We travelled to the host bands contest, Pride of the Hill are very much a respected Blood & Thunder outfit and they are many peoples favourite band.
The square in Rathfriland was well packed as per usual, this square is always the end point on the parade and many people hate the headed hill that is before the square.
I always find this part of the parade quite funny as I personally find it easier playing up the hill but many bandsmen would definitely agree and many curse this hill, I find this great and always have a wee chuckle when I hear the dreaded hill being mentioned.
It was a great night for the parade with the sun splitting the sky for most of the week and today it was the hottest day of the year so far. This time of the year numbers of bandsmen and supporters increase due to the good weather conditions.
Tonight I was able to see a few bands like Downshire who have vastly improved over the last few months, Bessbrook, Lambeg Orange and Blue who where playing very well in the so called smaller B&T section.
South Down DUP band where out in force in their home turf and where playing very well and got a great reception from everyone watching them.
On a funny note I seen the biggest Chippy trailer I have ever seen in my life, flip it must have been about 5 vans put together, I must say I could hardly keep my eyes off it but I shall not give away if I brought anything or not!
Whilst I was chatting to a few well known faces at the end of our parade I got to see Drumderg and Kilcluney coming in at the end both playing well and I got to see the other band from Keady
The Pride of the Frontier where playing well coming in and the bass drummer was going well. The loudest bass drum that all night was the other Pride of the Hill from Carnmoney, the drummers where getting some noise out of it and fair play to them.
Tonight the band walked with 17 side drummers, 30 fluters, 2 bass drummers, colour party of 5, 4 cymbal boys, 1 marshal and a drum major; so another good consistent turnout for the band.
Below are a selection of photographs and video clips of the band in action.
The band where presented with the following awards at the parade competition results:
1st Blood and Thunder Bass Drum
2nd Blood and Thunder Band
2nd Blood and Thunder Drum Corps
3rd Blood and Thunder Drum Major
1st Marching and Discipline
3rd Best Overall Band
We had a good steady performance tonight and the new tunes are starting to kick in and getting stronger every week, I am a big critic of my own band and itís very hard to judge yourself so I am letting other people comment on how we play.
A good night for Pride of the Hill with a fantastic turnout of nearly 50mbands and from what I seen not to much trouble from the dreaded Blue Bag Brigade so hopefully this is a good sign for other parades coming up in this fantastic weather.
Thanks to the Hill for inviting us and well done to all bands for supporting one of the best bands on the road.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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