Honorary Pipe Major Euan Anderson opened the evening to a select audience, sporting another glorious new waistcoat that happily matched the tablecloths behind him, while his hose blended beautifully with the linoleum on the floor. Not nearly as finely clad was his new sheepskin bag, although it has to be said, I have not heard our Hon P/M’s pipe sound so resonant before. A fine beginning to the evening.
Brighde Chambeul from Sleat on the Isle of Skye continued the tunes with a lilting and atmospheric air and an MSR. Brighde attends boarding school in Edinburgh, and is taught by our very Honorable Secretary and Treasurer, Iain Speirs. Colin MacLellan was the next to take the floor and in his inimitable style gave us rousing renditions of John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage, the Piper’s Bonnet, Ca’ the Ewes and Smith of Chilliechassie. He then gave us an early piobaireachd in the form of one of his Gold Medal winning tunes – Lament for the Viscount of Dundee. Colin related the legend that “Bonnie Dundee” could only be killed with a silver bullet, and told us that he had seen the Viscount’s breastplate complete with a suspiciously circular hole – allegedly made by a silver bullet.
Colin was playing his father’s pipes tonight, sounding fine as always. This was a timely reminder that the inaugural Captain John MacLellan Medal is to be held in Edinburgh on Saturday 15th October. A few tickets are still available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tonight’s pie break saw Peterkin curtail his appetite and “ca’ canny” at a total of 4 pies, just shy of matching the record… Nils Michael was our Post-Pie Piper, and I found myself wondering if we would hear yet more new tunes from him tonight. True to form, Nils produced several tunes we haven’t heard him play before including the 6/8 Marches Bruce Gandy’s Farewell to the Iron Horse, General Montgomery, and a Mathieson tune entitled The Incorporation. He followed this with The Abercairney Highlanders (Abercairney Tom’s setting), The Arran Ferry, Over to Uist and the Old Woman’s Dance.
Greig Canning closed the evening, making his first appearance at Eagle Pipers for some time. Greig has been on prize-winning form around the games of late and showcased his winning form with some excellent 4/4 Marches and an MSR.
Following the Captain John MacLellan Medal on Saturday 15th October will be the Scots Guards Knock-Out recital featuring Craig Muirhead and Ashley McMichael on Sunday 16th October. What a weekend of superb piping, not to mention a couple of high-stakes rugby games in there too.
Tracey (come on the All Blacks) Williams