The Eagle Pipers gathering of 23rd June 2015 was opened by Douglas Gardiner with some very pleasing 3/4 marches on a quite excellent bagpipe. This was followed by pretty and tuneful 4/4 marches, which were lovely to hear. The names of all of the above are those which I should know and was embarrassed to ask, therefore they remain unreported.
Douglas did, however, report the name of his next tune, the melodic slow air with the particularly uplifting title, My Lodgings in the Cold Cold Ground. This was suitably brightened by some jigs, after which Douglas wrapped up with an excellent MSR: the Young MacGregor, Highland Harry and the Rejected Suitor.
Next up was the Hon President Colin MacLellan, in charge of the evening’s proceedings in the absence of the Hon P/M, who was enjoying a golf outing to St Andrews. Colin, who I can reliably report has been playing a lot of late (as I am the grateful recipient of regular recitals at home), also began with some pretty 3/4 marches, followed by some lively 6/8s marches. He gave us a sneaky wee snippet of Patrick Og V1 Doubling – surely one of the greatest bits of composition in piping – then moved onto the Duchess of Edinburgh, the Braes of Castle Grant, Cabar Feidh, the Piper’s Bonnet, the Sheepwife, and the Smith of Chilliechassie. (I love that the predictive text in my phone has Chilliechassie in its memory.) With pipes singing, Colin finished with an absolute treat, the urlar of the Lament for Colin Roy MacKenzie.
Gordon Hislop was the next performer, and got underway with some well executed 4/4 marches, then into the great 6/8 March John D Burgess. He carried on with some classic jigs, including the Banjo Breakdown and the Glasgow City Police Pipers, then finished with a couple of excellent 2/4 marches, Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque and another bash at the Young MacGregor.
Although there was a good turnout of listeners on the night, sets of pipes were thin on the ground. So, although it was nice to have the chance to have a chat and a drink, Colin very generously offered to have another stint, and played the grounds of four of the great piobaireachd compositions: Lament for the Union (some political commentary in with the music), Lament for the Earl of Antrim, Lament for the Children, and finally Lament for MacLeod of Colbeck – quite a special finish to a very pleasant evening of music and chat.
Next time (Tuesday 8th July) we welcome members of the Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band, including Glenn Brown who will be treating us to a piobaireachd.