THE SECOND HAND MARCHING BAND, Scotland’s multi-multi-instrumental supergroup extravaganza.Freakin’ hell. It used be that when you had 22 people lined up together it was a football match. Now it’s called
Putting to one side their actual music (which is rather scrumptious), it’s how they manage to cope with the logistical nightmare of their existence that blows our minds. Getting this number of musicians fully rehearsed is hard enough, but fitting them all on a single stage for a gig is a whole other problem – it’s not as if they’re playing the SECC every week.
From what we can gather, co-founder Pete Liddle is the leader and his tremulous vocals give The Second Hand Marching Band a distinctive edge that ensures they’re not just another group with guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, triangles, accordions, trumpets, tenor horns, saxophones, trombones, glockenspiel, castanets, marching drums, melodicas, woodblocks, tambourines, bells, violins, flutes and clarinets.
Impressively, their A Dance To Half Death EP has been recorded with a healthy dose of restraint and never feels overwhelmed by the sheer weight of sounds. They’re certainly more Beirut than Polyphonic Spree.
Assuming you’re now suitably intrigued enough to want to see them in the flesh, The Second Hand Marching Band are taking part in Gimme Shelter 4, which sees the homeless charity bringing together a quality line-up of acts in Edinburgh and Glasgow including Broken Records and one-quarter of Frightened Rabbit (i.e. Scott Hutchison doing an acoustic set) – click on the posters for full details.