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Basel drummers Keeping the beat in Edinburgh

Basel’s Top Secret Drum Corps draws crowds and praise at the 2015 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The Swiss city of Basel is famous for its version of “Fasnacht”, the annual carnival. Some 3,000 active drummers are linked to these celebrations and the various city guilds’ parades.

Drawing from this tradition, the Top Secret Drum Corps was formed in 1990 and has become one of the most sought-after groups of its kind. The drummers distinguish themselves from traditional military drumming routines with their upbeat and playful style. Their shows also include drumstick juggling and flag spinning.

Top Secret were first invited to The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2003, becoming one of the first non-military, non-British Commonwealth acts to perform in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The formation was then invited to Edinburgh four other times.

Top Secret’s energetic style has delighted crowds all over the world; nevertheless, all of its dedicated members have various day jobs.