Pipe bands are marching to a different drum

Nicholas Barker, the original drummer for metal band Cradle of Filth
Nicholas Barker, the original drummer for metal band Cradle of Filth

In 1689, after the KOSB was created to defend Edinburgh, Berwick was given the right to raise a militia “by beat of drum”.

Over 300 years later, and art and drums will collide in the town again with the premiere of Metal Militia, an exhibition and performance that will explore the artist S Mark Gubb’s interest in what he describes as “the ceremony and peripheral activity attached to conflict, music and the military”.

At the Gymnasium Gallery a sound and light installation will explore the wider historical discourse around the power of music by bringing together multiple drum samples from heavy metal music to create a powerful and immersive visual experience that is part-gig, part-fairground and part-horror film.

The artist traces his fascination with metal music to his cousin introducing him to Metallica when he was eight, and he “never looked back”.

This current work is in fact named after a Metallica song, from their debut album Kill ‘Em All.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a unique musical collaboration between five members of Berwick RBL Pipe Band and Eyemouth RBLS Pipe Band, together with and internationally renowned extreme metal drummer Nicholas Barker (formerly of Exodus, Testament and Cradle of Filth).

Barker’s style has been described as high speed double bass drum patterns and “blast beats”, which will contrast with the traditional pipe band sound. He counts John Bonham, Stewart Copeland and Phil Collins amongst his greatest influences.

This one-off live performance will be filmed and screened at a later date in the Gymnasium Gallery during the Metal Militia exhibition.

The performance takes lace on Friday June 6, from 7pm at the Maltings. It will last about 30 minutes.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance via the Maltings on 01289 330 999

The first 50 people through the door on the evening will receive a limited edition t-shirt featuring the Metal Militia logo designed by Christope ‘Lord of the Logos’ Szpajdel, leading designer of Black and Death Metal band logos.