Tartan Hero of the Month – November


You may have had the privilege of watching these musicians perform live from the likes of Buchanan Street, but did you know members were originally part of the stunt crew for Braveheart, teaching the auld scots way of combat?

In 1997 member Tu-Bardh Wilson joined the Wallace Clan Stunt Crew and their display fight team, attending corporate events and demonstrating how Highlanders would fight in battle. That same year, they were involved in the Shahallion, the first ever event to be held in the new Clyde Auditorium, also known as the Armadillo. After participating in that gig, the members became interested in doing music, which eventually became tribal pipes and tribal drums. And so the Wallace Clan band was formed, also known as the Braveheart Crew and they were the originals who started this type of tribal Scottish music.

In 2000, Tu-Bardh moved on from the Wallace Clan with another drummer, and they co founded the original Clann An Drumma band. Their first gig was in Dornoch, where Madonna and Guy Ritchie were married. Tu-bardh states the band was asked to play, and when they came out of the cathedral after Madonna and Ritchie’s son Rocco was christened, an audience of 26 million seen them perform and then they went on to tour America. This moment propelled their career and they have also performed in Seoul, South Korea, Russia, Red Square in Moscow and also St Petersburg. They have also appeared all over Europe and in 2002 they recorded a song which was used in the Mel Gibson and Randall Wallace’s film We Were Soldiers. The band toured America until 2005, then the band broke up and Tu-Bardh went on a sabbatical until 2007, which was the year he formed Clanadonia. 

In regards to highland wear, 65 year old Tu-Bardh has been wearing tartans for 25 years. The band wear their own Clanadonia tartan they have had woven and this is what you see when they are wearing a Feileadh Mòr. Tu-bardh loves that the colours make it so it would be well suited for camouflage, which was the original intent with tartans as they were made from the materials from the surrounding area, which is also why many tartans have similar colours. Outside their own tartan, Tu-Bardh also is fond of the Wallace Clan tartan.

For Tu-Bardh, dressing in a Feileadh Mòr is about accurate representation of how Highland warriors would have dressed. It is no easy feat dressing in a great kilt, as it is all once piece of cloth approx. 4-5 metres that you hand-make pleats out of and wrap together. Tu-Bardh is of the belief that kilts and tartan becoming more common in fashion is good not only for all kinds of tartan sales, but it can certainly boost tourism for Scotland.

Tu-Bardh has been a part of the industry for over two decades, and in many ways has become a legend especially within the tribal band industry. Himself and the band have toured all across the globe and yet they are still very rooted in their Scottish Heritage. This link to home is seen again in their love of Scottish History and representing it accurately through their way of dressing, and also seen in the fact that many of the members are family men such as Tu-Bardh himself, who on top of enjoying spending time with his family enjoys listening to his favourite Scottish artist, The Silencers.

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