In their own inimitable style, they have drowned out rival supporters with their rousing rendiditons of Rule Britannia, the National Anthem and the theme from The Great Escape.
But with a quarter-final clash with Brazil looming (Thursday, June 20—11:30 p.m. PDT) the members of the official England supporters band face their sternest challenge yet—for whenever the Brazilians play, the stadium rolls with a chest-pounding, unrelenting samba beat.
“Their fans may have tambourines, drums and plenty of rhythm but we’ve got brass instruments and plenty of heart,” said bandleader and trumpet player John Hemmingham. “It will be a battle of the bands. We will rise to the challenge—and we will be louder.”
When England plays Brazil, the eight-strong band, which was formed in 1996, will unleash its secret weapon—a euphonium-driven samba version of The Great Escape.