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Results from DCUK Coventry - 9th July 2023



Not having been to a DCUK contest for a while, finding one almost in my back yard was an exciting prospect. On my journey the skies look ominously grey and in fact at one point it rained quite hard but by the time I arrived the clouds had cleared and the sun came out. 

The venue. Broadsheet Rugby Ground in Coventry, offered an ideal setting for the contest with a fantastic performing surface and plenty of rehearsal sites close by but far enough way to not be heard at the venue. When I arrived at about 11am (an hour before the contest started) the show hosts for the day, Beeches, were rehearsing on the contest field and with it being free entry to spectators it meant I could grab a seat nice and early and soak up the sun and the DC atmosphere.

The activity in the UK does seem to be struggling to recover from the devastation of COVID and I guess that explains that only 4 Corps were taking part today and from the look of things these are the only 4 Corps in DCUK. I did chat to a few of the people around me in the stand (which I was exceptionally pleased to see that, whilst not huge, was full of spectators) and it does seem to be the competitive side of the activity hardest hit - as having researched this upon returning home after the event - lots of other bands and Corps are still in existence but just not competing and so it might be a few years before we see a major resurgence in competing groups and in the meantime hopefully Drum Corps UK (and British Youth Band Association) can entice enough units to continue to see competition as a viable medium for performance opportunities.

Anyway having said all that – all four competing units thoroughly entertained me and my take on each Corps, as someone that used to march but has never instructed so doesn’t feel I am able to comment on the fineries of each show, is:

Liberty (4th Place – 51.50). They are small in numbers and also appearing to have the youngest membership today, Liberty’s show was exceptionally enjoyable and based around a Pocket Watch featuring 5 clock backdrops/pieces of scenery. Instantly recognizable music especially the pieces from Coldplay made this a very satisfying performance to watch

Revolution (2nd Place – 59.00). Revolutions show is entitled Level Up. Another really enjoyable show and whilst it was only after checking Facebook after the show that I realized it was about a video game this lack of knowledge did not cause me any issues at the time as really enjoyed the performance and loved the little chap giving it large on the “guitar”. Special mention to the Drum Major who did a great job in her singing solo.

Beeches (1st Place – 69.05). There was quite a difference between Beeches and the other 3 units today so was not surprised at the reasonably large gap in points when the results were announced. The show is called Hunger Games and each section is themed around different “groups” in the film series and a large Capitol backdrop/stair unit forced home the theme really well. Beeches were also far the largest Corps on the day

East Coast Elite (3rd Place – 58.50). Another reasonably small unit but obviously they train their members well as the quality of performance did not get effected by this. East Coast are performing a show featuring the board game Cluedo and with useful narrative playing before each section made it nice and easy to read and understand their concept. 

After a short lunch break 3 of the 4 Corps competed again in a BYBA contest at the same venue with a couple of other editions. I was only asked to write a report on the DCUK show but worth mentioning that all performances in this part of the day were equally entertaining and the whole day was well worth the £5 I spent on the 50/50 raffle tickets.

The one thing this has persuaded me to do is attend the only other DCUK show this year, before their Finals. This is being held in Hinckley on Sunday 10th September and whilst it’s a bit further for me to travel I’m excited to see how each of these show now progress and hope that others will join me in attending the show and support the activity.

Thank you Beeches and DCUK for a very entertaining afternoon and look forward to seeing you all in September.

Report by Bernard T-GP



10th July 2023



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