With the highs, lows and jolly japes of the Argyllshire Gathering over for another year, tonight’s meeting felt a surge of adrenalin in advance of the Northern Meeting later this week.
The Hon P/M was unusually attired in plain clothes and attracted many admiring remarks over the quality cut of his suit. Some said he had the appearance of a Royal Bodyguard. Perhaps Prince Harry is recruiting.
First up was our very own golfing and piping medic, Dr Fergus Perks with his harmonic Sinclairs. The rain has obviously kept Fergus off the fairways as his playing and pipes were as good as we have heard from him. He gave us a melodic selection of tunes including the Sweet Maid of Mull, Tug Argan Gap and MacPherson’s Lament. His final set included the outstanding strathspey, Seonaid’s Tune, composed by Fred Morrison. Fred has made a very welcome return to solo competitions although hopefully this doesn’t mean hanging up his reelpipes.
Next we welcomed EPS virgin, James Gore. James has recently moved to Edinburgh to work for a large discount retailer. He certainly gave it Aldi tonight on a fine bagpipe showing the poise and skill expected of a member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. A well controlled double MSR including Hugh Kennedy, Piper’s Bonnet and Stornoway Castle was rounded off with Gordon Walker’s Fiddler’s Rally – a tune with which James’ band have enjoyed much glory.
The Pre-Pie-(Piobaireachd-Playing)-Piper was Cameron Drummond. Cameron is one of the strongest competitive pipers around and gave a superb rendition of one his Gold Medal tunes, The Daughter’s Lament. Despite appearing in some manuscripts under two very different names, the tune has a keening despair that makes this title very apt. Cameron was playing an Ayrfire chanter with a High G that was so solid you could have hung a picture of Big Angus from it. A Gold Medal is not far away.
Amongst the non-performing ranks tonight we welcomed Honorary Member P/M Bob Kilgour and P/M Alan Clark of Ottawa. Alan is no stranger to Eagles and this time even brought his fiancée, Cindy. Alan and Cindy will enjoy the honour of getting married at St Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh Castle on Friday.
Finishing off the evening was Jenny Hazzard, also playing an Ayrfire chanter and sounding superb. Jenny’s MSR of Bonnie Anne, Dora MacLeod and The Rejected Suitor (not Alan hopefully) bodes very well for the Northern Meeting as did her ground of The Lament for Donald MacKenzie.
Good luck to all.