Fulham Brass Band received a request from BBC Radio 1 at short notice to supply a brass quintet for a somewhat undercover mission at the station. We were unaware at the time of the nature of the gig, except that we were to play live for about 1-2 minutes on air on Thursday September 6th…
Earlier in the day, Matt Pitt, the band manager, circulated the parts for Liberty Bell, so it was clear that the job wasn’t going to depart too far from standard brass band fare. The 5 players, Steve Carney, Clare Jenneson, Matt Pitt, Les Stewart and Paul van Uden, met up at the studios on Great Portland Street. It soon became clear that the purpose of this job was to disrupt one of the DJs while he was on air.
The players were briefed by Jen Grieves, the BBC assistant content producer and other production staff that we had been booked by Radio 1 DJ Greg James to enter the studio of new Radio 1XTRA DJ, Charlie Sloth and catch him by surprise. This apparently was the culmination of a number of disruptive pranks carried out during the week that had escalated with time. Greg figured that a live brass band on air would represent the ultimate in surprise forces. I think he was right.
On cue, we were rapidly ushered in to the studio, armed with our instruments of mass disruption, to play the first 90 seconds of Liberty Bell. Clearly the DJ and his guests were not expecting this and were thus numbed into silence. Fulham had clearly achieved their objective and received the honour (?) of becoming the official Greg James band.
On leaving we posed for photographs with our support act, Mr. Tinchey Stryder, who was a real gentleman and graciously gave his time to talk to us. I suspect that we haven’t converted him to brass band music, but you never know. Many thanks to him and the BBC for an interesting and fun gig and we hope that this will lead to other and bigger things in the future.