Another busy night at Haymarket Terrace. The Winter Pipes Under The Bed Bug is not affecting the Eagle Pipers’ Society.
As usual, The Hon P/M kicked off the evening. Unusually he was playing a different set of pipes. Euan was trying out a new Gannaway pipe bag on a set of old Glens. There is likely to be a rush of orders for these hide bags on the back of Iain Speirs’ recent competition success using a Gannaway. Get your order in now while stocks last.
Jenny Hazzard graced the floor next playing the beautiful silver mounted MacDougall drones of the late Captain John MacLellan MBE. The sparkling playing matched the pipes. Jenny played a superb set of marches, strathspeys and reels including the demanding Bonnie Anne and Bill Livingstone’s catchy Rodney Hull QC.
Following Jenny was a visitor from South Africa, Joshua Hogg, playing a brief but melodic set of tunes including Miss Ishbel T. MacDonald and Donella Beaton, on a set of Chris Terry bagpipes. Joshua is in Scotland for two weeks piping tuition – the prize for winning the Pipe Major John Farmer Memorial contest in Johannesburg. Sadly nobody has created an equivalent competition in Scotland for two weeks safari in South Africa.
Next up was Brian Mulhearn, proprietor of the Ayrshire Bagpipe Company. Brian played a magnificent selection (on pipes made by his own fair hand) including the first variation singling of the Donald MacDonald setting of Too Long in this Condition. The Ayrshire Bagpipe Company has just launched a new website (www.ayrshirebagpipes.co.uk). Well worth a visit. The Big Bore blowpipe comes highly recommended.
Pre-Pie-Piper was Colin Campbell on a wonderful pipe. His Naill drones and Strathmore chanter are a classic combination favoured by many of the top players today. The highlight was a reel and jig version of the Queen of the Rushes played whilst the aroma of warm steak pies wafted around the room.
Thankfully no pie-fight tonight although the pastry heavyweights, Peterkin and Gray, were seen slobbering by the HP sauce. The break gave members the chance to view the full silver mounted MacMurchie pipes won by Andrew Gray at the recent Falkirk Tryst competition. Not quite two weeks safari but an awesome prize nonetheless.
The Vale of Atholl’s, Craig Sutherland, brought proceedings back on track with a strong and well tuned bagpipe playing a confident set including Dora MacLeod and John Morrison of Assynt House.
Hot on Craig’s heels was an outstanding performance from 15 year old Andrew McPhee of Kinross. Andrew is a pupil of the superlative piper and gentleman, Donald MacPherson, and it shows. He played a delightful selection of tunes on a very mellow set of ivory mounted MacDougall drones.
The honour of closing the evening went to Scottish Government analyst and EPS regular, Nils Michael. Nils’ harmonic silver and ivory pipes (possibly Lawries) settled comfortably allowing him to play a very assured and strident Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach. This is not a piobaireachd to have the listener snoozing in his dram and Nils ensured we felt all the emotion inherent in the music.