British Spirits

With this being a local event we don’t arrive in a bus all eager and enthusiastic, we arrive in dribs and drabs, cars parked hither and yon and instruments jammed into bummed lifts. We weren’t playing until 4pm as there were no qualifiers, this has two effects;
          1.  Long lie, saunter in, relax
          2. The party band kept on a short leash until after the march past.

James the Hat and myself wandered in about eleven and watched the Novice Juvenile B competition, the usual suspects were there being superb and then Garnock Valley schools marched in. Now I’d
never heard of them and there’s some work needed but they were playing at the British Championships which is more than I was and it takes some guts to do that. I’ll be keeping an eye on their progress, especially if they turn up at Ardrossan in our grade. Well done Garnock.

I abandoned The Hat just after twelve as my shoes were soaked and I was damp and cold. I must point out that he was resplendent in band uniform while I looked like a tattiebogle in daft hat, shorts and inappropriate footwear. The plan was to go and do stuff (none of your business) and be back in time to watch our performance. On the way to the car I spotted a mum struggling along with a drum case and being ‘a gentleman’ I offered to carry it; drum manufacturers need to have a good hard look at themselves. A bit less lead and cast iron in the fabrication please. I carried it about ten metres and realised I’d made a mistake, another twenty and my shoulders were popping and my back twanging and it was a wee tiny weans drum. Sakes!

Later, after I’d done stuff, Hazel Tenor and myself headed in to support the guys. I trundled the Hat’s drum into the park (never again) and we arrived just as they left Final Tuning. Pipey is going to have to start fining people for coming out of Final Tuning like the penguin’s parade at Edinburgh Zoo. The guys marched into the arena respectably and my nerves twitched but I was worrying needlessly as what I heard sounded excellent. Pipey was beaming as they marched off. I watched a few other bands but James the Hat, smelling strongly of peppermints, dragged me off to the beer tent for my one beer of the day.

It was good to see old friends and catch up but as the first smattering of raindrops arrived I departed and left the Event Shelters dismantling to more committed members. I spent a very pleasant evening listening to rock bands and anyone who was at the Academy and heard a huge whoop in the middle of Vukovi’s set, that was me hearing we’d been placed fifth. Fifth at the British Championships, we’d qualified for the finals before where I tripped over a tussock and played my infamous early B but we’d never been placed. The party I found in full swing when I returned to band HQ was full of really happy pipers and drummers and one chuffed Pipey, a gin tasting next door may have helped the celebrations along.

It’s taken so long to get this report done that the guys who went to Islay have returned. A four day stint playing at distilleries, we’ll have to hang James the Hat by his feet and let him drip so he’s ready for Lilias Day. Yes, the great day is upon us when we lead the parade and put our newest players through paroxysms of anxiety.

Cannae wait..

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