100 Weeks of Scotland: Edinburgh Military Tattoo

100 Weeks of Scotland takes in the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Tattoo. Pictures: Alan McCredie

100 Weeks of Scotland takes in the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Tattoo. Pictures: Alan McCredie


DO New Yorkers go to the top of the Empire State Building? Do Parisians climb the Eiffel Tower? Do the natives of Edinburgh go to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo? I have no idea, but I thought I would.

Week 95

I did a quick, utterly unscientific, poll of my friends and only about 10 per cent had been. Actually it was exactly 10 per cent as I only asked ten people, and nine had shaken their heads. Although, each of them said they quite fancied it one day - which is what I reckon most Parisians and New Yorkers say too.

I had seen the comic Omid Djalili earlier in the week talk about his first visit to Edinburgh, and a trip to the Tattoo, when he was about 5 years old and how he assumed for years he had gone in November as it seemed so cold. Nothing has changed. Despite being mid-August it was bitterly cold.

As you would expect, before the show began, everything was carried out with military precision. The crowd were expertly guided to their seats, and soon all was ready. As I looked around my from my vantage point it felt like I was at an incredibly posh football game. Or a rugby match.

The massed band, and the military formation, is not really my thing but it would be almost impossible not to be impressed by the grandeur of it all. The castle has got to be one of the finest backdrops to any event, anywhere on the planet. It is all too easy, living in Edinburgh, to take it for granted but to see it tonight, dressed in all its finery, was a wonderful sight.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the Tattoo and to be honest wasn’t entirely sure I would enjoy it. However it would take the hardest of hearts not to be completely won over by the sight and incredible sound of hundreds of pipers and others musicians playing the theme from Local Hero. It will be a long time before I forget it. I am now part of the one in ten.

• Alan McCredie began the ‘100 weeks of Scotland’ website in October 2012, and it will conclude in Autumn 2014. McCredie’s goal is to chronicle two years of Scottish life in the run-up to the independence referendum.

Alan says ‘one hundred weeks...’ is intended to show all sides of the country over the next two years. On the site, he says: “Whatever the result of the vote Scotland will be a different country afterward. These images will show a snapshot of the country in the run up to the referendum.

“The photos will be of all aspects of Scottish culture - politics, art, social issues, sport and anything else that catches the eye.”

Follow the project at 100weeksofscotland.com. You can also follow Alan on Twitter @alanmccredie.




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