We were treated to a small and exclusive selection of players tonight, beginning with Brodie Savage who added quite the sense of occasion decked out in competiton dress.
Brodie played some particularly interesting tunes, including a cracking march called Pentland View by Blue MacMurchie. Blue is renowned for his craftsmanship and skill in fixing broken bass drones at the drop of a hat, and is obviously a composer of considerable talent too. Brodie continued with a tune of his own composition in honour of P/M Roderick David Paton – another thoroughly enjoyable and original tune. We were then treated to a big set of classic Gordon Duncan jigs, and the night was off with a bang!
Andrew Gray kept the tunes flowing and well and truly earned his pies tonight with a set of 6/8s, a big competition MSR of Abercairney Highlanders, Bob of Fettercairn and Alick C. MacGregor, followed by a double hornpipe and jig set. Some excellent tune choices again and such lovely musical playing.
Our pre-pie piper was Nils Michael who continues to bring new tunes to Eagle Pipers despite being one of our most regular players.
Nils is also a classically trained musician who has chosen the pipes as his first instrument these days. On a lovely mellow and smooth pipe he ended his selection with Jim Tweedie’s Sealegs and another big set of jigs. Great stuff! This tune in 5 parts was composed of course by John Allan Macgee in commemoration of Jim’s first trip from New Zealand to the UK – an epic 6-week journey in the 1950s which involved the crossing of 5 seas or oceans. Each of the parts also tells a section of the story of the gaining of Jim’s sealegs – from jauntily leaving the harbour to entering the high seas, to “feeding the fish” and gradually onwards towards gaining his sealegs. A mighty tune for a great friend and a true gentleman.
After the pies, Connor Sinclair
took to the floor and after Major Manson at Clachantrushal, launched into tonight’s piobaireachd – Hail To My Country from the Thomason Manuscript. This delightful tune, said to be a favourite of R.B. Nicol, was presented with confidence and control in Connor’s young hands on a solid and warm bagpipe. A lovely conclusion to another excellent evening.
I have discovered that there are a few readers who appreciate the commentary on the sartorial events of our Hon P/M.
I am delighted to report that tonight, the kilt was back, and that the Hon P/M acknowledged that his fine hand-knitted hose are in fact the shade commonly known as Duck Egg. Not a mention of Lovat Blue at all.