TV director on Harrogate band's role in Grayson Perry: All Man

Artist Grayson Perry in the overcoat unveils his new tapestry inside Durham Catherdal before the filming with The Harrogate Band.
Artist Grayson Perry in the overcoat unveils his new tapestry inside Durham Catherdal before the filming with The Harrogate Band.
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If, amid the cafe fighters and the tragic story of a 30-year-old who committed suicide, you noticed a brass band in the last episode of Grayson Perry's new series on Channel 4, that was The Harrogate Band!

Now the show's BAFTA award-winning director and producer has been speaking to the Harrogate Advertiser about these talented musicians' appearance on national TV last week with one of the UK's most famous artists.

Neil Crombie of Swan Films said he has been very impressed byThe Harrogate Band's attitude, as well as their musical skills during the making of Grayson Perry: All Man in the last year.

He said: "I was really pleased with the way it turned out and really grateful to The Harrogate Band.

"The band just got on with it. They did a brilliant job. They got what Grayson was trying to do and did justice to the subject."

The final scenes of the opening episode showed The Harrogate Band leading a procession with the occasionally cross-dressing Perry through the middle of Durham Cathedral with a new tapestry on the mining community created by the artist himself.

Neil Crombie said: "When the band played Gresford in Durham Cathedral it was a very emotional moment. The music really resonated with the theme of Grayson's show. It was magical."

The Harrogate band itself featured twice in the Channel 4 show which was broadcast last Thursday and continues for two more episodes from tonight.

Neil also revealed the point of the series, the Turner Prize-winning Perry's third for Channel 4, was to explore the meaning of masculinity today by putting the artist in situations where he might not be comfortable, such as cage of fighting.

The nature of TV meant this usually meant finding more extreme situations rather than the norm.

Filming involving The Harrogate Band took place at Durham Miners Gala last summer and at Durham Cathedral two months ago.

The Harrogate Band's chairman and euphonium player Catherine Morland said it had been great fun working with such a famous artist.

“Grayson Perry was incredibly down to earth, respectful and a pleasure to work with. Marching through Durham Cathedral with Grayson’s artwork was an amazing experience, we loved it.”

“This was our 6th TV performance since 2011 and I can honestly say that the crew were lovely and really easy to work with.”

“Grayson Perry was really interested in the brass band movement and the arts scene in Harrogate we had plenty of really interesting conversations about folk art, culture and music.”

The programme's director explained how luck played its part in gaining The Harrogate Band their short starring role in the series.

Neil said: "We were filming with Grayson last summer at Durham Miners Gala and we just happened on the village of Trimdon. They very kindly invited Grayson to walk with them in the gala and that's how we met The Harrogate Band."

And Neil said it was a shame that more footage of the talented Harrogate musicians hadn't appeared in the actual show on Channel 4.

He said: "We loved the bit at last year's gala when the band played a brilliant version of Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 hit. We really wanted to include it but it wasn't right for the final cut."