to the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday turned out to be not one of our more successful ones. An early draw - fourth - didn’t help but our somewhat inconsistent performance of Prof. Edward Gregson’s Of Men and Mountainsmeant we could have few complaints about the eventual placing of 18th. Nevertheless there were some very encouraging remarks from adjudicators Dr.Robert Childs, Prof. Roger Webster and Dr. Stephen Cobb. ‘This was a really fine performance with just a few ‘distractions’ along the way that detracted,’ was one summary.
Interestingly, of the bands placed in the five lowest places, four were the first four drawn to play. At the top, Black Dyke narrowly thwarted Foden’s bid for a third consecutive title, with Cory taking the third podium spot. Congratulations to them, and also to our fellow London & Southern Counties band, Zone One,who came a commendable ninth.
Band chairman David Wicks commented: ‘This was a disappointment, of course, when we had hoped to break into the top ten for the first time. Frankly we just didn’t play at anything like our best this year. We’ll take stock, and go forward with the firm aim of qualifying again next year and then bringing home a result which reflects Friary’s real capabilities.’ ‘We are very grateful to the guest players who completed our line-up,’ he added.