The season ended for us on the 19th of August in Rothesay and we embarked on the dark ‘closed season’ when souls are searched and decisions are taken that will shape the following year. Since then we have been busy on the rudiments of piping, drumming and partying.
Last year we talked the talk but failed to walk the walk and it showed in a particularly unsuccessful run of results in the competition circle, we parachuted in a lot of help from across the piping and drumming worlds and I personally thought it was the best we’d sounded in practice, but the setting of the drones and balance of the chanters is the starting point and we ruined performances with sloppy playing. We got a lot of advice last season but we never heeded it until too late. Pipey, his piping never in question, heeded the advice on bandsmanshipand and it’s good to see his growing confidence rubbing people up the wrong way as he imposes his vision on what has always been a very free-spirited and egalitarian band.
I wrote this a few years ago, “We await the day when the youth take the lead, become world champions and allow the geezers to stay in the bar.” This is not too far away; if the kids improve as much in the next year as they did in the last we are going to have a core of excellent competition winning musicians. The sad thing is that those entering their twilight years are having to work 3 times as hard if they want to be marching into the circle next season.
Speaking of twilight years; the pensioners who routinely play for the cruise ships have formed an activities group and are now out and about climbing hills and eating large lunches in restaurants.
At Kilbarchan Pipe Band no season is over until the BBQ finishes in a coma about 4am. This year we had the Scout Leaders cook for us while we mingled and chatted, all Italian style and laid back cosmopolitanism. Aye right! There was a bouncy castle and Harris gin, 2 people were taken home before 10pm (One wears a hat) and the mirth a fun went on into the wee hours of Sunday. The clean up was horrendous as we had to remove all the rubbish to the dump, I’m sure the odd stray can and party streamer still turns up in James the Hats car.
This year, like every other, Wee Mel invited a few of us to the Mòd but unlike every other year we said yes. We had a few pipers competing in the various events but no prizewinners, however we were going to the Mòd Last Night cèilidh with Trail West and Tide Lines providing the music. Clamjamfrie have a lot to live up to at our cèilidh on the 27th, they teuchters know how to party. The following morning after a huge fried breakfast and coffee we listened to the massed gaelic choirs but in our naive enthusiasm to get closer to the music we landed among the singers. The singing was sublime.
I’d like to welcome our new players and wish those who have left us all the best for the future. Next up is the Annual Fancy Dress Cèilidh.