Cirque du Soleil, product endorsements, travel

Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2009 – a review

It was great.

The setting cannot be beat, outdoor on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Images are projected on the castle ramparts. Wonderful.

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Over 217,000 people see it each year. About half get rained upon, I reckon. Luckily it stayed dry for my show on the last night of 2009.

I loved the flyby salute by jets. And the fireworks.

This year the the Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps stole the show as they did, I assume, in 2003 and 2006.

I doubt you could find anyone who left the show unhappy. It’s more poignant right now because U.K. soldiers are dying in Afghanistan. Mothers and Grandmothers were protesting on the High Street during the festival.

All that said … in my opinion the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo was better. More variety. More humour. Better.

Edinburgh needs to hire a consultant from Cirque du Soleil. Their show easily be improved. … On the other hand, it’s been sold out for the past 10yrs.

3 thoughts on “Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2009 – a review”

  1. There are not now enough Scottish regiments and pipe bands to allow for the old massed pipe bands marching and countermarching across the castle esplanade to the skrill of their bagpipes and the beat of their drums. Nowadays the massed bands are made up of a few regular Scots soldiers supplemented by amateurs from assorted town, colleriery and works bands. Any lack of martial bearing being heavily disguised under the extravagant kilts and tartans and the loud skirling of the pipes. Still a magnificent spectacle.

    This year, as has been the recent tradition, there were many pipe bands from abroad. Canada is always a rich source of such heritage bagpipe bands. So too America. For the second time this year saw the ever popular Kansas State University bagpipe band return, in all their Scots glory. They performed a moving tribute to the late Michael Jackson, moon walking onto the esplanade to the skirling lament of “A whiter shade of Pale”. It should have been gross and crass but in fact it was quite moving, set as it was, against the pale grey floodlit walls of the castle.
    Also returning this year were macho displays of military fire power. Such displays have been played down over recent years, not quite politically correct, but this year they returned with a bang. The whole tattoo commenced with a fly past from a pair of jet fighters coming in low over the city from their RAF base up in the North East of Scotland. It continued with a realistically simulated Taliban ambush of a British military unit clad in their desert combats. There were heavy exchanges of gunfire and rocket propelled grenades. A soldier goes down and a great noisy Chinook Helicopter comes in to perform a medical evacuation. The gunfight continues with copious bangs, smoke and gunfire; another brit goes down, two more are killed by friendly fire from a passing American helicopter and the plumy announcer advises us that 21 civilians in the audience have been killed as a result of collateral damage. All in the posh seats! Pity it was only simulated.
    All great fun. Makes my Edinburgh holiday every year!

  2. There are not now enough Scottish regiments and pipe bands to allow for the old massed pipe bands marching and countermarching across the castle esplanade to the skrill of their bagpipes and the beat of their drums. Nowadays the massed bands are made up of a few regular Scots soldiers supplemented by amateurs from assorted town, colleriery and works bands. Any lack of martial bearing being heavily disguised under the extravagant kilts and tartans and the loud skirling of the pipes. Still a magnificent apectacle.

    This year, as has been the recent tradition, there were many pipe bands from abroad. Canada is always a rich source of such heritage bagpipe bands. So too America. For the second time this year saw the ever popular Kansas State University bagpipe band return, in all their Scots glory. They performed a moving tribute to the late Michael Jackson, moon walking onto the esplanade to the skirling lament of “A whiter shade of Pale”. It should have been hross and crass but in fact it was quite moving, set as it was, against the pale grey floodlit walls of the castle.
    Also returning this year were macho displays of military fire power. Such displays have been played down over recent years, not quite politically correct, but this year they returned with a bang. The whole tattoo commenced with a fly past from a pair of jet fighters coming in low over the city from their RAF base up in the North East of Scotland. It continued with a realistically simulated Taliban ambush of a British military unit clad in their desert combats. There were heavy exchanges of gunfire and rocket propelled grenades. A soldier goes down and a great noisy Chinook Helicopter comes in to perform a medical evacuation. The gunfight continues with copious bangs, smoke and gunfire; another brit goes down, two more are killed by friendly fire from a passing American helicopter and the plumy announcer adviwes us that 21 civilians in the audience have been killed as a result of collateral damage. All in the posh seats! Pity it was only simulated.
    All great fun. Makes my Edinburgh holiday every year!;

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