Tonight the band travelled to Banbridge to attend one of the biggest band parades anywhere in Ulster of the marching season, around 65 bands came from all over Northern Ireland to attend this event of a dry and cool evening.
As per usual we arrived late but by this time the parade was in full flow and with massive amounts of crowds in the town whom always line the entire route and make this a real family event with all ages from young to old out getting a good viewing spot for the parade to pass them.
Prior to our band starting up we where able to see a few bands pass off from the starting point, bands like Whitewell giving it their all and playing very well especially from the bass drum department which they where producing some noise!
Kilcluney had a massive band out tonight and they produced big volume coming from the entire band great to listen too; Pride of Knockmore where also massive in numbers and playing well as they headed out onto the main parade route.
All the Ďbig gunsí where here tonight in attendance to the last main parade of the marching season where everyone wanted to put on show to finish the season off on a high.
A recently reformed band where in attendance whom where the Finaghy True Blues and they seemed to be playing well and all the members where enjoying themselves and put on a good display.
I just managed to catch a wee glimpse of Drumderg Loyalists who had a big band out and really impressing everyone tonight with their solid display.
also in attendance where a couple of County Antrim outfits the Pride of the Maine and Dunaghy the bands travelled down from Ballymena and Ballymoney respectively to be in attendance and they deserve a special mention as both bands produce fantastic musical performances and many people could listen to them for hours. Their different styles of music are always certainly welcomed in the County Down and Armagh areas.
Then it was our turn to head off and we pulled a big band our tonight with members returning from holidays, work commitments etc it was a change to walk with nearly a full band of 18 side drummers, 33 fluters, colour party of 8, 2 bass drummers, 4 cymbal boys and a drum major.
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 & Thunder Drum Corps
1st Blood & Thunder Style & Appearance
1st Colour Party
2nd Marching & Discipline
2nd Best Overall Band
It was a good turnout for us and since the 12th July parade our band has been going well in the competition stakes, last night results made a run of 9 blood & thunder wins in a row, so big turnouts demand big performances.
We played well last night but itís not all about winning and losing; itís all about the enjoyment and participating in parades, with big crowds and big bands egging you on itís a great buzz and gives everyone a great feeling and this makes the night a great success and well worth being part of any loyalist band.
This parade is all about blow outs between bands and the constant passing between bands on these big wide streets of Banbridge really do lift the spirits in the bands in anticipation of this parade.
The main highlight of the parade is when every band enters the underside the bridge and the bands let loose under this tunnel and the noise levels are awesome from both the bands and the crowds who flock to this area to experience this highlight of the evening.
Tonight we played ĎGunrunnersí under the tunnel and apart from the noise it was probably was the best we have ever played the tune for years, our bass drummers where rocking as was the whole band.
A real big performance from us tonight and again every week we have been getting good results from the competition judges.
Friday night was unreal, a big thank you to Downshire for inviting us to a great parade where history was made as this was the first time ever that we had won this parade and thanks to the people of Banbridge for their kind welcome.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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