Tartan Hero of the Month – April
Clann An Drumma
Clann An Drumma is a Scottish tribal band with a diverse age range amongst their members. Each member has their unique skillset that allows them to add to the quality of the band. They are for the most part Scottish born, with exceptions such as their member Dougie who was born in Singapore. In general, most of the band have been wearing some form of tartan and/or kilt from a young age, as they were in pipping bands in their younger years.
The band have commissioned their own tartan, The Clann An Drumma tartan. This is by far their favourite across the band. Individually, member Dougie also owns a Blackwatch kilt and a ward of the isles kilt, and Jamie owns a Clann An Drumma as well as a weathered Gun and a Culloden. Their ‘least favourite’ tartan would probably be the Anderson tartan. This is less of an aesthetic issue and more historical accuracy, as tartans initially were made with local resources, of which there would often be an overlap between regions, and thus a lot of tartans are similar at least in colours used. They would also blend in with the scenery, and the Anderson would be a poor choice of camouflage.
Upon meeting the band, it is clear how knowledgeable about Highland culture and history they are. They use this knowledge to inform not only their music, but how they perform at gigs and other events. Their way of dressing is not just a performative feature, they are historically accurate and provide talking and learning points. When you see them dressed for events, you may stop to wonder why their sporrans are off to the side as opposed to centred like you may have seen in wedding photos etc. The correct placement is actually to the side, as when performing a Highland charge it would be impractical for it to be in the middle of ones legs.
For the band, dressing in a Feileadh Mòr evokes a sense of pride. They don’t have a favourite element of kilt outfits or a favourite way to wear it, and prefer to dress historically to represent the culture where highland wear has evolved from. Considering that when dressing in a Feileadh Mòr they have to place and pin the pleats each time, they say it is a relief taking it off at the end of an event.
The band are of the belief that whilst at times problematic, the romanticising of Highland life is a vehicle for people to learn about the topic. TV shows such as Outlander are bringing the concept of Highland culture to the masses, and one can only hope they take a genuine enough interest to do further research.
The band enjoys music from artists such as Maggie Bell, Frankie Miller, Battlefiend band and wolfstone. Each member would choose slightly different dinner guests if given the option of 3 Scottish dinner guests, past or present. For band member Jamie, he would choose William Wallace, Alasdair Mac Colla and Rob Roy. Member Dougie would choose Robert the Bruce, Sir James Douglas and of course, William Wallace.