Saturday, August 14, 2010


Well today was a brilliant day on Glasgow Green. Sunny, lovely temperature, a great day to play pipes.

Strathclyde Police were on just before St Lawrence O'Toole in both events. We had a few minor errors, but a good sound and some class playing. I think the band was disappointed that we did not play as well as we could have. Overall I think a credible performance and a great job by everyone in the band. A class outfit indeed! Don Bradford does a magnificent job as Pipe Major and Eric Ward's drum corps is an absolute delight to play along with. It is such an honour to play in a band with such history and tradition. 20 World Championship wins in total as both the Glasgow Police and later the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.

St Lawrence O'Toole were sounding really good and very tight with their playing. A popular win and I think many were moved by Terry Tully collecting the prize. Well deserved!!!!

I heard Boghall and Bathgate in the tuning park and they sounded very refined with their usual magnificent drum corps. I also heard Shotts and Dykehead and thought they sounded the best I have heard them this season. Unfortunately it is impossible to hear everyone when you are playing.

Results in Grade 1 were:

1st St Lawrence O'Toole
2nd Field Marshall Montgomery
3rd Boghall and Bathgate
4th Simon Fraser University
5th Shotts and Dykehead
6th Scottish Power
7th Strathclyde Police

The performances can be heard here at the BBC.

Congratulations to all of the winning bands. A great day indeed!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Well done to SLOT Pipe Band, who in their 100th anniversary year put on a great concert at the Glasgow Concert Hall. Packed to the rafters the crowd really responded to the band and their support groups.

The purity and clarity of sound was very impressive. At the end of the concert the band played "Dawning of the Day" as an encore and then marched into the audience to play their last set among the crowd. The unity of sound was outstanding. The pipes held very well, and were best in the second half.

Great to see some old faces and catch up with a few friends.

Earlier in the day we went to the Pipe Idol competition to see Alex Gandy play. Was great to see him get through to the final. Steven Lieske who also plays in the Strathclyde Police Band with me, came through as well. We will try to support them all at Friday's final. It should be a good event.

Had the opportunity to tour R G Hardie's bagpipe making factory and saw McCallum's last week. Both very impressive. Hardie are putting out a bagpipe value pack that will include the Complete Pipers Handbook upon request.

Don Bradford and Terry Tully both released new books this week. No doubt both will be well recieved. I had the opportunity to assist in proofing Don's book when I first arrived in Glasgow and must say that it is very inpressive.

The practices are now getting serious and their are bands all over town rehearsing. Just two more for us until the World Pipe Band Championships. Will be a great weekend.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Strathclyde wins at Bridge of Allan 2010

Sunday 8 August 2010 saw the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band attend the Bridge of Allan Highland Gathering. A lovely setting. The band played Donald Cameron, Cameronian Rant and Mrs MacPherson to gain first overall with a first in both piping and drumming. A very strong performance from the band which is improving every day. Pipes were great straight out of the box with very little having to be adjusted. Beautiful conditions prevailed all day.

A lot of interest show in The Complete Pipers Handbook, as a guide for pipers of every level to get the very best out of their instrument.

Here is some footage from You Tube of the band leading the march off.

1st Strathclyde Police
2nd Fife Constabulary
3rd Inverary
4th Cantebury Caledonian

A full week of practice and next week the band will be competing at the World Championships. A great day that I wouldn't have missed for quids!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


The Strathclyde Police Band left Friday morning for Belfast and we had a quick afternoon practice in Belfast. The day of the contest saw a little rain and the band ended up tuning for a very short period indeed. The pipes were pretty tidy straight out of the box.

Great to see some footage from the tune up park on You Tube already. We were third equal in piping with a fourth overall. A great weekend. Looking forwadr now to Bridge of Allan next weekend.

1st St Lawrence O'Toole
2nd Field Marshall Montgomery
3rd Boghall and Bathgate
4th Strathclyde Police
5th Scottish Power
6th Shotts and Dykehead