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.

Band plays at Olympic Park

On the 16th January the band travelled to the Olympic Park to play at the Go Travel Show in the Copper Box Arena. We were there to support IOW Tours who we have had a close relationship over the past few years playing at many of the reunion events that they hold for various organisations. The Go Travel Show gives smaller independent travel companies the opportunity to advertise their wares to the general public. Many of the companies there seemed to specialise in group events and there were some impressive opportunities for holidays both in the UK and abroad.

The band played a couple of sets whilst we were there generally focusing on playing music from around the world including Spanish Gypsy Dance, a German Polka, Conquest of Paradise.

Band on a break

Band on a break


Christmas Concert – Sat 12th December

Our Christmas Concert this year will be held at St. James Road Methodist Church, Shirley on Saturday 12th December. Tickets are £5.00 each and can be obtained from members of the band or can be purchased on the night at the door. Hope to see you there.

Christmas Poster

Change of venue for London 10K

After a break last year due to “insurance reasons” the band returned to the scene of past performances at the London 10K run on the 12th July. Due to the Embankment being classed as “Ground Under Repair” to upgrade the cycle routes through London, the race changed its normal layout and as a result we played on the Strand rather than on Westminster Bridge. The band were happy with this as there were more facilities for refreshment here.

The forecast hadn’t been good for the day but in actual fact the rain stayed away and it wasn’t too warm either. As a result the band experienced a comfortable climate for playing for the runners. We played for over 2 hours whilst the runners passed our spot on the street. The pieces we played were generally up tempo numbers and marches to keep a good rhythm going for the runners.

Pictures from the event can be seen on our Gallery Page.

Shipping Service at Winchester Cathedral

On a balmy summer’s evening on Thursday 11th June the band played at the Master Mariner’s annual Shipping Service at Winchester Cathedral. The band played some music before the service started and then played the hymns during the service alternating verses with the organ before joining together in the last verse of each hymn.

Once the service was finished the band moved around to the Deanery Garden to play a short concert for the guests who had attended the service. The concert had a distinctly nautical theme to it and the audience were appreciative of the playing.

Southampton Half Marathon

Up until a couple of years ago the band used to play at the London Marathon. This year on Sunday 26th April, we were invited to play at the Southampton Half Marathon just outside the band room at the top of the hill on Burgess Road. It was a bitter day and thanks must go out to the family across the road who provided hot mugs of tea to those who wanted it. Thankfully, the rain stayed off and we were able to play some rousing marches to keep the spirits of the runners up. Especially as they had just had to run all the way up Burgess Road.

Logistically, this was one of the easiest jobs for the band as they only had to move their equipment about 200 yards from the band room. The band enjoyed playing for the runners and are looking forward to playing next time. 

Bournemouth weather defies expectations

On the 21st June the band travelled down to Bournemouth to play on the bandstand in the Lower Gardens. The forecast for the day was for dull and overcast weather and that normally limits the size of the audience that is prepared to stay and watch the concert. However, the weather turned out to be pretty good and it was a perfect day to sit out on the lawn and listen to a brass band concert. Although we were a little light on top cornets we were able to adjust the programme slightly to ensure that their life was made slightly easier.

It is difficult to say how much longer we will be able to continue doing this event as Bournemouth City Council are now refusing to pay bands for performing. This is a great shame as it is a great place to play but the costs of getting up and down to Bournemouth with all our equipment is likely to make the cost of playing prohibitive in the future.