Gourock 2014

I should have kept quiet about restarting the blog. The grand visions of tales of trophies won has grown a bit jaded. I’ll leave it to Brian, Neil and Stewart to dissect the sheets and pick over the bones of a shocking own goal.

The day started in fine form. The ancient Scottish weather gods were holding any foretold downpours at bay. It was still only 10:30 and as this is a local event pipers and drummers were arriving in dribs and drabs. There was a lot of hanging about and jawing until it became time to erect the Event Shelter and then the first great act of comedy unfolded. The great eight-some reel began that sees pipers and drummers dance slowly around Basso, all carrying bits of poles and looking bemused.
“The mirth and fun grew fast and furious; Continue reading Gourock 2014

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2014, here we go again

I have decided to try and keep a record of the bands progress through the 2014 season. All the competitions, gala days and social activities we get involved in during the course of the season. We have been playing on the competition circuit for a few years now and it’s been a sair fecht. There is nothing more disturbing than putting yourselves up for comparison with bands that have been competing for years and discovering that the judges don’t think your as great as you do. However naivety will only see you so far and after a period of serious soul searching and personnel changes we are ready to step into the circle once again. A 5th at Sanquair Indoor gave us hope that the hard work was bearing fruit. Brian has grown over the last few years as Pipe Major, better able to exert his will on his pipers and get the best from them. With Neil adding years of expertise in bandcraft and musicianship we have a top pairing that can hear the faults and work to rectify them. Stewart has revitalised the drum corp and bass section and the number of drummers has soared. New drum scores and methods have given the drummers added flair. With Derek’s hard work beginning to pay off we have a swarm of juvenile pipers coming through and another crop of adult learners pushing at the door. Everything seems to be heading in the right direction but tomorrow we find out if all the hard work has been in vain. Tomorrow is Gourock. First games of the season and traditionally a rain-lashed affair. They have a saying in Gourock, “If you can see Dunoon it will soon rain, if you can’t it’s raining!” The first year we played there the weather was glorious so the Pipey had us set up the gazebo in a bog, just to get us acclimatised.

Tomorrow we play our well honed set of 2/4 marches and for the first time we play up into Grade 3.  We await the Crit sheets with baited breath.

So lets check the reeds are secure and the joints are tight it’s going to be a long, fun summer. Cannae wait!

 

rejuvenate the blog

As the web sergeant has requested a post on the blog here goes:-

What is the difference between bagpipes and an onion?

Nobody cries when they cut up bagpipes.

How many pipers does it take to change a light bulb?

five, one to change it and four to criticise his fingering.

What is the difference between bagpipes and a trampoline?

You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.

Over to you huffers and puffers.

Work in progress

After the less than salubrious results and scathing comments of last season the leadership of the band have shown a determination to improve standards across the whole range of band activities. The tuiton has been tightened and focused, the learners now know what is expected. Playing members have not escaped the changes and a drive to perfect the basics is having a steady improvement on the sound of the band. No place for complacency thought as can be heard when older tunes are played and all the old habits come to the fore, sloppy embellishments, ragged rolls and a roundness to the tunes. There is still a lot of hard work to go before the start of the 2012 season of street performances and competitions but if it makes you better at something you love to do then that can’t be a bad thing.
The pipe section are getting to grips with technical problems on the instruments that should improve the consistency of the sound, make the PM’s job easier and make sure the pipers have no excuse for bad blowing.
The changes to the uniform will surprise some as it’s amazing the difference such small changes can make.
It’s March already so lets all get knuckled down and get practising.
Gourock in the rain this year? Cannae wait.

Ceilidh et al

The ceilidh is now over and the hangovers have almost been forgotten. The mighty Clamjamfrie were fantastic as always and the Glenleven Inn did use proud with a splendid buffet. Thanks to Kilbarchan Bowling Club for the use of their hall and bar staff. I think the consensus is that this was the best one so far.
Away from the social scene the members are working hard to perfect a new set of 6/8’s and a MAP set for competition next spring. Sounds from the adult learners and kids practice room are sounding really encouraging and the new practice regime put in place after the AGM seems to be bearing early fruit.
KPB.blog send best wishes to our drum tutor after his recent operation and hope he has a speedy recovery.
We move into December with 2 gigs on the calender, Erskine Hospital and the turning on of the Christmas tree lights both very special to the band. It’s always a pleasure to play at Erskine for the auld sodjers and the Village lights are a hoot. Go’n yirsel big George. Better get the fairy lights for my bass drone looked out. Cannae wait!

The season is over (2011)

The bandsmen and women put the 2011 season to bed in fine form with a BBQ and social evening in the Glenleven Inn, Kilbarchan. The pub provided a slap up meal for all who attended. The bouncy castle was a huge success with the adults and the children who braved the bouncing mayhem. Well done to the Self Appointed Social Committee for the 2011 Awards ceremony (I can see this becoming a tradition) and to all who entertained us with their singing. We just need the lead tip to workout how to get the photos to the Websergeant and we can all laugh at the PM in his hula skirt. Thanks to all the band supporters who turned out to eat fantastic food and get drunk (It’s a hard job following a pipe band). The night finished with KPB singing Calum Kennedy in 3 part harmony.
The beer bottles are hardly away and work has begun on the tunes for next year. The Autumn quiz and the ceilidh hove into view and details will be posted here as soon as Derek gives me the info or writes a post on here himself. Cannae wait!

Arran Highland Games

The band attended the Arran Highland Games Sat 6th Aug, this is not a competition but a fun day out for KPB. A short trip by bus and boat saw us getting tuned up at Brodick harbour and then setting off on the none too arduous march to Ormodale Park. The band members played in 2 street marches and 2 massed band marches. The day was warm, chaotic and hugely enjoyable. The people of Arran made us very welcome and by the time we had to leave we were well impressed and hoping for an invite back next year