© UK Ministry of Defence CROWN COPYRIGHT, 2023 

 

The world-famous Massed Bands of His Majesty’s Royal Marines played their spectacular annual showpiece at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday night for the 52nd year.

In front of a packed Royal Albert Hall, the Band – whose members are among the world’s finest military musicians – opened the show with the national anthem in honour of His Majesty the King, who is also Captain General of the Royal Marines.

The stunning night of pageantry celebrated the 360th anniversary of the Royal Marines, recognising 360 years of global deployments, battle honours and a valuable presence across the world.

Musician Issie Chadwick, first time performer at the Mountbatten Festival of Music, said: “This is my first time performing at the Royal Albert Hall, and although I’m not front and centre for my first song, I haven’t really done many solos before. This will be one of my first solos on one of the world’s biggest stages.”

A highlight from the evening was the collaboration between the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS) and Nicko McBrain, the drummer from legendary heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. Nicko played his own drum kit, named Legacy of Royals, alongside the Massed Band and Corps of Drums for the piece The Maiden Legacy, a medley of Iron Maiden’s most popular songs. His drumkit will now be sold at auction in order to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Grand Order of Water Rats Charity.

When asked about his collaboration with RMBS, Nicko said: “I was so stoked. It was suggested “would you like to do next years [Mountbatten Festival of Music]” and I went “of course I’d love to do it!”, what an honour, a great honour to be asked and to be involved.”

The evening saw the showcase of another performance, Invictus. This piece, centred around the Invictus Games, also featured a video of Team UK alongside other athletes, including four serving members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Amongst the athletes featured in the video is former Royal Marines Musician, Becky York.

Becky plays the clarinet and piano and joined the Royal Marines Band Service at just 18 years old. During her time with RMBS, she performed at many high-profile events including the Royal wedding of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, but was medically discharged in 2014 due to an injured hip. This piece is a tribute to the Invictus Games, Team UK and all the wounded, injured and unwell service personnel involved in the games.

Throughout the evening, the band performed pieces such as Top Gun and Commando Force, featuring the world-famous Corps of Drums, Saved from the Waves, a piece commemorating the 200th anniversary of the RNLI and Splashes of Tartan, featuring dancers and pipers from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performers.

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