The Germans have discovered the virtues of the British Military Tattoo. It is not quite like the Edinburgh Tattoo but it has the massed bands and the pipes and drums and it is quite capable of sending shivers down your spine.
Last night I took the family to watch the event for the second year running. The venue was a football arena which can be converted into a giant hall by moving the turf out into the forecourt and closing the roof. It is the same stadium where Arsenal played Schalke in the Champions League.
About 1,000 performers entertained what I estimated to be some 15,000 or more spectators for three hours. There was the brilliant performance of the marching band of the Royal British Legion Youth Band from Brentwood and the massed bands from Scotland and Ireland playing all the popular Highland tunes on their bagpipes. There were brass bands from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic and of course Germany.
The grand finale had all the bands march into the arena with Major Jason Griffiths as the overall musical director conducting the final ceremony. Star of the show was Sergeant Major Gary Chilton of “The Soldiers” who gave a brilliant rendition of “You raise me up”.
The show drew to an end with Elgar´s “Land of Hope and Glory” and culminated in a fireworks display with the British and German National Anthems being sung in the arena.
Have a look at a couple of videos taken at last year´s performance.