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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 October 2007, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Brothers' battle of brass bands
[L-R] Nick and Bob Childs
Nick [L] Childs leads the Black Dyke Band, and Bob heads the Cory
A battle of the bands also featured the battle of two Welsh brothers at a major music competition.

Bob Childs and his younger sibling Nick went head-to-head at the Brass Band National Championships on Saturday with each conducting separate ensembles.

Bob's Rhondda-based Cory Band was third at the competition in London's Royal Albert Hall, pipping Nick's Black Dyke Band, from Yorkshire, into fourth.

The Cory Band are to release an album after signing a deal with EMI Classics.

The winning band at Saturday's competition was Grimethorpe Colliery, from Yorkshire, who found wider fame in the film Brassed Off, and second were as Lancashire's Fodens Richardson.


But Bob said he and his brother are pleased with their bands' results, describing the competition as "the elite division" of the UK's brass ensembles.

"Nick is feeling good. We're pleased we both did well," said Bob.

He made me even better because I knew even more, because he told me more
Nick Childs on the friendly rivalry

"He would have liked to have won, the same as I would have liked to have won.

"But you have to be philosophical - someone has to win and music is subjective."

He said the adjudicators told the bands that the top six were all of a high quality and the result was down to personal taste.

Two other Welsh bands also made the top 10: the Bedwas, Trethomas & Machen Band were seventh, and the Tredegar Town Band came eighth.

On Monday the Cory will release their album, This Land of Ours, a collaboration with acclaimed conductor Karl Jenkins.

"Karl's other classical albums have gone to number one, so we're hoping to do the same," added Bob.

The brothers, who followed their father's footsteps by playing the euphonium, said that after seven years of leading different bands, they were used to competing against each other.

"It's only ever been a friendly rivalry," said Bob, 50, the elder by five years.

Members of the Cory Band
The Cory Band are hoping their new album will be a Christmas hit

"Nick's not only my younger brother - he's always been my best friend."

Adding to the sibling rivalry, Bob used to be a member of Yorkshire's Black Dyke, until he was head-hunted to return to Wales to take charge of the Cory Band - while Nick took over his old band.


However, Nick said his older brother had always been more of a help than a hindrance in his musical career.

"He [Bob] was lucky that he always got this great tuition from my father and then, of course, when he went to the north of England he got some other tuition.

"But of course he kept on passing that back on to me, which was always great as a brother," he said.

"He made me even better because I knew even more, because he told me more."

The battle of the brothers' bands appears to be a film script waiting to happen, and already the BBC has commissioned a documentary on the Cory.

It will document their journey from Treorchy, through their deal with EMI, culminating in the "brass off" at the at the Royal Albert Hall, followed by the release of their album.

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