Written by IainB
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Thursday, 26 July 2012

image for Tintwistle brass band get to perform the national anthems at the Olympics
Tintwistle Brass Band playing the Imperial March as they don't know the national anthem of Togo

Tintwistle Brass Band, from East Manchester, have been selected to play the national anthems for winning athletes during the Olympics. The band are the winners of the Brassed Off, the contest for Brass Bands held in the North West of England every June.

"This is a great honour," said Frank Ramsbottom, who has run Tintwistle Brass Band since 1964. "Currently, we only know the British National Anthem. But we are learning those other countries as fast as we can."

With eighty-four different nations taking part, Tintwistle Brass Band have their work cut out.

"Some of those anthems are a bit tricky," said Ramsbottom. "And we can't even find the anthem for Togo. It'll all be all right on the night though! We're going to play the Imperial March from Star Wars for Togo, we don't think anybody will notice."

Learning eighty-three national anthems in two weeks, including those that they cannot find, is not the biggest problem facing the group from Oldham.

"Those Olympic events are all over London," said Ramsbottom. "Have you tried lugging a tuba around? They're bloody heavy."

Additionally, Ramsbottom is unsure if the band's bus can use the Olympic Lanes in London to quickly get around.

"We're not in an official Olympic bus," he said. "We're in our 1974 Caravaggio Transporter. It's our bus, we need it to get our muse right. It does have a tendency to break down, and looks like something drawn by a five year old, but it's part of the band. We're only being paid a hundred and fifty quid for the Olympics, and if we get fined for using those lanes cos we need to get from the Velodrome to the main stadium in twenty minutes, then we're going to be seriously out of pocket."

The Olympic committee were going to use the lanes solely for the officials of the Oympics so that they don't have to put up with London traffic, and have denied the band access to the lanes.

"They can use the tube," said Seb Coe, who is in charge of coordinating all the vehicles.

"A tuba on a tube? Is the man mad?" asked Ramsbottom. "Well if there's nobody there to blast out the Star Spangled Banner at the end of the long jump, don't blame us!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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