With our meeting falling the day after (apparently) the most depressing day of the year it was interesting to see how our members had survived.
Part time piping tutor, Robbie Ross, continued the strong form on his McCallums with Jeannie Carruthers, P/M Hector MacLean and Arnish Light, a tune made popular by the Tannahill Weavers, before finishing with the catchy reels Kenmore Ladies and Captain Forbes.
It was a delight to have Jim Cooper follow with his grand Robertson drones. Jim is a very regular attender but usually hides his piping talents in the bottom of his pint glass. Jim played the Robert Mathieson slow air, Farewell to Camraw, written many years ago when Shotts moved from Warmac to Shepherd chanters. Jim’s other tunes included the Glasgow Week in Hamburg and The Silver Fox written by, and named after, P/M Ian Lowther of the Scots Guards.
Tam Peterkin was next to play and looked as though rather than a couple of Prozac, he had survived yesterday with a tube of UHU and an old plastic bag. His pipes were on fine form though and he gave us the ground of Melbank’s Salute and the lovely 9/8, Heather Grant of Strathyre, written by his boyhood tutor, P/M Jimmy MacGregor.
Just before pie break, Donald MacLeod appeared, as if by magic, like a kilted and slightly merry Mr Benn*. Post pies he gave us a truly wonderful rendition of the piobaireachd, The Old Woman’s Lullaby.
Marie Ross followed with the piobaireachd Clan Campbell’s Gathering. Marie is from Nantes in France and plays a set of Breton made Highland pipes in the style of Robertson. Appropriately, she finished her selection with a set of Breton tunes, Melodie du Pays de Retz and Rond de Landeda.
Last but not least, Lachie Dick closed the evening on his “new” pipes with some excellent music including Donella Beaton. Lachie is a medical student and it is a sobering thought that one day he could prescribe a variety of drugs to patients and himself alike. Given the twisted smile permanently affixed to his face, this is akin to allowing a pyromaniac to work in a Swan Vesta factory.
As advertised, our next meeting on 5th February will be Michael Grey’s book launch with Bob Worrall also coming along for a tune and a pie.