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Spectacular Belfast Tattoo in tribute to Somme fallen [Photos]

By David Young

The stirring skirl of the pipes set feet tapping last night as the Belfast Tattoo got under way at the city's SSE Arena.

Thousands of fans from near and far packed the venue to enjoy the colourful sight of the bands, precision marching and the style and grace of Highland and Irish dancers.

A century on from the Battle of the Somme, the 2016 Tattoo marks and pays tribute to all of those men and boys who selflessly gave their lives.

Now established as an annual event, this year's Tattoo has brought 600 performers, local and international, to the city.

This is the fourth year of the spectacular attraction supported by the Belfast Telegraph, and the three-day programme showcases some of the finest marching bands, musicians, and dancers from across Northern Ireland, the Republic and the Netherlands.

Last night's show reached its peak with the grand finale, when the massed pipes and drums joined together to play a rousing version of It's Long Way To Tipperary - the song of many soldiers as they marched to war 100 years ago.

It closed with Ulster piper Derek Boyce playing the specially written Lament For the Somme, bringing a final sombre and reflective note to an evening filled with sound and spectacle.

Combined Coldstream and Irish Guards
The Belfast Tattoo takes place at the SSE Arena in Belfast , Northern Ireland on September 1st 2016 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Combined Coldstream and Irish Guards The Belfast Tattoo takes place at the SSE Arena in Belfast , Northern Ireland on September 1st 2016 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Liberation
The Belfast Tattoo takes place at the SSE Arena in Belfast , Northern Ireland on September 1st 2016 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Liberation The Belfast Tattoo takes place at the SSE Arena in Belfast , Northern Ireland on September 1st 2016 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )

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