Someone, many years ago, I think it was one of the staff at Tropical World, was a Shadows fan, and he asked me if I knew how to play Telstar. I didn't, but I went home and somehow worked it out, and then we played it for him. It wasn't brilliant then, but recently I took it off the metaphorical shelf and gave a dusting down, and now, of course it is brilliant. Here is Mean Steel playing it at Manston Primary School summer fair.
14 May 2022 Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows played a few tunes to celebrate the opening of the new pedestrianised area outside Leeds Corn Exchange. Here is one of them.
This is Mean Steel playing a summer fair for Manston Primary School Leeds. A Shadows fan requested this tune me years ago for an event he was organising and it sounded so nice on pans that I kept deep in the repertoire for years then resuscitated it a few months ago.
This is Foxwood Steel Bandits playing the 2022 TUC Mayday Rally [on April 30!]. This song was originally arranged by Sarah and John in 2003 [after which I fiddled about with the incredibly intricate structure] for what turned out to be our experience on a float at Leeds Carnival. And we went down a blast. Coming Chapeltown Road for that last lap was simply the best - crowd response, the lot [sadly we have no videos as I was not at all smart phone savvy at that point]. we lapsed it fpor a few years and have been gradually recovering recovering as there are still loads of intricacies to navigate.
After the years that were 2020 and 21, when music centre classes ground so abruptly to a Covid halt, reappeared briefly, then faded away, that we have so successfully resurrected three of our four music centre bands. Here is a newish band made up of players who started learning either in East Steel [previous venues Parklands, Grangefield, City of Leeds, All Hallows, Swarthmore] or North Steel [venues Allerton CE, Horsforth School] and all now at Meanwood Community Centre. Present working name East North Steel. Two away, one in hiding. Enjoy Don't it make my Brown Eyes Blue. It's scrubbing up nicely.
This is Foxwood Steel Bandits playing outside Blayd's on February 4 2022 for Robert's Wake. We were me [Victoria], Georgia, Wanda, Vicky, Claudia, Bex, Natnat, Daisy, Mina, Amy, Charlotte and Gary. Duncan asked for upbeat, and we did: Pet Shops Boys, Abba, Prince Buster, Gloria Jones amongst the rest, and Mozart disco, and here Tchaikovsky calypso. We think we did Robert proud, He will be, well, he already is, very much missed.
4 September 2021. Foxwood Steel on Woodhouse Moor at a rally to welcome refugees. We Nah Going Home is one of Foxwood's staples, so we have to play it a lot. Which makes us quite good at it! lol! We were me [Victoria], Wanda, Mina, Daisy, Lola, Bex, Gary, Vicky, Natnat, Milly, Sophie. It was unusual and great to have so many band members.
7 August 2021: It should have been Unity Day on Woodhouse Moor, but the summertime student invasion [in which the students had nothing actually to study] caused Hyde Park to become the Covid Capital of the country. So a few Foxwood Steel played a few tunes in the frontgarden opposite the Moor in memory and celebration. Here's Gloria Jones classic.
This is from the Leeds ArtForms Music Service 2018 Schools Prom in Leeds Town Hall. It is Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows and City of Leeds Youth Orchestra linking Rocket Man and Star Wars. It is sadly missing its ending, but was a glorious thing to be part of, and so grateful to the parent who recorded it because I can [well we all can] relive the moment. Thanks to Ed Roberts for taking my I've-a-got-an-idea and turning it into a reality, and within three days. I am only sorry we didn't manage to include everyone.
Dead or Alive. Foxwood Steel, East Steel, Sparrows. Otley Carnival 2010. Heaven
Donna Brogan first gave us this lovely present of an arrangement and it was our favourite for years. This year, for for M4Y we [Millie, me and the band] rearranged it and it is our favourite again. But No Live Practice Lockdown will probably mean we will all forget where we are all over again.
A lovely sunny day in sunny Mirfield. East Steel playing a clip from that summer classic, Under the Boardwalk. And this tune has been played by Foxwood, East Steel and Sparrows since the late 1980s when Foxwood Steel Band was a school band. Every so often you have it to give it a rest, or it does your head in, but listening to this you can hear why we all keep it in our sets!
This is East Steel playing a summer gala/fair in Bilton near York. This is one of the first songs that Bex arranged for the band when she took over as leader in her own right. Lovely. Thanks to Bernie for filming.
Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows at Leeds Town Hall for the Leeds ArtForms Prom March 14 2018, playing California Girls with audience as extra percussion. It is an amateur video taken in an echoey hall but it's a great record of the achievement. Leaders are Victoria and Chris with support from Natalie, Millie and Jermaine; players are Alice, Annie, Ella, Claudia, Esme, Isha, Karam and Kirsten [from Allerton Grange, Gateways, LGS, Rounday and Royds.
This was our first gig for the Pop Up Culturama at the Bridge in Holmfirth. Damien did all he could to get us this lovely gig, but alas [or thankfully] he couldn't order the weather. We always carry our rain songs round with us - in case. and they are laminated [or if not they wouldn't last till the next rainy day].
This is Foxwood Steel in Sheffield. Having a laugh.
Foxwood Steel and Friends playing a bit of Bob at Savile Park for the "Fringe" at Leeds carnival. Thanks to the man who filmed and sent to us. when I remember his name I will say hi here.
We have played the Bridge Inn, Holmfirth a few times now, twice in lovely sun, once the pouringest of pouring rain. This is only a clip of the song, but it is good to get these audience reactions, and our own dancers.
In all the years of entering the Sparrows for Music For Youth we have carefully avoiding repeating anything, and at the beginning of every academic year we learn three or four new tunes. Of course, we now play the previous year's tunes better than we did the previous year, but there you go. They actually played Brown Eyes Blue really sweetly from the start, but sadly it hasn't stayed in the set.
Every summer and sometimes autumn half term Hyde Park Source put on a community event on the back of Belle Vue Road. As some us live really near, we always do it if we can. Here is Maya doing her 4 year old gymnastics. [You should see her now!]. This is one of our favourite type of events for steel pans - local, community, grass and trees, with some tall walls opposite and a hard path to amplify the sound.
In one week in August 2015 we were asked to play three big events in Leeds Town Centre. This is mostly Sparrows here with guests, one of whom we swept off further back on Briggate so that he could join us on a big stage, and so that we all, we pannists could hang out together. Is Heat is one of those songs that you should only play when you feel it. And it is one of Foxwood's and Sparrows' all time favourite tunes.
Is Heat again, this time Foxwood at Unity 2019, not a great acoustic but a great archive
This is Foxwood and East Steel playing Otley Carnival. Foxwood started playing Otley Carnival back in the late nineties, but they gave us such a big float that we needed to invite East Steel to join us. We started using two drum kits about ten years ago, partly to give Natalie a break, partly to give her some company. We have always been made so welcome here. A proper highlight.
Leeds [for where] Silver [for instrument colour and beauty] Steel [for strength and the material] Sparrows [for the inner-city] recording Come Beta [Trinidadian Marching tune by Andre Tanker]. Even rougher quality than ever, but think that Donna was making us laugh as she filmed us.
Foxwood Steel playing Mozart Symphony Number 40 [obviously not all of it!] at Burley Liberal Club in 2010. Rough and ready as ever but conveys the joy. Not sure what Charlotte is doing her hands [possibly not playing Bflat and F. Actually I heard it said that that we don't use Bflat - not really sure how that's a thing!]. [Actually it was the D and Gm bit]
Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows rehearsing She Loves You at Leeds Town March 2019.
One of Foxwood Steel's favourite events: Chapel Allerton Festival. It happens just as we are starting the new school year and the hot summer streets are getting dirty while the hot summer is fading. It is one last blast before autumn. We have played here about four or five times, leaving enough between gigs so that the audience doesn't realise that we are playing so many of the same tunes!
North Steel is the steelband that has emerged from North Leeds Music Centre. Here we are rocking Kylie and before we got our lovely hoodies and polos.
Foxwood Panyard bands forming the backbone of the mixed steelband playing the Hallelujah Chorus for Carnival Messiah joining up with players from the College of Music Steelband: Foxwood Steel [Victoria Charlotte [not on this clip] Bex Georgia Morgan Stewart Natalie Alicia Dave Katie Hayley [not on this clip]] *
Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows [Georgia Morgan, Tamanna Tanya and Sarah [not on this clip] *East Steel [Tamanna Bassem Sue]*
Pantazia [from Merlyn Rees High School] [ Tracy] * |For this 5 weeks run in 2002 we had a float of 24 players & for any one performance between 13 to 21 players, making each evening a one-off configuration. Thanks to Chris for the post.