While some were off sunning themselves in Corfu the rest braved gale force winds to get to the Eagles. Yes winds were gusting up to 70 mph, bridges were closed and Hibs are in the final. Is this to be their year? Our resident Hibee Mr Speirs certainly hopes so.
The Hon Pres. did make an attempt at using International technology while enjoying a small glass of red (a 2 litre bottle). Jenny, on the other hand impressed the locals by honing up on Greek Mythology. The myth turned out to be that Greece didn’t have as much money as they thought and that CRM cannot finish a 2-litre bottle at one sitting. He did try though.
The P/M opened proceeding with Angus MacKinnon, Rab’s Wedding and General Montgomery, a nod to the late great Donald Shaw Ramsay. He finished off with a couple of 2/4 marches before getting the batting order for the evening sorted.
Next up was young David Samson from New Jersey who wanted a tune before this Saturdays clasp competition. He did point out to the P/M that it wasn’t the real clasp in Inverness just the amateur one in Glasgow. The P/M cocked an eyebrow and said ‘Really?’
David warmed up the pipe then knocked off the MSR, Captain Campbell of Drum- a–Voisk, Lady of Gairloch and the Rejected Suitor. David, a member of the Rampant Lion Pipe Band of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, finished off with a very nice ground-Lament for the Old Sword. New Jersey is the stamping ground of Jim Stack, who plays with the New York Metro Pipe Band. Many years ago Colin and Euan travelled to NJ to attend Jims wedding, have a few tunes and of course partake of a few drams. What could possibly go wrong? A story for another day !
Next up was Robbie Ross. Sporting a few scars from the last meetings match report Robbie brought along Mrs Ross to offer support and protect him from the P/M. Robbie played a few tunes before giving us a reprise of the now infamous strathspey. I have a feeling it is not the last time we will hear this.
The post pie piper was James Gore who was sporting his new Eagles cover. James didn’t waste much time before heading into the big stuff. Included in his performance were Caledonian Society of London and the little heard John McDonalds reel. James finished off with a couple of hornpipes, Crossing the Minch and one of his own compositions that remains nameless. Lets call it Mrs Mildred McKenzie.
Next for shaving was Donald McLeod who is breaking in a new reed. It is going to be a bobbie dazzler as the pipe was booming. Once the pipe had settled Donald gave us a very nice Delvinside and Major David Manson.
The final piper of the night was Chris Ross who had very kindly come over from Glasgow to give us a tune. Once Chris had settled the pipe he gave us the great Craigellachie and a fine job he made of it.
‘Also known as Grant’s Gathering the composer of this piobaireachd is unknown. It is said that the tune originally celebrated an ancient battle at Craig Ellachie between the Shaws and their Grant and other allies on the one side and the Comyns on the other. A piobaireachd composed to celebrate that event was adopted by the Grants as their ‘gathering tune’.
The Grants settled mainly in the Strathspey area in a territory from which they had helped oust the Comyns (Cummings). It was there that Castle Grant, the seat of the Chieftain, was eventually situated.
At the upper end of the district southwest of Aviemore is a hill called Craigellachie, the rock of alarm that formed the Cathghairm and gave its name to the Gathering of the clan.
In the old Gaelic the motto of Clan Grant was Creag a Chrocainn – The Rock of Hanging – this was an overhanging rock from which criminals were hung. This is the same rock on which the motto, Stad Creag Ealichaidh – Stand Firm Craigellachie, is founded. This motto became the war cry of the clan in the old days and remains as their gathering cry in this day and age’.
And that was that. Another lovely evening. Matt Fraser is on the piob. in two weeks time so please come along and support.