In every society there is a festival where the societal norms are put away for the day; Hadaka Matsuri in Japan, La Tomatina in Spain, the Wicker Man etc. We in Kilbarchan Pipe Band have for the last few years had to endure the antics of James the Hat at the Fancy Dress Cèilidh.
Once again the pirates of Clamjamfrie were on hand to guide and cajole band members and their guests through a rousing selection of Scottish country dances. The fancy dress nature of the thing can wholly be blamed on Tweedy who had a ‘wee idea’ a few years back and now that it’s grown arms and legs had failed to appear. I was looking slightly less than regal as I’d forgotten my crown and was sweating profusely into my Henry VIII costume while we played the opening few sets of pipe tunes. Some of the costumes were brilliant; Frankenstein’s monster and his bride, Mickey and Minnie, the Pink Panther and Clouseau and Elliot and ET were some of the stand outs. Have a look at them on the band Facebook page at the following link 2017 FANCY DRESS CEILIDH PHOTOS . The night itself was hugely entertaining once Joe’s pirate jokes were out of the way and there must have been a fair few footsore children next morning after dancing all night. The limping lame and walking wounded left about midnight but the eejits stayed on to have a wee post party drink, needless to say I found James the Hat on my settee next morning still in his French maids uniform. I’m sure the vision will stop haunting me some day.
The biggest shake up to the band in years has just been undertaken and we have decanted from our regular band room to the local school. The increase in playing members and subsequent rise in volume had pushed the sound in the Scout Hall past the dangerous decibel level and into the painful, even when I wasn’t playing. The school gym hall is taller and allows much greater scope for basketball. The tuition has been formalised and Pipey is watching and listening. New chanters have been fitted with new reeds and all the attendant groin strains and aneurysms that entails. I even seasoned my pipe bag and could be available to play at the lights ceremonies.
In keeping with the theme of change this closed season we moved our annual Christmas Fayre from the Guiding Centre to the Bowling Club, the reasons were many and varied but cost and access to a bar were main ones. There was great apprehension as the day dawned; were the posters in the right place, were we too far out of the way, would anyone come? I stole Wee Rubber’s pipes and joined the weans outside for a few tunes but as they sounded good and I didn’t I soon grew weary and went indoors for a heat. People began arriving in one and twos, then groups and gangs. At one point I thought we’d have to chase all band members sitting at tables so our visitors could get a coffee. Thanks to everyone who came along and bought home baking and raffle tickets, it was a pleasure to serve you.
The chilly season of Lights is up next, I missed Beith but hope to see you in Kilbarchan on the 4th.