On the radar: The Second Hand Marching Band

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In a world where big is best but supersize is better, it seems strange that few acts exceeding the token four-member blueprint ever make the grade.

Perhaps it's down to a lack of focal point, or maybe it's just that most voluptuously numbered acts are cut from the same threadbare cloth as I'm from Barcelona and Polyphonic Spree? Either way, it's difficult to think of many copiously membered bands who've achieved a success beyond freakish cult status.

The Second Hand Marching Band (TSHMB] may just change all that.

A fluid 22-piece ensemble made up of myriad groups from across the central belt (including Danananaykroyd, How to Swim and Q Without U), TSHMB's traversing folk shanties are a thrilling skewer of swaying, earthy orchestration and climatic post-rock played the only way possible: at booming decibels.

(Play 'A Dance to Half Death' by clicking the green button]

Accordion player Peter Liddle says of the band's purpose: "We're doing what we do because every country should have a ridiculously sized indie/folk ensemble that actually play instruments and have songs. We want to create the overwhelming feelings in post-rock music with folk instruments as well as make dancing songs."

They may be voluptuous in body but that doesn't stop TSHMB producing deeply affective laments dextrous enough to flutter the strings of the heart and scuff up soles on the dance floor in one fell, melodic swoop.

Blessed with an array of instrumentation and a diverse cross section of inspirations, TSHMB are innately aware of the vantage point their girth provides: "Our band is different because we can produce a sound that other bands can't," explains Pete. "We have different instruments and they can make a beautiful chorus that isn't possible on guitars."

As for the future? Well, it's all systems go according to Peter: "We want to make a few good recordings and we want our band to shape the scene here because, between us, our (20+] bands can share things a bit better and help each other with recordings."

• For more blogs on the best unsigned bands in Scotland, visit Under the Radar

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