The Secondhand Marching Band

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 2010

What a grand finale for our Scotland filming trip! The Second Hand Marching Band gathers at the Gallery of Modern Art in the city centre of Glasgow to blow our minds. However, it sometimes needs a little hint to discover a local phenomenon like the outstanding 20-piece collective (most of them present at the session), when you are visiting new places. So thanks to Gordon McIntyre from Ballboy we found out about the “ensemble madness” (as written on their homepage) and could meet the nice people behind it on the very last night of our stay in Scotland. It’s not just the sheer amount of people taking part in this musical project, but also the massive sound that they produce, what makes some young boys stop doing tricks on their bikes and moreover leave a reverberant impression on passers-by. For the furious “A Hurricane, A Thunderstorm”, The Second Hand Marching Band stands circle-wise at the entrance of the museum and easily drown the traffic noise nearby (except the roaring of a motorbike). For the captivating “Don’t!”, the musicians prove to be a marching band in its true sense and master to walk around the enlightened Royal Exchange Square while performing.

Michael Luger
Sound Recording
Sarah Brugner
Post production
Sarah Brugner

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

Report of West of Scotland Handloom Weavers’ Commission, 1839: «I have seen human degradation in some of its worst phases, both in England and abroad, but I can advisedly say that I did not believe until I visited the wynds of Glasgow that so large and amount of filth, crime, misery and disease existed in one spot in any civilized country.” Many things have changed for the good since then, but still Glasgow has a way rougher image than the picturesque and wealthy Edinburgh or the lovely fisher men’s Anstruther. The edginess comes from a working men and football culture, tensions from sports and religion, less historic flair (yet Glasgow has an impressive art nouveau-heritage with traces from Charles Rennie Mackintosh everywhere), less wealth and less tourists. But the city that is not so much bigger (considering the amounts of inhabitants) than the Scottish capital feels much more alive. Especially for music lovers, people who want to go out clubbing and anyone who is more into pop(ular) culture than high culture – this is the right place. There are always shows on in this vibrant city with its numerous venues and with some of the greatest indie bands (that hardly ever come to Austria) playing there. Only during the one week we’ve spent there, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Vampire Weekend and Spoon a.o. were favouring the live music capital that is said to have one of the, if not the most outgoing audience in UK. Unsurprisingly it was then, that we have met – besides the many Scottish bands – two international acts for filming. Despite or because of some overall roughness, Glaswegians (not the rowdy ones!) are noticeable frank and cordial. At this point we want to thank the friendly music bloggers Jason from The Popcop and Kowalskiy for catching up with us, the helpful couchsurfer Neil for hosting us and all the fun and cooperative local bands that were jumping on our short notice call. The filming with The Second Hand Marching Band took place outside the Gallery of Modern Art – in short GoMA – that is housed in a neo-classical building at Royal Exchange Square in the heart of the city centre.