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A Slice of the British Isles - Live in Wrexham

October 12th 2021, 2:51 pm by Allan Longshadow

The Welsh garrison town of Wrexham hosted the British International Tattoo – In Concert on Saturday 2nd October and Calon FM was there to film this extraordinary event! Staged at Coleg Cambria’s new multi-million pound Hafod building. it was the first event to be staged in the building and given its success, it is a surety that it will not be the last. 

Entitled ‘A Slice of the British Isles,’ the concert showcased the music and dance of our four nations.

The Band and Drums of Cheshire Constabulary began with flare and panache, as they played some of the best known military marches and themes that have helped this island nation through many conflicts.

Behind the band were displayed images of wartime scenes from the First World War onwards. There was a part of the concert that gave time to reflect, as an image of poppies was shown with men and women from the armed forces, from all ages, being faded in and out. The song, ‘We are sailing,’ was played in tribute to remember the Falkland’s war, as it will be forty years next year since it commenced. 

In the second half of the concert, the audience were taken on a whistle-stop tour across the four nations of the United Kingdom. First to be represented was Scotland, where the highland dancer, Claire Harvey danced traditional highland dances with arms flung high, arched together, dancing to much loved highland tunes played by the British International Tattoo Pipes and Drums.

Representing our land of Wales was the much loved Rhos Male Voice Choir, who sang many of this nation’s rousing songs, such as the famous ‘Men of Harlech,’ taking the audience across the many hills and valleys of the beautiful country.  

Next up was Ireland, who were represented by the Emma School of Irish Dance. Everyone was toe tapping to the beat of that emerald isle in dramatic fashion. The dancers consisted of a number of young women, dressed in traditional Irish dresses, with emerald jewels around their necks. A young talented girl stole the hearts of the audience, and was the star of the show!

England was represented by the traditional Morris Dancers’, The Mersey Morris Men, who performed traditional dances from the southern part of England, waving handkerchiefs and each of them hitting sticks.

The international element of the concert transported the audience to China which was represented by the group, ‘China Spirit.’ Consisting of young people, they performed Kung fu and Tai Chi, including an elaborate Chinese Lion Dance, where two brightly coloured puppets in red’s and gold’s, interacted with audience, and flashed their eyes which was most impressive. Two young boys from the company began to tease the lions who were sleeping. Once they were roused, they gave the impression of gobbling up the two boys, only to be revealed at the end of the performance. This was hugely exciting exotic part of the concert, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. 

The grand finale consisted of a rousing patriotic tunes played by Band and Drums of Cheshire Constabulary such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory,’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ which made the proud beating hearts of the audience flutter, as they flew the union jacks in the air.

The concert was in aid of the ‘The Not the Forgotten,’ armed forces charity which had its centenary last year. A promotional film was run during the concert, promoting the good work the charity strives to achieve, improving the physical and mental health of its service men and women, through varied social activates, addressing isolation and loneliness, promoting sense of community and balance. 

It was refreshing for many, including the performers, to be at a live event with a live audience, after being restricted for so long due to the pandemic. It was safe to say that everyone went home singing those nostalgic songs that continue to endure to this day. 

Reporting by Luke Durnell.