Marching Metal

Musicians from Marching Bands in Northern Ireland and Heavy Rock musicians were doubled booked into a Belfast Music recording session in Start Together Recording Studios Belfast. As a result of this clash of egos fueled by sherbit dip, orange cordial excess and musical similarities which left everyone dazed and confused a band has formed called “Marching Metal”.

Make Music Day 21st June Marching Metal released their first single, an interpretation of "The Star of the County Down"

"The Star of the County Down" (Music Video)

Video on facebook

The Making Of Video

A Beyond Skin project production for Make Music Day

Glenn Millar - Flute & side drum
Davy Bates - Drums
Gordon Ramsey - Flute
Kacper Lewandowski - Guitars

Audio recorded at Start Together Studios (Niall Doran)
Mixed by Kacper Lewandowski
Video produced by Matthew Killen

Supported by Belfast Music (Belfast City Council), Arts Council Northern Ireland, Make Music Day UK

The Band

Gordon Ramsey

Flautist with Shankill Road Defenders, author and tutor at Queen's University Belfast School of History & Anthropology.

Glenn Millar

Musician/Composer, Flautist with Pride of the Raven and Ballymacarrett Defenders Flute Band. Author (Made to Parade), Restorative Training Coordinator at  Alternatives Restorative Justice.

Kacper Lewandowsk

Musician, Composer, Producer and Recording Engineer, Beyond Skin Youth4Peace Ambassador. Senior Audio Technician / Audio Engineer at Belfast Met

Davy Bates

Drummer previously with Sweet Savage, Stormzone, The Roosters. Drum Teacher and Workshop Facilitator. 

Flute or Fife (that is the question)

A fife has a straight bore, is usually made of local wood (traditionally boxwood, now more often oak as there is no more box in Ireland) by local craftsmen, and has no keys, meaning it can only easily play traditional tunes. It was the product of a local economy.

A simple-system flute, such as the B-flat flutes we were playing, has a conical bore (requiring precision machining in a factory), is usually made of exotic wood (African blackwood in this case, or now sometimes plastic) and is usually equipped with keys enabling a wider range of music to be played, including military marches, popular songs and classical music. It was a product of a global economy. The British Army replaced fifes with B-flat flutes in 1887 and Flute Bands started to replace Fifes & Lambegs in parades in Ireland about the same time.

Incidentally, the marching band flute is technically identical to the flute played in Irish traditional music (the German flute as it was called when introduced to Ireland in the 19th century). Both are simple-system flutes but the trad flute is longer because it is keyed in Low D whereas the marching band flute is keyed in high B-flat.  The German flute was the standard orchestral flute until replaced by Boehm-system flutes (using a straight bore and much more complex key mechanisms) in the later 19th century. When orchestras abandoned simple-system flutes, lots of them were sold off cheap and snapped up by traditional musicians, which is how the German Flute became the Irish Flute. - Gordion Ramsey