The second hand marching band (4 stars)

Is This Music? @ 13th Note, Glasgow, Thu 15 Jan

The second hand marching band


With How To Swim, Broken Records and The Parsonage all going strong, Scottish bands with more personnel than a football squad are in vogue. The 22-piece SHMB – a collective featuring members of other local notables including Danananaykroyd, Eagleowl and Remember Remember – have their own take on the loadsofpeoplesinging thing: they’re a giant choir-come-orchestra, sans a specific frontperson (lead vocals are passed around throughout the set).

They launched their debut EP A Dance to Half Death here, on a surge of brass, glockenspiels, acoustic guitars, ukuleles, drums and quite possibly – hidden up the back – the kitchen sink. A communal, swaying magnificence – caught somewhere between the roughshod Balkan folk of Beirut and the mass instrumental oomph of Arcade Fire – it delivered a mighty strength and depth of emotional punch indeed.

Capturing SHMB’s spirit on record will surely be murder, but live they’re blossoming into something big and beautiful (definitely big, anyway).

The Second Hand Marching Band, Looking for Lola and The Geese

  • 4 stars

Eighteen-piece folk dance party. Fri 19 Aug: The first fifty people are promised a "special treat".


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