The band travelled to Lisburn for one of the largest parades outside of Belfast, and indeed this was the case as bands travelled from across the country and a Scottish band Drongan Young Conquerors from Ayrshire. They where given the honour of leading the parade around Lisburn and they certainly done a great job by all accounts.
The parade was under way by the time we arrived and to my surprise it went a different route as in years gone by and as the parade started this new route didnít do the parade any favours.
This was due to bands where stopping and starting to let other bands cross them etc at certain parts of the route. So to be honest I am really uncertain about this new route and Iím sure the band themselves shall have their own opinions on this matter.
Bands that I did manage to see prior to us parading where South Down DUP; who were playing well, Ballykeel; small but very impressive, Clogher Protestant Boys; playing very well coming whilst passing us when a bass drum skin went; Dervock Young Defenders; a band from North Antrim who many in my own band have not seen before and they had a big band out and they sounded very well.
Towards the end of our route I also got to see Star of Down from Newcastle; who had a small band but they give it all on parade and are a credit to the band scene, also got to see one of the best bands on the road Pride of the Hill from Rathfriland who once again where playing at a top level.
Downshire Guiding Star where also out with a big band and are really playing very well, just managed to get a wee look at the Ulster Grenadiers from Carrickfergus whoís colour party was looking good as usual and the final band I got to have a wee look at was Kilcluney Volunteers from Markethill who sounded loud and proud.
The parade route was packed out in the square and well spread out across the parade route and as per usual the dreaded blue bag squad was out in force and this is really starting to become a problem at parades and this will almost certainly cause a lot of unnecessary heartache to the band scene with their silly antics. Itís just a real pain for any bands marshals to keep an eye on these large groups of mostly underage drinkers.
My own band tonight walked with 18 side drummers, 32 fluters, colour party of 6, 2 bass drummers, 2 marshals, 1 drum major and our 5 cymbal boys. So many thanks to all our members for turning out in big numbers to support ourselves and indeed Knockmore.
Performance on the night was good and the one thing I will say is that any band likes to have a good blow out with us and on Friday night bands were coming out of different streets at one but behaviour must be important if bands are to impress rather than try to settle petty differences over who one the contest of the blow out. The word childish is a polite way to describe this attitude and I would use this to describe bands towards one and other at band parades. Itís just not really needed at all and its not good for the band scene.
Below are a selection of photographs and video clips of the band in action.
The band where presented with the following awards during last nights parade competition results:
1st Blood and Thunder Band
1st Blood and Thunder Bass Drum
2nd Junior Drum Major
2nd Style and Appearance
3rd Blood and Thunder Drum Corps
3rd Colour Party
2nd Best Overall Band
The band captain tonight only called one of our new tunes and I can see his point as Lisburn is not a parade to play tunes that have not being tried to often as bands always try to pass at various points and to be honest it was a solid performance on the night, and the judging again went our way in the main sections, so well done to all the lads for putting in a good show.
Well done to the Pride of Knockmore on the night for a good turnout of on fantastic night for parading; the weather was good and some of the best bands in the country turned up for this annual parade.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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