Civic Dancing

2022 was a good year for the band, twenty years since a conversation in a pub spawned the idea of resurrecting a village pipe band and a run of fantastic results in competition that resulted in being crowned 2022 Champion of Champions in Grade 4B and subsequent elevation to Grade 4A.

It seemed only fitting to mark the achievement with something we are not averse to attending, a party. But whispers were abroad about it being quite a special party and the full nature of the beast became apparent when Mickey Blue Eyes emailed to say we were being hosted at a Civic Reception by Renfrewshire Council in the Donald Malcolm Heritage Centre.

Plaudits are due the various committees and persons who turned our practice space into a reception room and thanks to our favourite céilidh band, Clamjamfrie, for bringing the music. The room was a tastefully dressed truck lover’s paradise with set tables flanked by the wonderful collection of vintage trucks.

As we entered the venue, me apologising profusely to the Blaird for forgetting my money to pay the taxi, a young man handed me a glass of bubbly and the night began. Some of our younger pipers and drummers were playing for arriving guests and band members and there guests look resplendent in suits and party frock. Less said about Big G the better. Once again I was left wondering where all the scrawny boys and wee skinny lassies had gone as the room was full of elegant young men and women.

The formal part of the evening began with an address by the Provost congratulating the band for our successes and for our continued community work. Thank you for your kind words. Then a presentation to band members for their hard work, a quaich, this was news to me and a sign I need to keep an closer eye on this committee. In proper fashion Pipey aeroplaned in to collect his. James the Hat and I duly filled them with whisky and began sharing the Friendship Cup.

Formalities completed the buffet opened and the room grew quiet as we got stuck in. It was nice to see Wee Tommy outside a Highland Games setting and to catch up with old friends and former band mates. Then the PA crackled and “Ladies and Gentlemen take your partners for the Gay Gordon’s”, the Hat was off like a scalded cat and the dancing began, being a masochist I waited for the Dashing White Websergeant and put the newly qualified Paramedic on standby.

If you have never been to a Céilidh you have never been whirled, wheeched, clattered and bruised amid joyful whoops and screams. The steps to the dances are quite complicated and it’s a tradition that only three people know them, it is usually bedlam often carnage.

And noo wur ready fur headin hame and most o the people are limpin lame an quite a few folk lyin ther maimed but there’s room fur us aw in the dance to paraphrase Ian Davidson but what’s this? There’s an after party at the Duke’s ochone ochone!

It was a splendid evening, thanks to the Cooncil for hosting us and to all who set it up and made it happen. Thanks to Clamjamfrie and to Malcolm Group for the use of their fantastic venue.

Next up is Sanquhar

Cannae wait..


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