Salutations and compliments of the season to all.
Santa’s sacks are empty and everyone is looking to get back into the swing of things. Some waddling to the gym, some looking for the magic diet and detox plan but the hardy few will keep going until Rabbie’s birthday comes along. You know who you are.
Some have even dusted off the cobwebs from the great Highland bagpipe and are in fine early season form.
The Guards Club needs you
The New Year has seen the Eagles introduce a new format with communal playing between 8pm and 9pm and then a few solo tunes after the pie break. Craig Robertson, the incumbent secretary, has taken on the task of pulling together a small book of tunes that will be circulated to members in a few weeks.
So who would turn up and break the ice and take the plunge? Quite a few actually and at one stage we had 17; yes 17 pipers on the floor. With no chanter setting, minimal drone tuning and a few different settings here and there it was a recipe for disaster, but all in all it was really quite good. More importantly it was good fun. Although not everyone thought the tone was spot on…..
Amara Taylor (Heriots girl) aged 9 was not so impressed apparently
After a blast through some old standards the band took a well-earned pie break and had a light refreshment.
The post pie piper was none other than Kenny McBride. As you will all know Kenny is an ex Pipe Major of Lothian and Borders Police and finished his band career with Shotts and Dykehead. Recently retired from the police Kenny is obviously spending a bit of time on the pipe as he gave us a splendid selection of light music.
John casting an eye over Kenny
Another retired policeman John Fraser took to the floor next and once again John was not to disappoint. John has a vast repertoire of tunes and he concluded his set with a reel, Sandy Strafed the Germans’. Strafed meaning to pepper with bullets.
John strafing the audience with music
A WW1 composition it can be found in Logan’s collection by Percy W Scott. ‘Gott strafe England’ (May God punish England) was a German saying from the war.
The final player of the night was newcomer and yet another retired police officer, George Campbell. With all the retired officers on board the Pipe Major was feeling at home and no longer the only old pensioner at the bar! George, a former player with Boghall and Bathgate, didn’t hang about and he went straight into the big stuff with some competition march, strathspeys and reels. Great stuff.
What a start to the year. It was fantastic to see so many come along with pipes and a real bonus to have the retired Police Scotland boys join the fold.
The Wheel of Fortune Competition is on Saturday 11th February in the Danderhall Miners Welfare Club and our own Jenny Hazzard is one of the contestants.
The next Eagles meeting will be on Tuesday 24th where the bands first 2 tunes will be the 6/8s,The Glendaruel Highlanders and Dovecot Park. Who knows what will follow but the evening may have a Burns flavor?
Come along and bring your pipes. You don’t have to be a member but you might have to buy a drink!