Last Friday saw the resurrection of an old regular piping event as the Eagles flew along to Rose Street Lane South to visit the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society.
Some of the faces may have changed but the format thankfully is as was. A quick welcoming beer, then upstairs to play as a massed band, lead by the new RSPS Pipe Major Andy Cook.
As the group played a few standard traditional tunes an old friend looked on from the corner. The Eagle that once sat omnipresent in the upstairs bar of the West End Hotel (back in the days when it was harder to get out the hotel than in) looked resplendent and it was somewhat comforting to be once again having a tune under her watchful eye.
After half an hour or so the group withdrew to the comfort of the downstairs bar for a few libations and some solo playing. I started the evening off with a few ¾ Marches while Jenny remained upstairs to prepare for the piobaireachd. Jenny played Too Long in this Condition. On a rock steady bagpipe she produced a beautiful flowing piece of music that got to the very sole of the audience
After that it was two hours of music, a few beers and a pie. The players were, in no particular order, Peter McAlister, Colin MacLellan, Jimmy Banks, Lachie Dick, Andrew Frater, Bill Fraser, Iain MacDonald and Donald MacLeod. The quality of the playing was outstanding and there were top class instruments on the floor. Without wishing to single anyone out it was nice to hear P/M Jimmy Banks. Jimmy is the Society’s tutor/mentor and he gave us a no nonsense army style selection that included 5 x 2/4 competition marches on the bounce. First class. A tune at the Eagles if you please P/M?
It was also nice to see Andrew Wright who had popped along for a tune with the band. I had not spoken to Andrew for some time and he was in fine form and back to full fitness.
What a great night and our thanks go to the members of the RSPS who were outstanding hosts. The hospitality was top drawer and while the Eagle pie still remains unrivalled a mince pie still does the job.
And that was the evening’s evening-well not quite. As we decanted ourselves into Rose Street a nightcap appeared to be the order of the day. As we turned the corner looking for an appropriate watering hole, there, right in front of us, was ‘Dirty Dicks’. As we had the young pristine, clean Lachie Dick with us, it seemed very appropriate. While Lachie was at first a bit resistant and certainly disappointed in his elders ‘schoolboy’ humour, he warmed up announcing to staff that he had been a Dick all his life and asked if there was any student discount on the go. Luckily for Lachie he was in the company of one of Scotland’s finest Detectives who was able to preserve his integrity, ensuring that he did not become a ‘Dirty Dick’. However that said he did, along with others, find himself back at 14 DPC where the bar remained open until 05.15hrs. This time no technical pyrotechnics were on display as a new Mac book was on show gleaming on the breakfast bar.