Match Report, 21 June 2011

With rain lashing against the windows and a leaden sky hanging over the city, we marked the Midsummer Solstice in time-honoured tradition – with good tunes and good company.

Stevie Little is a newcomer to Eagle Pipers, but is no stranger to the Scots Guards Club, being a regular at their Knockout competitions. Tonight, urged on by our Hon P/M, his Eagles debut opened proceedings for us.

Allan Harper then made a return to the Eagles platform beginning with a lyrical air by the name of Cruachan which was made for a former P/M of the Argylls, Seamus Johnson. He continued with several more sets of 4/4s, 6/8s and wee reels on his majestic old Glens displaying an impressive repertoire.

On another fine set of old Glens and making it look too easy, Tom Peterkin continued the tunes this evening with the classic Doctor Ross’s 50th Welcome to the Argyllshire Gathering. This tune exists in many of our repertoires, as well as that of pipe bands and folk musicians, but which Dr. Ross and in which capacity he frequented the Argyllshire Gathering remains a mystery.

Hon P/M is in fine form tonight, heckling players and generally creating mischief. Tonight, readers, he treated us to a pinstripe ensemble, with his hair curling over his collar. Rumours abound that he is cultivating a ‘mullet’ hairstyle. You heard it here first.

Cameron Drummond gave us a brief and impeccable set after the pie break beginning with a couple of 6/8 marches and concluding with the MSR of Mrs Duncan MacFadyen, the Caledonian Society of London and Broadford Bay.

Andrew Gray then took the floor and played, amongst other tunes, a lovely set of wee strathspeys and reels, and ended his set with an impressive Chris Armstrong hornpipe by the name of McKerrell’s Fancy with the traditional jig The Gold Ring. The McKerrell in question has just become a father for the first time this week! Congratulations Simon and Stephanie!

All of which brings us to the pinnacle of the evening – the piobaireachd. Tonight, we were treated to Beloved Scotland played by Jenny Hazzard, although first we heard a rich selection of light music in which she displayed her dexterity and versatility on a bold, strong and intensely harmonic pipe.

Beloved Scotland it is indeed – despite the weather.

Enjoy your ‘summer’ everyone.

Tracey Williams

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