Two north Antrim accordion bands recently saw the result of over 18 months hard work and practice come to fruition when they took the Odyssey in Belfast by storm in the inaugural Belfast Tattoo.
Having been approached by the Tattoo organisers almost two years ago, both Dunloy and Vow accordion bands had spent the last 18 months rehearsing a programme of marching and music which had been carefully chosen and prepared by Tommy Clarke and Davy Mercer.
Both bands grabbed every spare moment from an already packed marching season to put the routine together and indeed readers may have seen and heard the massed accordion band either at some of the local parades or during some of their rehearsals at various venues around Ballymoney in the last few weeks.
Practices complete and under the bandmasterships of June Clyde and Mark McIntyre the musicians made their way to Belfast for the two performances. With Drum Majors Davy Mercer, Jimmy Campbell and James McDermott in front the 62 musicians marched and played their way around the packed arena in a performance which was regarded by many as the
best of the entire event and one which was met by a standing ovation from the 10,000 full house of spectators.
In a joint statement, Mark and June said: “We were delighted to have been asked to provide the accordion band element atthe inaugural Tattoo. It was definitely a lot of hard work and practise on top of already busy band schedules but we really wanted to show the music of north Antrim at its best in a forum which we felt could really help promote the entire marching band scene.”