We found ourselves upstairs for the first half of the evening and while the room warmed up the PM gave a few tunes to break the ice.
Coats were still on when Andrew Allison took to the floor and in went a new Colin MacLellan reed-set up by the man himself. After a few tweaks and the usual tape palaver we were off and running. While settling the pipe down Andrew played some 3/4s including the little heard 13th Frederick Street.A Don Bradford tune? Very unusual and a great tune.
Next for shaving was Lachie Dick. Lachie had recently been home to Uist and he found an old pipe book under a mattress. Apparently there were other books there as well! Lachie treated us to some of the new material found in said book starting off with the 2/4 March, The Hills of North Uist composed by Callum Campbell. He then went onto give us an excellent flavour from the book and Uist piping in general, including The Cat and the Dog, Boys of Harris-a lovely slow air and The South Uist Golf Club to name a few.
As the aroma of the pies wafted up the stairs it was time to decant back down stairs and have a break. The room was nice and cosy and the coats were cast aside.
The post pie piper was Andrew Gray who was on a new set of McCallums, straight off the shelf. This new ‘band pipe’ was rock solid from the off and Andrew was quickly into his stride playing the MSR The Highland Wedding, The Top of Craigvenow and John Morrison of Assynt House. The ambience got the better of Lachie Dick who was brought to book by the Hon President for nodding off during the reel. Sound asleep. Such is the life of a trainee Doctor. However he was not alone…………….
The final player of the evening was a very welcome guest Matt Fraser who bought along his girlfriend, April Sinclair from Melbourne. Matt is from Mosgiel in New Zealand but has been on these shores for some time now. He has had a very successful 2014 competitive season rounding it off with some top prizes in London.
Matt settled into his stride quickly and the pipe was first class. Well balanced and a mellow in door quality that was very pleasing on the ear. He was quickly into the big stuff giving us the MSR, Major Manson at Clachantrushal, The Shepherd’s Crook and The Man from Glengarry. Very musical. Matt then gave us a very nice performance of MacDougall’s Gathering, a tune he has just learned. The pipe held well and had the required effect on some of the audience.
This was a fantastic conclusion to the night.
The beauty of the Eagles is that Matt was able to chat with Tom and Iain Speirs, Colin, and the like, about the different styles this tune can be played and I am sure he took away positive feedback. Haste ye back Matt.
And that was the evenings evening. Our final night of 2014 will be on Tuesday 9th December when we will have a ‘big band’ night. A call will be put out to all Eagles with pipes and their friends to come along and have a wee tune together. We need to refresh our Facebook cover photo so the more the merrier. The tunes will not be far from the standard massed band tunes but Douglas Gardiner will let you all know in due course. Please come along, bring the pipe and a friend.
See you then,