Despite the Scottish weather doing its best to cool the ardour of the most hardened competitor the games were calling and as a result we had a rather quiet but enjoyable evening.
With the evening starting at 7.30 it transpired that the Hon PM had quite a while to settle down the pipe before the first waifs and strays wandered in just before 8. The pipe, decorated in the new Eagles cover and cords, settled quickly and having stepped through some smaller tunes the PM trotted off 6x 2/4 marches including Mrs John McCall and The Young MacGregor.
Having retired to bar to enjoy a well earned libation Euan introduced the next piper, Donald McLeod, who was keen to get on the floor sharp as an early start to Arisaig awaited the following day. Donald has been in excellent form recently and has collected some first class results round the games this season. His bagpipe was superb and his confidence high. He concluded his performance with the infamous Shaggy Grey Buck and with a final flourish packed the pipe away ready to do battle at the games. In this form I suspect he will do very well?
It was nice to see Tracey Williams, fresh from her sojourn home, and she introduced young Adrian Tanner from Melbourne to the company who is over here on a 5 month scholarship. I have a feeling he will fit well into the Scottish culture.
Next up, also with the pipe adorned with the new bag and cords, was the birthday boy Colin MacLellan, who at the ripe old age of 21 gave us His Father’s Lament to Donald MacKenzie. This is a big beautiful tune but due to its length it is not often played and much discussion centres on it being a variation too long. Interestingly Colin announced he was not going to repeat the first line throughout the piece thus cutting it by about 5 minutes. A great idea and an example to others who may wish to experiment at the Eagles as it is not a competition arena and should be viewed as a relaxed environment to do exactly this type of thing. It also generates some healthy debate about tunes and styles etc.
This was one of my dads favourites tunes, one that John MacDougall used to do very well with and Colin did it justice.
After the ‘celebrations’ first timer Jamie Forrester took the floor. Colin and I got hold of Jamie when he was a young whippersnapper and became a member of the police band. Despite our best efforts Jamie turned out to be a fine young man. Jamie works down south but does his best to get up to Scotland for a tune when he can. He finished his spot with the hornpipe Willie Bishop and a couple of jigs including an interesting setting of the traditional Irish tune the Rakes of Kildare.
Tom Peterkin who was blowing in a new reed finished off the night with a few light music tunes before ending the night in grand fashion with the ground of The Lament for the Viscount of Dundee.
And that was the evening’s evening.
Next time round, 7th August, is our big Worlds week meeting and hopefully we will see many of our overseas chums paying us a visit. Check out the Piping Live program as there is some outstanding events on not least the Boghall and Bathgate concert who are obviously in fantastic form winning the Europeans at the weekend. Congratulations guys.
Hon PM Eagle Pipers’ Society.