The Weekend Off

A weekend off is a rare thing.

Bandsfolk check the diary before booking holidays, committing to visit elderly relatives or electing to have surgery. Pipey has arranged a few free weekends this year, it’s just a shame the weekend he is away isnae one of them, and as the name implies nothing is planned. The last weekend off had unsettled everyone and Dolomite Dave had entered the bandroom skieted through the door and slide tackled Brian. I think he managed to touch his left shoulder blade with his right foot. All the wee semi-quavers and gracenotes fell out of his pipe case and rolled about the floor til he gathered them up in embarrassment. Continue reading The Weekend Off

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KPB bloom in Forres

“The bus leaves at 6pm,” we were told and as I didn’t get home til after 5 it was going to be a close run thing to avoid being fined. My youngest son accompanied the band this weekend on our second trip to the European Pipe Band Championship in beautiful Forres. Continue reading KPB bloom in Forres

Busy Weekend

Let me tell you a sad tale.

On the Friday night before Bishopton Gala Day I began to experience old age twinges around my right ankle. By bedtime I couldn’t put weight on it so I sent Pipey a text crying off from the Bish march to rest my ankle for Sunday. Saturday saw me limping around the gathering band and getting accused of faking a broken leg to get out of the march (which is a long one), as if I would. Continue reading Busy Weekend

Ardrossan, competition and cake.

Late starts. Love them!

Pipey wanted us at Ardrossan for sometime about oneish but I got caught up converting pictures, tinkering with websites and playing my mandolin, that when I looked at the clock it was after 12 and we were nowhere near started. Years of practice mean that I can get into my uniform faster than Batman and it looked as though we might be on time Continue reading Ardrossan, competition and cake.

2015 Lilias Day

The build up to Lilias Day has been very visible to me this year as my house slowly filled with teddy bears and stuff in bottles before it was shipped off to Big Mick’s garage for storage. We were a well oiled machine the night before the big day as my lady drummer and I stuck raffle tickets to prizes and folded them all into a big bin. Everything was in motion and everything had been planned; stall rotas were filled and the new Event Shelter had arrived (to replace the one spatchcocked at Gourock) and had found its huge heavy way into my car. Continue reading 2015 Lilias Day

Boats! Big, Bigger, Biggest

People at Clydeport Greenock must be thinking we’re moving in.

The band have played on the quayside four times in the last two weeks and as I’ve mentioned before we all love playing here. Well done to the guys who turn out mid afternoon in all weathers when others can’t escape from work. We played for the cruisers from the ships La Boreal and Saga Pearl 2 on the thirteenth and fourteenth and the Queen Mary 2 and MSC Splendida on the twenty first and twenty second. Continue reading Boats! Big, Bigger, Biggest

Gourock in the Dreich

Welcome to the 2015 outdoor pipe band competition season. We have big plans for this year, we spoiled the Pipey last year, he wanted to qualify for one major tournament and we gave him two. But it all starts here in Gourock. We have never been in the prizes at Gourock due to having to play in monsoon rain and hurricane winds, they cancelled the contest one year just after we’d finished blowing bubbles, but that’s just excuses. Continue reading Gourock in the Dreich

The GWoS Indoor

Thursday’s announcement about the GWoS Indoor Solos and Full Band competition caused a bit of a stunned silence. Be there for 1pm, this is unheard of. Pipe band competitions involve early mornings after sleepless worried nights and a possible hair of the dog, character building stuff! This early afternoon jaunt up the M8 in the crisp April sunshine I could get used to. Continue reading The GWoS Indoor

The Potted History of Kilbarchan Pipe Band

The band originally formed, so the sagas tell us, sometime in the Bronze Age as before this it was found difficult to form the chanter and drones from rocks, this band played together through the Iron Age and well into the Roman period. The Emperor Hadrian built his famous wall at a considerable distance from Kilbarchan so he didn’t have to hear them. The Roman Governor of Britannia, Agricola, was said to have heard the band tuning at Mons Graupius above the din of battle. The band escaped disguised as a group of Carthaginian acrobats. The drums were added shortly after this and the kilts shaved. Continue reading The Potted History of Kilbarchan Pipe Band