Brass band's New Zealand haka dance rocks the boat

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By Michael MacLeod and Christine Lavelle

NEW ZEALAND’S army band leapt into action today as they practiced their Haka-style show ahead of the Edinburgh Tattoo.

The 28-piece band boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia for a rehearsal with a difference and literally rocked the boat.

Often downing their trumpets and horns, the band shouted and sang their way through a rugby-style chant before marching around the ship’s deck.

The band is set to be among the stars of the show at this summer’s 60th anniversary of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Major Leanne Smith, director of music for the New Zealand Army Band, said they can’t wait to perform in front of sold out crowds.

She said: “We are a brass band rather than a military band and we have been invited to Scotland three times now.

“We just keep coming back because the invitations keep coming.

“We’re based in Burnham Camp which is about half an hour south of Christchurch in the south island, and we travel all around New Zealand performing for the army.

“We have a busy schedule of rehearsals for the Tattoo, and our preview is on Thursday night this week before our big performance on Friday.

“We are all very excited about it, I think it is going to be a very good show this year and I hope the audience will enjoy it.

“There will be a mixture of dance, singing, and of course it’s got our own harker as well, which is always very well received.”

Formed in 1964, the New Zealand Army Band has earned international recognition as one of the most entertaining marching bands in the world.

Tattoo Chief Executive Euan Loudon, said: “It is fantastic that a wider audience is being given an opportunity to witness a flavour of this year’s special 60th birthday production.”

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