The Eagles gathering on 2nd February was small but most enjoyable.
With the Hon P/M living it up in London for his younger son’s 21st birthday celebrations, and the Hon President sick in his bed, it was left to me to open proceedings. Fresh from the Live in Ireland in Scotland performance at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the previous Saturday – my pipes still bedecked with orange tartan ribbons, a rather-too-green bag cover, and my very own Live in Ireland pipe banner – I played a few more selections from the concert. This included the Argyllshire Gathering/ Cameronian Rant/ John Morrison set (no mistakes!) and the big finale comprising the Fair Maid of Barra, the Gold Ring, and the Clumsy Lover – perhaps not as impressive without the harmonies, drums and crowd, but still fun to play.
Next up was Craig Martin, who brilliantly continued the theme by knocking out the entire Walking the Plank medley from the 78th Fraser Highlanders repertoire around 1998-99, and an excellent rendition of the piobaireachd A Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach. Many will remember this was also played by the Frasers around the same era, and gave the title to one of their albums.
Eddie Gaul was the post-pie-piper, and had been invited to play the evening’s piobaireachd. Eddie settled his pipes with some good strong light music, before delivering one of the great masterpieces – Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon. Eddie did an excellent job of this challenging tune, on a very well-tuned and steady instrument. It was great to hear, Eddie, many thanks for making the effort to get along to the Eagles and we hope you’ll come back often.
The final offering for the evening was from regular Eagle, Tom Peterkin. Tom has been struggling for practice time and space, what with a small baby at home and his house being renovated. So the Eagles nights provide a great chance to get the pipes out and run through some tunes. There was no evidence of lack of playing time, as Tom played some very good traditional 6/8 marches, a few 2/4 marches including the Highland Wedding, and a first-rate rendition of the ground of another great MacCrimmon piobaireachd, Lament for Donald of Laggan.
So – a small crowd, but one treated to not one, not two, but 2.2 piobaireachds – all very much enjoyed by me and I’m sure the others in attendance.
Thank you everyone for coming out on a bit of a dark, miserable February night.
Next meeting is Tuesday, 16th of February and Gordon Walker is giving a recital this Sunday, 14th February 2016, at the Scots Guards Club, Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, kick off 16.00hrs. What finer way to start your valentine celebrations?