Hang on...weren't you drooling over that Courtois trumpet on Ebay just a couple of weeks ago?
I've never played an Aquae Svlis but I believe they are pretty good and I trust Brian's judgement.
For those who don't know anything about Kinneil: It was a coal mine near the Firth of Forth, with some of the narrowest coal faces in mining history. At some points, the coal thickness is just around 25 inches, and they were not wasting labour to enlarge the room for the miners. They were working twelve-hour shifts in unbelievably cramped positions, lying flat on their bellies and hewing the coal sideways because there was no room to wield tools any other way. Every man on the face had a mate called a "puller" whose task it was to get him out after four hours or so, then they changed positions, always with the wooden props crackling around them and showing the rock (which is not very stable at Kinneil!) was steadily pushing downwards... After twelve hour shifts they met and played in their band. And under these conditions they made the mine profitable, until Margaret Thatcher's government decided that coal mining (and the resultant unions) were a thing of the past. Most of the miners were just flung onto the streets and were unemployed with woefully inadequate benefits (watch "Brassed Off", which shows what went on in England; in Scotland, conditions were not quite as rosy. Many Kinneil players who had saved for years to buy their own instruments had to pawn or sell them; the bandhall fell into disrepair and the band was in danger of dissolution. Yet they managed to keep the band going, reorganize life in Bo'ness (where the band is located). And Philip McCann, with this kind of background, not only managed to become an internationally renowned cornet soloist, but a conductor with a University professorship... I think he has every right to the respect he is demanding. If you get to know him closer, he is a fabulous guy, always returning for his native band's annual concerts and supporting them in every way... thanks, Phil!
Barliman, while this is not the place for politics. Harold Wilson closed more Pits than Margaret Thatcher did!
"88.2% of Statistics are made up on the spot" - Vic Reeves
I don't know Phillip McCann beyond what I have heard of his music, and the odd story here and there I have heard about him. He is an excellent player, although not always to my taste.
Oh, and I was in 'Brassed Off'. My (literally) 5 seconds of fame!