ARMAGH TRUE BLUES
We stopped on our way from Belfast to Armagh in Lisburn. KFC and Quincys proved the popular establishments for Grub, although as I write this report on Monday morning I'm told that Willie John Heaney is still sitting in Quincys waiting on his fish and chips.
The award for fastest man to clear his plate was hotly contested. Early favorite Sam the bus driver lived up to his billing with a sensational performance. Roger "The Boss" McAtee and George were engaged in a thrilling battle for 2nd place, but a late surge by outsider Gary "The Cameraman" McCutcheon saw him upset the form book with a dazzling clearance of the steak and ribs.
With Sam missing the trip to Scotland (Number 1 driver Alfie returns) Gary has been installed as the bookies favourite for the most grub consumed event in Glasgow this year.
Time then to head to Armagh and a water fight on the bus before eventually parading just after 9.00. A large selection of bands had made the trip, many coming from the earlier parade in Belfast or the Portadown mini 12th parade which was on the same evening.
Again, lots of good melody bands on display, along with ourselves was the Blackskull from Glasgow who we'd seen earlier in the day in Belfast. Also Fife Drum Shore Road, and Omagh Prod Boys.
Well done to the Armagh True Blues judge for hiding in the most unlikely part of the route. Luckily for us, we had just swapped our bass drummer and the multi talented Mr Heaney was giving us his rendition of High Over All.
The only difficulty for the rest of the band is that they spent the first half of the tune trying to get back into step after the double beats at the start of the intro. What a musician you are WJ.
Good crowds in and around the Mall as usual, crowd giving us a great reception, Craig proved he's human after all and dropped the mace. Just as well, if he hadn't dropped it we were never going to ask him back to lead the band again.
Two more awards took the tally of firsts for the weekend to 10 and 58 for the year so far. Best Colour Party again (They have been simply outstanding so far this year) and Best melody Band. So all in all a great weekend. Next stop is in County Armagh again on Friday 17th for Drumderg Young Loyalists parade before heading off to Glasgow on the following weekend.
PS, if anyone sees a fish supper please contact WJ Heaney, you'll find him lying smoking in a bunker during working hours most days at Kilkeel golf club.