February is finally over, the last 3 days have been glorious to try and make us forget the other 26 miserable, storm cold, dark horror stories. The band have been in the practice rooms ironing out technicalities and getting match fit for Sanquhar which is in 3 weeks time, I think the extra day has lulled a few players into a false sense of security. Continue reading February Blues
Ladies and Gentlemen we are a registered charity, number SC045878. This involves many obligations on us and you, including you giving us money. This band was re-established in the early naughties to plug a gap in the cultural life of the village, I remember following the pipe band as a child, I remember my sister vanishing at the first skirl of a drone or bray of a chanter and reappearing in a kilt so we could run behind the band. It was part of childhood and it just stopped. We were too young to grasp the politics, it just stopped. For a long time. Continue reading Looking forward, backward, all aroundward
“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
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
Last night (7th March) saw the Bungalow Bar, Paisley, full of bandsmen and their partners and friends for a night of Rock and Roll. This could have been the first time this century that some of them had been on a date with their partners and what a night to choose. Mrs Broons man had arranged for Rhino Edwards, bass player from Status Quo, to play the only Scottish gig on his European tour as a fundraiser for the Band. We were there early to do the sound checks and stand around gawping. Word on the street is that the great man wants to do “something” with the band so we aren’t just there to watch and we have a slot in the program. I however missed practice on Thursday and knew none of this, nae pipes again! Continue reading Rhino Edwards, Top Bloke
You thought that after the Cèilidh it all went quiet ’til May, a village band never rests. We turned out to lead the Remembrance Day parade on a cold but bright Sunday morning. An 8 o’clock start holds no fears for us and we are soon tuned and being given last minute instructions on deportment and etiquette suitable to a band at the front of what is a fairly important parade these days. I like the ceremonial and martial air of these parades, colours paraded, everyone on their best behavior, shoes shined, kilts pressed and chrome polished. The Reverent Stephen Smith took the ceremony at the War Memorial, where the village organisations’ wreaths were laid, respect paid and Melissa played the lament. Continue reading Remembrance n Cakes n Santa n that!
The Pipe Band season finishes for us at the Barbeque and that should be it; pipes cleaned and put away, everything else cleaned and polished and stowed until required. An email arrives from Pipey to that effect also warning us to warm up our practice chanters and pads as we have work to do. Pity the bottom hand this winter because we have to sharpen those embellishments.We now embark on a period of working on the street tunes and welcoming and evaluating new playing members. The atmosphere begins to chill and all sense of urgency drains away, Neil lets a sloppy tacum go by without comment and we all sit about waiting for the new tunes. ZZZzzz! Continue reading Hibernate ’til May, aye right!
I woke up terribly thirsty this morning.
Yesterday was Cowal Games, the last competition outing for the band this season. The forecast was for hard work followed by silliness with outbreaks of cheeky vimto later on. One of the pleasures of going to Cowal is the free breakfast on the bus. Bobbins of Kilbarchan provide rolls with bacon or sausage, magic. We picked up Davie and Brian on route to the ferry and as we sat in the car park I couldn’t help noticing the lack of activity, the ferry before had left half empty. This is unheard of at Cowal weekend, the ferries are normally crammed with bandsmen and their buses. This was the first indication that everything was not as we expected in Dunoon. The second was when our bus was directed to park where the Grade 1 bands normally park. Curiouser and curiouser. Continue reading Farewell to Melissa
It’s a late start for us, your normal RSPBA major tournament has all the Grade 4b guys split into 2 or 3 qualifying groups but with only 23 bands registered to compete there is no qualifier just a huge final. Levengrove Park is a beautiful place for a pipe band competition, with Dumbarton Castle towering over us and the Clyde sweeping by. We were on last and met in the car park at 2pm. This should indicate that there was no time for any band based japes and this will be a very short report. Continue reading Scottish Championship, Dumbarton.
It’s pleasant to play local contests, you get a long lie and a short drive. Paisley is only 6 miles to the east of us and as such is our locallest competition. This has grown in the last 5 years into a nice wee gathering, well organised and pleasantly situated in the plaza in front of the station and old Post Office building. We first played at Paisley last year in a tight run dash from Glasgow Day to Paisley, some players joined as the band marched down the street. This year we assembled on School Wynd to tune up and had our first complaint from a resident within 5 minutes, new record. So we moved and actually made it worse for the resident killjoy. At this point the rain was a smirr on the wind but capes were looked out and fastened to belts, “just in case.” Continue reading Paisley Pipe Band Championship 2014