Kilbarchan Pipe Band playing in the Grade 4B qualifier

World Championships 2016

The Worlds is upon us and Pipey wants us at Glasgow Green for 8am as we’re on early. I decide to drive as the Worlds is a local competition. Our trip to France has opened my eyes as to how much fundraising bands need to do to be here, but here they are and all ready to do battle.

Hazel Tenor and I  stood at the usual meeting point but there is no sight of a band, the bus is late. I hope the band from Stirling whose bus only picked up half of them made it down, Stirling taxis must have thought it was Christmas early.  I stood and watch our  band struggle over the Suspension Bridge with my eye on the clock and they all make it inside the gate at 7:59am. I was going to go tonto on the fines as well; curses, foiled again!

Two Event Shelters spring up, I then go round hammering the pegs in, one guy rope and wishful thinking isn’t going to tether them down in a light breeze. James the Hat gets us registered and soon it’s all very serious and about getting tuned. Just before we head to final tuning I get stood down along with the Prof and Emma Piper. Fortunately my problem is easily solved and the Prof gets taped but poor Emma’s chanter is cuffed and we are out of time, she should take comfort from not being involved in the omnishambles at final tuning. I don’t know about anyone else but I felt that everything that could go wrong had, so it was bound to go well in the circle.  No early ‘E’ and no trailing drones and the bit in the middle wasnae shabby. Now we wait.

I joined Derek and others watching the bands on after us, there are some good bands among them. This was going to be the year I listened to bands. I always seem to spend the Worlds in our Event Shelter drinking tea but this year I toured the site, watched the G2 qualifiers and visited the food village.What I noticed was that we seem to be the only band holding our hollow square until the end of the part, the G3 and G2 guys just march in and turn. Could we be missing a trick here?

Just before 1 o’clock a crowd began building beside Nelson’s Monument. The last band to qualify was Kil…

….marnock. This happens to us every year. We are gutted and the party band takes a wee while to get it’s groove on this year as we can all see the mountain we have to climb in the closed season. It used to be personal mistakes but now it’s concentration, tap flams and sloppy fingerwork. I spend the remainder of the day waving my wife goodbye and going from arena 2 to the beer tent to arena 3 to the beer tent to arena 1 to the beer tent and finally to watch the 4B final and the crush at the beer tent because the G1 guys are finally finished.  We are scheduled to be at the march past but who wants to stand and politely clap when you have nothing invested in the event but ashes. The RSPBA in their wisdom grant us leave to scarper and we pack up our 3 ring circus and head for the bus. There is a lack of singing but James the Hat invites me to the Glennie for that beer he owes me. I’m still working out how I ended up in there at midnight, I think Deep Pockets Knight had something to do with it. Chriss would like to thank the local constabulary for scooping him up in their cowcatcher and taking him home.

We are playing overseas for the next 2 weeks, Rothesay sur Clyde.

Cannae wait..

PS. Johnstone rule the Worlds, well done.


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