The band travelled to the hosts bands parade on a long journey for us up to Coleraine, it was also the 30th anniversary of the Freeman Memorial and we wish them well and hopefully there are many more to come.
We arrived around 9:30PM and by them most of the bands were on parade or else just forming up to start the parade route. I managed to take the time to watch a few bands moving off, the bands I seen where Blair Memorial, Dunaghy, Monkstown, Drumderg Loyalists, Ballysillan Volunteers and the Steeple Defenders.
From what I seen all the bands where in good form and looking forward to a good parade in the well supported parade by both bands and spectators on a cold but good night for a band parade.
Tonight we travelled on a packed bus and I really will have to consider looking at bigger busses as things were a bit tight but sure its better than having a half filled bus, but thanks to everyone for being helpfully in situations like this and I will try and resolve this matter as soon as possible.
We paraded with 18 side drummers, 32 fluters, 4 cymbal boys, colour party of 6, 2 bass drummers, 1 drum major and 1 marshal, so another good turnout for the band.
Tonight we whore our white trousers for the fist time in Coleraine and judging by the reaction from the crowd and other bandsmen who havenít seen them before I think they went down a treat.
Yes they do look impressive and its also good to see that other bands are now adopting these in there own uniform, even the host band had their colour party decked out in white trousers as well as the whole band in a new uniform of military style shirts.
Our band captain tonight called a trio of new tunes to test out our winter months of practice, the tunes included; Auld Orange Flute, SAS and Prussian Glory. All werenít too bad my favourite of the night was Prussian Glory and this can be heard as Clip 4 on the below video clips.
This tune is better known as a German Melody tune when bandsmen hear it played as a Blood & Thunder tune they can decide if they like our adaptation of it.
Below are a selection of photographs and video clips of the band in action.
Coleraine is a good parade to march in, good streets with tall buildings giving that hood echo and good crowds as hundreds of people flock to one of the biggest parades in County Londonderry. A good feeling about the parade tonight and hopefully this will be a good pointer for the marching season ahead and good luck to all loyalists everywhere this season.
Our own band tonight played well and I feel the marching could be better but with a few new faces in the band time will tell as the parade quickly come around.
Next weekend we have two parades planned so new members will improve at their own pace.
Thanks again to the Freeman Memorial flute band and to the Loyalist people of County Londonderry for making us feel welcome.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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