Southampton Round Table Dinner

In March the band played at the annual Southampton Round Table Dinner hosted at the Ageas Bowl Hilton Hotel. This is an event that the band particularly enjoy doing as there tends to be a fun atmosphere throughout the evening. It can be a bit difficult competing with the noisy balloons being let off at regular intervals and we are regularly used as pea shooting targets but the band normally give as good as they get!

We were able to play a standard set of music before moving onto “crowd participation” when we start playing items like the Dambusters March, the Great Escape, You’ll Never Walk Alone, the Can-Can, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia. It’s a hard blow for the end of the evening but it’s great to hear the guests singing along waving their union jacks.

Sea Pie Supper at St. Mary’s

The annual Master Mariner’s Sea Pie Supper was held at St. Mary’s Stadium at the beginning of February. It’s an annual event that the band has performed at for several years. It has moved location several times but has now been based at St. Mary’s for a few years. The band were placed in the centre of the room this year allowing all the guests to be able to hear the music. As usual we performed a set of music with a nautical theme. We do vary the music from year to year but there are some standards that we play every year like Fantasia on British Sea Songs, a number of sea shanties with the “Shantymen” who were making their farewell appearance this year.

Go Travel Show moves to Olympic Stadium

For the second year in succession we were asked to play at the Go Travel show. This is a travel show put on for travel operators rather than for the general public. Last year the event was held in the “Copper Box” in the Olympic Park in London. This year the event was moved to the Olympic Stadium itself. The band set up in the lobby of the building and were able to be heard throughout the building where the various stands were being manned. The band chose to play a mixture of music from around the world to fit in with the travel theme of the show. They played a selection from the show Can-Can (France), Gay Senorita (Spain), Little Swiss Polka (Switzerland), Fehrbelliner Reitermarsch (Germany),  and the theme from Around the World in 80 Days.

The band had been promised a tour of the stadium once they had finished playing but due to some administrative mix up this ended up being cancelled. We did wonder whether it had something to do with the band playing “When the Saints go marching in”!

Appreciative audience for Christmas Concert

On Saturday 3rd December the band held their annual Christmas concert in St. James Road Methodist Church, Shirley. In the first half they treated the audience to a mix of music from all genres including excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof, the Thundercrest  March and the 70s pop song “Music”. Additionally, they performed Karl Jenkins Palladio and the theme from Game of Thrones each of which were getting their first performance from the band. Game of Thrones particularly went down well with the audience. The second half focused on Christmas music and included Merry Xmas Everybody, Stop the Cavalry, A Christmas Festival and the theme from the Christmas children’s serial A Box of Delights. The concert was attended by a good sized audience that made for a good atmosphere throughout the concert.

Band at Christmas Concert

Band at Christmas Concert


Xmas Concert – 3rd December

Our Christmas concert this year will be on Saturday 3rd December starting at 7:30pm. It is being held at St. James Road Methodist Church in Shirley. Tickets will be priced £5 and can be obtained from members of the band in advance or on the door on the night.

Here is the poster for the event.

Xmas Concert

Xmas Concert

Romsey Bandstand

On the 15th May the band made the first of two trips this year to play at Romsey Bandstand. The new café in Romsey Memorial Park has made a big difference and was most welcomed by the band. The weather for this event has traditionally been “varied” but we were blessed with some fine sunshine today allowing people to sit out on the grass and enjoy the music. The band played two sets each of about 45 minutes with an interval in between. The music we played included Lustspiel, Demelza, I Know Him So Well and the Clog Dance. The audience were certainly appreciative of the music that we played.

Romsey Bandstand

Romsey Bandstand

FA Cup Final Win – 40th Anniversary

On the 1st May 1976, against all the odds, Southampton FC beat the mighty Manchester United 1-0. Saints, a second division side at the time, were given no chance of winning and were expected to be trounced by the opposition. History shows that this wasn’t to be and Saints ran out worthy winners on the day. Following that famous victory the team rode in an open top bus around Southampton.

Holding the FA Cup on top of the bus

Hugh Fisher holding the FA Cup on top of the bus

The City of Southampton (Albion) Band at the time were regular performers at the Dell during match days. They were therefore asked to parade in front of the bus in the town. 40 years on and Mike Osman decided that he wanted to recreate this historic event and even managed to find the original bus that drove the players around that day. It was not in a great state of repair but with some love and care it was restored to its former glory. Many of the players who played on that day were able to join the anniversary celebrations and the band were asked to recreate their part in the day’s event as well.

Band playing in Guildhall Square

Band playing in Guildhall Square

As it was back in 1976, the day turned out to be warm and sunny and a big crowd turned out at the Guildhall Square to welcome the old team back. Whilst awaiting the players arrival, the band entertained the crowd with a few tunes and had a rousing response to When The Saints Go Marching In. The bus then drove down close to St. Mary’s Stadium and the band then led the open top bus up to the stadium itself.

Band ready to parade in front of open top bus

Band ready to parade in front of open top bus


3 members of the band playing today also played back in 1976 although only Irving Taylor still plays regularly for the band as principal trombonist.

For more pictures taken on the day please look at our gallery page.

Band – Live on Radio Solent!

On the 29th April the band were asked to appear on Radio Solent in the run up to the 40th Anniversary of Saints winning the FA Cup. A group of the band assembled at Radio Solent’s studios to play on the Julian Clegg breakfast show. In addition to the band, he had a number of the original Saints team there for interview along with Lawrie McMenemy.

The band played out the end of the show with a full rendition of When The Saints Go Marching in which is also the band’s signature tune which is played at the end of each of our concerts.

Band in Radio Solent studio

Band in Radio Solent studio



Band celebrate Queen’s 90th Birthday

On April 21st the band were asked to provide some musical entertainment for the lighting of a beacon in Bishops Waltham to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. Beacons were being lit around the country on the instigation of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. A good crowd of several hundred people turned out for the lighting of the beacon and the band played a mixture of military and ceremonial music interspersed with a few contemporary pieces. The music was well received and many stayed after the lighting of the beacon to listen to the band.IMG_0070

Queen's 90th Birthday

Band setting up for Queen’s 90th Birthday.


Master Mariners Sea Pie Supper

This has become an annual engagement for the band at the beginning of February. Every year the Master Mariners have held their traditional Sea Pie Supper at various venues. This year was the second year that it has been held at St. Mary’s Stadium in the Mick Channon Suite. Master Mariner is the professional qualification for someone to serve as the person in charge or in command of a commercial vessel in England and Commonwealth Countries. The title can be traced back to the 13th Century.

The band tends to limit itself to music with a sea or sailing reference for this event and after the speeches of the evening are complete they join the Shantymen for a few rousing shanties. The evening always concludes with a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory.