Over the last few years, Glossop has been moving to the beat of its own drum, shimmying along to Brazilian beats.
Lead by Laszlo Palko, the town’s community samba band, Ruído Grande, has been bringing a Latino flavour to carnivals, parties and celebrations around Glossopdale since 2001.
Conducting sessions from the Labour club every Wednesday, he’s responsible for the sounds of 20 amateur percussionists bopping and banging tamborims, surdos and agogos.
“It’s loud and it’s lively,” said musical director Laszlo, “And I think that’s why people love it.”
The Hungarian, who has been playing percussion since he was 11 and took over the ensemble in 2007, added: “People get a lot out of it, playing as a group, and it’s something fun to do and they get to play different instruments they wouldn’t have thought about playing before.”
Noisy, fast, exhilarating, unpretentious, the band even offer the use of earplugs as well as instruments.
This year, Ruído Grande, which is pronounced “hweedo granjy” and means big noise in Portuguese, have entertained crowds at Hadfield and Padfield’s heritage day in May, as well as charity events at the Prince of Wales pub and Clarendon Square shopping centre.
Explaining why the genre is so popular with beginners, the 45-year-old percussionist added: “It’s quite accessible. You don’t need experience. I’ve had quite a few youngsters play. One went off to uni and started her own samba band!”
Conceived by non-profit making organisation Glossopdale Community Samba, who promote the teaching and playing of the genre in the area, the band was formed thanks to lottery funding.
In May 2001, Arts Council England awarded the group £5,000 to set up a 30-piece band and find a “facilitator”, cue Simmondley’s answer to samba, Laszlo.
Traditionally, samba was the music of the young and disaffected, based on rhythms brought over by African slaves and performed on the back streets of Rio de Janeiro.
Its driving rhythms demand to be danced to, which is why earlier in May, the Glossop samba school started to offer fortnightly dance sessions, led by Sophia Best, alongside band rehearsals. Outrageous costumes optional.
More recently, the group have recruited a horns section, to compliment the patterns and breaks of the drums, bells and shakers.
“I’m getting people to play, and we’re having a good time. Performances are a lot of fun,” said Laszlo, of Meadow Rise.
New members are welcome. Sessions cost £4.50 and take place every Wednesday from 7pm to 9.30pm at Glossop Labour Club, on Chapel Street.
See www.glossopsambaband.co.uk for more information.