THEY hadn’t met each other until late last year, they played their first tune together in December and only played their first gig in Stornoway just over a week ago, but there was no doubting the stars of the show in Glasgow on Saturday.

The magnificently attired Saor Alba pipes and drums provided inspiration to all of the estimated 100,000 who participated in the march and rally for independence in the city.

They led the way from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green without wavering, proving that the Yes movement now has leaders of a musical sort who cannot wait to play at numerous events lined up for the rest of the year. All Under One Banner had arranged for the band to be in the vanguard and what a rousing rendition they gave of numerous favourite Scottish tunes.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown, who spoke at the rally, gave the band a rave review, saying: “Great to meet the guys in a band that didn’t exist a few months ago, and sounded like a band that had been together for years.”

The National revealed the plan to form the band last year and a successful crowdfunding exercise raised £10,000 to equip the volunteer musicians with specially designed uniforms.

Co-founder and now officially elected band manager Jim Edwards said: We have had a phenomenal reaction since Saturday, with personal messages coming to all our members via social media. All the comments have been extremely positive

“Keith Brown came over to speak to us just as we were about to perform in front of the stage and he was extremely complimentary about what we have achieved in such a short time.

“We really appreciated the time he spent with us, especially as he was about to go on the stage and talk.

“The highlight for me was the moment we marched to the front of the waiting crowds and they just let out a roar that was quite unbelievable.

“What struck me also was the amount of people, standing on the pavements who had come out to see the march.

“There were people hanging out of their windows and on the balconies and it all helped to create the fantastic atmosphere.”

Edwards added: “I think it’s safe to say we are here to stay. Well see you in Galashiels on June 1. “

The band are now looking for sponsors and new members. On their Facebook page, Saor Alba said: “The band are in a position that we can add a few members to our line-up. If you play the bagpipes, snare or tenor drum, or would like to be one of our extremely hard-working assistants, please get in touch via PM. Sorry but we are unable to offer tuition at this time.”

The band’s website is on the way.