Match report Tuesday 16th February 2016

Hibs 1 Hearts 0

Rangers 2 Kilmarnock 1

Dundee United 0 Motherwell 3

Eagle Pipers’ 10 Weather and football- Plenty

IMG_3275A rather inclement evening saw a drop in attendance but where there is a will there is away. Matt Fraser was the evenings guest piper and he had travelled down during the day from Skye to make the evening. Fresh from lessons with Dr Angus MacDonald he was keen to give one of his new tunes a run through. He was accompanied by his fiancé, April Sinclair and two young Kiwi wing men to watch his back. Thankfully no one mentioned rugby and the current 6 Nations table.

The P/M got the evening under way with a selection of light music before handing the baton over to Iain Dewar. Iain’s pipe was in great nick and the drones were locked in from the start. Iain trotted out some Rabbie Burns favourites and he clearly has not yet had his fill of haggis.IMG_3273

A pie and a pint were most welcome while we caught up with the half time scores.

Matt Fraser took to the floor and he was immaculately turned out. In his warn up tunes he included a couple that were unfamiliar to the audience, a 2/4 march, Angus MacKinnon of Eigg, composed by Iain MacDonald and a jig, The Big Move by Ryan Canning. Tricky fingering and very well played. Matt then composed himself and went into The Pipers Warning to His Master. There are quite a few authorities to be found regarding this tune, but in the main pipers tend to play one of the two more accepted versions. Below is one story regarding the tunes background,

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Matt Fraser

The piper landed with a party on Islay, In advance of the expedition from Ireland with instructions to take the Castle of…(Dunyveg) by surprise, should he find the Campbells off their guard, and that this might be attempted with the prospect of success.

The Campbells, however, were apprised of the expedition, and on the alert, and drew the unfortunate piper and his party into an ambush and made them prisoners…the whole party, excepting the piper, being hung up off hand.

The piper asked leave to play a lament over the fate of his companions, and the chieftain, who commanded the Campbells, being himself enthusiastically fond of pipe-music, and anxious to hear so celebrated a musician, granted the boon: but in the meantime, he caused some cattle to be put in the way of the approaching birlins, while he posted a strong party in ambush to fall upon them should they land another party to take the cattle, as the piob-reac [sic] instructs.

The piper, watchful of these movements adapted his piob-reac to the situation with the most consummate art. The warning notes are poured forth in separate strains, having all the appearance of unmeaning unconnected vagaries; but they breathe a melancholy spirit, and the warning and lamenting notes could not fail to be understood by those who knew the style of the musician so intimately…The chieftain understood the meaning of the sixth verse or part of the piob-reac, and on finding himself over-reached by the piper, he plunged his dirk into him; and tradition states that the devoted minstrel smiled proudly in death, on seeing by the deviating course of the birlins, that his warning was understood, and saved his friends.

IMG_3276Matt produced a very musical performance, considering it is fresh off the page to him and I am sure by the time the season starts this will be a strong competition piece for him. Great tune and what a tremendous effort to make the night. Many thanks Matt.

And that was that. A sharp finish that gave the P/M time to catch up with wine impresario George Lumsden Jnr. George says that his dad, in his 89th year, is well and in good form.

The next Eagles meeting is on Tuesday 1st March. There is a round of the Scots Guards KO competition this Sunday 21st at 16.00hrs, where Craig Sutherland will be up against Callum Moffat.

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Euan Anderson

Hon P/M

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