Royston Town Band is lucky enough to have a talented and dedicated core of players. Here’s a list of regular members but there are many friends and family of the band not named here who help out in times of need – a big thank you to all of them, we couldn’t do it without you!
Roger comes from a long established banding family, he joined the band in 1961 and his son Owen is the 4th generation of his family to play with Royston Town Band. Roger is the steady hand that makes sure our jobs are booked and organised, our players registered and everything runs smoothly!
Steve has been involved with brass music for over 25 years, having started playing the tuba and trombone at school. A graduate of Manchester University, where he had tuba lessons from Andrew Duncan, Steve has played with a number of Championship Section bands. He currently leads the bass section of Milton Keynes Brass and plays with the Leaside Brass Quintet.
As a conductor Steve has worked with many bands, notably East London Brass who gained promotion to the 2nd Section under his direction.
Steve is the author of the national best-seller, “100 Reasons Not To Kill It Before You Eat It,” and “How To Serve Man.” His recipes for Long-Pig are recognized all over the world.
Following the breakup of his multi-platinum selling 90’s boyband, Chris disappeared off the radar for many years. Chris was eventually discovered in 2011 surrounded by penguins somewhere in South Africa.
Whenever asked about those ‘missing years’, Chris becomes visibly withdrawn and starts to shake.
Chris has now been fully integrated back in to human society and plays principal cornet.
Young Mr Ball is another member who has had long associations with the band, first playing with us in the mid eighties. Andy can also be seen out with the Opus 17 Big Band and is famous for both his jazzy solos and jazzy shorts! You may be aware of Andy’s more famous father and sister Johnny and Zoë.
Andy, however, is rubbish at maths and hates FatBoy Slim.
Known as Four Flats to his friends, Freddie was the youngest member of the band when he joined, aged only 7 months.
Having played the cornet for virtually all his life it seems that Freddie has an ability to hit the right note every time! The band are looking forward to the time when Freddie starts hitting them in the right place.
Whenever something goes wrong the cry of ‘Freddie’ goes up (as it’s usually his fault). This happens so frequently that Freddie is now a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The eldest of the twelve Ball children, Rosemary is a keen inventor and uses her creative mind to solve problems and help her out when she gets in to difficulty during her international escapades.
A keen prankster, Rosemary enjoys playing practical jokes on people. Her most recent was getting Donald Trump to run for President.
Andy is a fairly new recruit to the band joining us on cornet over Christmas 2011.
When not out and about admirably saving lives with the Ambulance service, Andy takes part in the amateur wrestling scene where he performs under the stage name of Cardiac Nitro. Andy fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he was the 17th entrant in the 2012 Royal Rumble. Sadly he was out before the 18th entrant even appeared as he was distracted by a kitten and knocked out by Jerry “The King” Lawler.
Born in China to African parents, Christine’s journey to becoming a Royston Town Band player is quite remarkable. Whilst watching a carnival as a young child, Christine became lost and mixed up with a travelling minstrel band. By the time anyone noticed, the band was in Mongolia and so they adopted Christine as one of their own.
Christine travelled the world with the band for over 20 years until a tragic day when playing aboard the cruise line Titanic, the ship hit an iceberg and sank. Christine managed to cling on to a floating cello and spent the next 96 years adrift in the Atlantic Ocean surviving only on whelks and kippers until she washed up on Royston’s sandy shores.
Giles is a dedicated member of the band and is always the first at rehearsals. A fervent supporter of the band and vocal member of the committee. Giles most enjoys the Christmas period where he impersonates a horse in ‘Sleigh Ride’ and his annual routine of terrible jokes at the Golf Club.
Giles is perhaps the only cornet player never to have played a cornet, and often brings a different instrument to every rehearsal. This is usually a hybrid of two or more instruments that he rescued from a scrap dealer!
Giles really is an enthusiast for all things brass and rare. Like Sousaphone’s and Woolly Mammoth.
One of the younger members of the band, soprano Nigel has played with the biggest and the best bands around. Deciding he wanted to take his playing to the next level, Nigel joined Royston Town Band.
Brass enthusiast and BBC Radio 2 presenter Frank Renton once described Nigels playing as like “having velvet syrup poured into your ears whilst baby cherubs massage your temporal lobe.”
Whatever that means.
Nigel’s son Paul is one of the quieter and more reserved members of the band and is often encouraged to play a little louder. Paul also regularly plays with his own band ‘The Last Resort’.
A little known fact is that Paul is actually the ‘Go Compare’ man and was paid handsomely for his time. He still wears the moustache whenever the band are out at gigs!
Paul is deceptively small and has to sit on a chair on a box which enables him to just peep over the top of his stand.
Ken is an active member of the Town Band committee. Having originally started on the cornet, Ken briefly migrated to the Horn before returning to the cornet herd. Ken’s indecisiveness has since continued further and he now plays Euphonium.
When not playing with the band or chasing up planning details, Ken is often away with work travelling the globe.
You may have seen Ken in the 2010 hit film ‘Toy Story 3’.
Brian is the longest serving member of Royston Town Band having originally joined sometime in the early 18th century, and was recently made a life president for recognition of many years of achievement and dedication to the band – may there be many more Brian!
Brian claims to personally know all the great and good that have been in Royston through the years. Most notably Dick Turpin and King James I.
As a child, Anne once spent an entire month under some towels in a cupboard after a game of hide and seek went terribly wrong. Surviving only on lint and the occasional spider Anne was only discovered when the shelf she was on collapsed alerting her parents to her location. To this day Anne insists on being referred to as ‘Her Ladyship the Hide and Seek Champion of the World’.
‘Two Beers’ Lucy is one of the more senior members of RTB. She is a keen participant in Mixed Martial Arts and also very good at darts, regularly beating other members of the band when down the pub, even after several pints and a whisky!
Lucy is neither a Directoner or a Beleiber and hates their music. She much prefers techno and acid funk.
She is also terrified of pigs and once had to be rescued from a screening of Babe: Pig in the City.
Having played with the Band many years ago, Tony returned a few years ago along with Lucy to play cornet.
When he was last with the band in the mid-eighties, Tony was a true advocate of the New Romantic style of fashion and would often turn up to band practice in eye-liner and lipstick whilst sporting an elaborate quiff.
Tony has left those days behind now and is the inspiration for the TV and Film character ‘Ray Winstone’.
Ben is a relatively new member to the band and is a food connoisseur. Always visiting restaurants and sampling the latest delicacies, Ben is a huge fan of Nouvelle cuisine and gastronomic delights. However, Ben says, if given the option choosing his favourite food it would be grilled cheese and peanut butter on toast.
Ben is actually much older than he looks and not many people know he was Hergé’s inspiration for Tintin.
Infamous for his (now sadly retired) Christmas vocal solos and a strong liking for Guinness, Terry heads up the horn section and can be seen on the stage playing solos such as Misty.
When not playing with the band, Terry enjoys nothing more than relaxing at home in an affluent gated community in extreme north-west Baldock, surrounded by his loving family, an entire squadron of beautiful young French maids, and a Dachshund named Chip.
Sheila was first discovered playing saxophone for local swing band Opus 17. Having recently come to her senses and joined a real band Sheila has been impressing us all with her ability.
A heavy drinker in her youth, Sheila is now teetotal and an advocate of abstinence, when following a particularly heavy night she woke up married to Andy B.
Sam is a relatively new member to the band and really brings the muscle to our delicate horn section.
Sam is a teacher by trade but an actor by heart. Sadly her acting career never really got off the ground and you’ll struggle to find her IMDB page. She is perhaps best known for her role as Bungle in TV’s ‘Rainbow’ or as Stunt Ewok 2 in ‘Return of the Jedi’.
The other half of Samndave. Dave, or Rupert as he likes to be called, is a quintessential English gentleman. Whilst the rest of the band head off to the pub after rehearsal for a pint or two, Dave prefers to sit in the corner with a freshly brewed cup of tea, and a copy of the Telegraph.
Dave, Giles, and Tony form the band’s croquet team and have taken part in several local tournaments under the name ‘Rupert and Friends’.
Marian has recently downsized from percussion to join the horn section and also plays the piano in other local groups. Marian is a well travelled and well educated woman and can speak many different languages. These include English, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealandish, and Geordie
It’s a little known fact, but Marian is a huge Metallica fan and also the proud owner of the only vibrating bed in Anstey!
Roger joined the band in 1961 and has probably tried his hand at every instrument bar Trombone. He is currently the bands 1st Baritone player and when not undertaking his secretarial duties likes nothing more than a spot of gardening or going on long walks in the countryside with his wife Lyn.
In fact, Roger is often referred to as Royston’s very own Bear Grylls. He has however never slept inside a camel.
Not much is known about Amy, or how she came to be. Word is that she was first noticed when Steve had one of his quinquennial remarks for the 2nd Baritone. Roger was completely unaware of her exsitence but had still somehow managed to register her for contesting.
There are rumours that Amy was first discovered in York, presumably having arrived there with the Vikings, and brought to Royston Town Band by cornet Chris in a manner not dissimilar to the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Apparently Chris’s tights were particularly fetching.
Pictured here in his police mugshot, Mr Lamb was once part of the criminal gang ‘Lamb Pye’. Known for their high-profile raids on the pick and mix sections in the Woolworth, Lamb and Pye lived the high life gorging on Sugar mice and Flying saucers. They were only found out when Chris’ dog ‘Dogbert’ made a discovery in Pye’s back garden. Pye fled North and remains at large but Larry was caught and sentenced to 35 minutes of community service.
Adele has recently rejoined the band after being nagged by her daughter Lucy. Adele used to be in the band in the 80’s when she was a strong advocate of big hair – a style she still keeps up today.
Having gotten tired of chasing pavements, rolling in the deep and really struggled to set fire to the rain Adele has taken up many other hobbies. She describes herself as probably the best meat eater in the world and claims to have made a horse faint in Costa Rica.
The band are beginning to get tired of her response to any greeting of “Hello,………………………….it’s me”. It wasn’t funny the first time Adele.
A keen ornithologist, Mike is one of the most recent followers of the church of Royston Town Band.
Much of Mike’s childhood was spent behind the Iron Curtain. Not the Soviet part of Europe, but rather a unusual punishment device his parents used to discipline him. The days and weeks he spent there caused Mike to create imaginary friends, one of which (Bernard) he insists on bringing to every rehearsal. Many a time has Mike left rehearsal in floods of tears after Roger has accidentally sat on Bernard.
Charmian is the bands principal trombonist having been with the band for a while now.
Charmian loves taking on little projects for the band – be they fundraising, community or social activities. Be warned though, once she gets started on something there’s no stopping her!!
Charmian is the band’s Chairman and has taken her new role to heart. Having instigated a 5 year plan and issued all members with a little red book, we all look forward to seeing what further ideas she has!! In fact, there was something in the next committee agenda about a statue……
Mike’s calm exterior hides his tough, determined character. A descendant of David Livingstone, Mike discovered his true calling after he was sacked just weeks into a job as presenter on the BBC children’s programme ‘Playdays’. Mike had unfortunately been caught on camera making disparaging remarks about Whybird and was dismissed immediately.
Mike sought a more adventurous life and retraced his ancestors steps by decamping to the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania for six years. However it was not Henry Stanley who brought Mike back to these shores but Royston’s very own Giles who stumbled upon him whilst spending a few weeks embedded with a herd of wildebeest.
Archie is a lovable, red-headed 16-year-old. He is a typical small-town teenager. Generous, well-mannered, but clumsy, he is genuinely liked by many of his friends. Archie goes crazy when he sees an attractive girl. As the lead singer of ‘The Archies’, Archie performs with classmates Betty and Veronica, as well as his rival Reggie, and best buddy Jughead.
Most band members are unaware of Archie’s existence and are only conscious of him when Giles comments on how he was “all the rage in the ’40s” and “is a darn sight better than that Bat-shaped fellow dressed in lycra”
Katy is currently at Uni in Sheffield, but still comes down to play with the band when her busy schedule of drinking and sleeping allows.
She once confessed to initially trying out a Bass as her instrument of choice but, after deciding that four valves would be prove to be too difficult, opted for the Trombone.
Katy is usually up for anything and is regularly thinking of weird and wonderful ways to raise money for charity and in fact recently took part in Movember growing a magnificent handlebar moustache!
Graham has had a long and successful association with Royston Town Band as conductor, trombone player, brass repairer and well known and well respected member of the brass banding world. Graham’s two daughters both played in the band and having since moved away, still play with other bands on a regular basis.
On the odd occasion that Graham is in the country he plays 2nd Trombone. As long as he hasn’t forgotten his glasses.
A Baritone player originally, Owen deputised as a Bass player at a practice sometime in the early 2000’s and seems to have been there ever since!
He is the bands publicity officer and is responsible for the updating of the website. Whenever it needs updating Owen is kidnapped and locked by Charmian in her basement, with only a laptop and 3 tins of Whiskas® until it is done.
Owen currently resides in Liverpool having taken a wrong turn on the A1 and stubbornly stuck with it.
There used to be an amusing saying that Jonathan was probably the only member of the band who was actually smaller than his instrument. This is no longer the case. Jonathan has been on a growth spurt since some time in 2009 and is now officially recognised as the 3rd highest mountain in England.
Jonathan is a big fan of computer games especially Pokémon. Tragically, he once tried to create a Pikachu by electrocuting his sisters hamster.
He also hopes to someday have someone name a sandwich after him.
Sue and her family joined the band in 2006 as an already experienced musician and took up the Baritone. In 2016 when Owen ‘disappeared’ Sue saw this as an opportunity to keep an eye on Jonathan, and increase the annexation of the bass section by the family.
As well as being the mother of two of the band Sue is also the bands surrogate mother. You’ll often find her shooing people along and telling them to hurry up as well as arranging lots of their activities.
She also cleans up after Terry when he’s had an accident and blows his nose.
Chris plays Bb bass and likes to think of himself as the alpha male in the band.
He recently challenged all the other male members of the band to individual man-on-man naked wrestling matches. When no challengers were forthcoming Chris awarded himself the title of Royston Town Band’s Manliest Man and held an elaborate coronation.
However Chris was later forced to give up his self-awarded title when it was discovered that he also plays the flute.
Chris is the band’s librarian so if any music goes missing, it’s not his fault!
Andrew is the newest recruit to the band and completes the bass section playing B flat bass.
When not playing with the band, Andrew loves to get on his motorbike and go driving through the countryside often with his fellow members of the Hells Angels.
Unknown to most people, Andrew has a ‘My Little Pony’ drawing tattooed on his right arm because a) he’s a brony, and b) deep down he’s eight years old.