The band had a quick tune up and played a few 3/4s before tackling the opening tune in the Society book, Donald McLean’s Farewell to Oban. Considering this was a first attempt it was satisfying that it was actually recognisable. After a few discussions regarding settings etc, we had another couple of goes and all in all it is heading in the right direction. The band downed tools early in order to get our guest player, Steven Gray, on before the pies.
Steven is from Lockerbie and learnt his piping from Tony MacDonald in Lochmaben. Steven is no stranger to the Scot’s Guards Club as he has previously taken part in the KO competition. He is currently doing a PhD in Inorganic (look it up) Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, so hopefully we will see a bit more of him in the months to come. He is also a member of the great Inveraray and District Pipeband.
Steven quickly settled the pipe with some 3/4 marches and a couple of hornpipes before giving the audience the MSR, Clan McColl, Ewe with the Crooked Horn and The Smith of Chillichassie. A few 6/8 marches followed, before he ended the first half with Hector the Hero and some excellent jigs.
Having refreshed with a pie and a can of Iron Brew Steven warmed the pipe with some lovely 9/8 marches and then gave us the ‘Castle’ set, Tulloch, Inveraray, and Stornoway, rounding it off with with The Sheepwife. More excellent playing followed with the hornpipe Tam Bain’s Lum and a few jigs.
With the pipe humming along it was time for a bit of Ceol Mor and Steven gave us The King’s Taxes. A first class tune on a rock solid pipe. Steven concluded his recital with some small strathspeys and reels that rounded off the evening perfectly.
What a tremendous performance from a nice unassuming young man who is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with around the games. It was a real treat to hear him play and hopefully we will see more of him at the Eagles:-studies permitting.
Our congratulations go to Mr and Mrs Michael Upton who tied the knot in New York last week. Mickey has also been accepted into Police Scotland and we wish them the best of luck.
On a very sad and poignant note our sympathies and condolences go to the family and the community of Barra on the loss of Eilidh MacLeod, who was a victim in the recent Manchester terror attack. Duncan Nicholson did her proud with some beautiful playing at her funeral, sending her off with Mull of the Mountain, Sine Bhan and Leaving Ireland. Our thoughts are with her friend, Laura MacIntyre, a fellow pupil at Castlebay Community School on the island, who was also seriously injured in the incident at Manchester Arena concert.
There are no words that can adequately express the horror of what happened that night. You just have to believe that good will always triumph over evil and we will stand firm, as one, to ensure it does.