Chillis looking for new heat after Armstrong returns to a life of firefighting

Published: February 28, 2010
(Page 1 of 1)

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have been known for starting musical fires with their “bagrock” mix of piping and pop, and now founding member Willie Armstrong has decided to return to his original career of putting out real fires as a fireman and watch commander with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

Armstrong will officially depart the group after a send-off gig on March 12th at The Ferry, Anderston Quay in Glasgow.

In a statement, the group said that it is seeking to replace Armstrong, 44, with “a young rock and roll piper.”

“After seven years playing all over the world with the band, it is with a heavy heart that I have taken the decision to leave,” Armstrong said. “The hectic touring schedule has taken its toll. The band are about to embark on lengthy sell out tours of Germany and America and I decided to stay at home with my family. I have a very good job to return to and I wish all the lads in the band continued success.”

Armstrong’s background as a piper is varied, leaving the instrument for more than a decade while serving in the Royal Navy. He returned to the instrument at age 30, and went on to play with the Glasgow Skye Association and ScottishPower Pipe Band. When fellow Red Hot Chilli Piper Stuart Cassells came up with the concept for the group, he contacted Armstrong first to gauge his interest in joining.

The group has played worldwide, and was catapulted into the mainstream public eye after winning the BBC 1 television show, “When Will I be Famous,” in 2007. The band was named Live Act of the Year 2007 by the Scots Trad Music Awards, and its “Bagrock to the Masses” and “Blast Live” recordings reached platinum sales status in Scotland and a UK Silver disc, with combined sales of more than 130,000 copies.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/5
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0

GET THE MOBILE APP!
The new pipes|drums app offers the same publication with a streamlined experience. Get the latest news optimized for your smartphone.
Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play
THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
December 3, 1977Paul McCartney’s “Mull of Kintyre,” featuring the Campbeltown Pipe Band, reaches #1 in the UK.
MOST RECENT POST
  • Refuge
    Mon, 21 Nov 2016
    Piping and drumming and pipe bands are a refuge from the real world – at least, they should be. I have always enjoyed having a piping alter-ego. Through school piping was almost completely separate from that world. Different frien …
Read more »
UPCOMING EVENTS December 9, 2016John Patrick Recital Scottish Pipers’ AssociationCollege of Piping Otago Street Glasgow

May 20, 2017British Pipe Band ChampionshipsPaisley, Scotland

June 9, 2017Georgetown Highland GamesGeorgetown Fairgrounds

June 10, 2017UK Pipe Band ChampionshipsBelfast

June 15, 2017Cobourg Highland Games & FestivalVictoria Park, Cobourg

TIP OF THE DAY
Limit yourself to only two big piping and drumming goals this year; write them down; revisit them; and check in December if you have achieved them.
Andrew Berhoff, Toronto

FROM THE ARCHIVES