FFM v SLOT “Pipe Dreaming” doc continues on BBC2 NI

Published: December 31, 2011
(Page 1 of 1)

The general public’s interest in pipe band competitive drama continues with BBC2 Northern Ireland’s broadcast of “Pipe Dreamers,” a two-part documentary on the Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery and St. Laurence O’Toole pipe bands’ lead up to and competing at the 2011 World Pipe Band Championship.

The first episode was aired on November 30th, and part two will be broadcast on December 7th at 7:30 pm GMT.

A BBC crew followed both bands during the course of the 2011 season, including band practices and competitions. The broadcaster portrayed the documentary as focusing on FMM Pipe-Major Richard Parkes and SLOT Pipe-Major Terry Tully, saying, “one tries to hold on to his title and the other strives to take it from him. With unrestricted access to the two pipe-majors through planning, rehearsal and into the performance arena, this is an insider’s view into the world of competition pipe bands and just what it takes to be the champions of the world.”

Outside of the BBC2 Northern Ireland jurisdiction, those who subscribe to Sky TV in Great Britain and Ireland could view “Pipe Dreamers” on channel 992. The program is archived on the BBC’s iPlayer streaming on-demand service.

For non-UK residents to access iPlayer they can download “Expat Shield software” to their computer. (Please note that pipes|drums does not necessarily condone this application or website nor vouch for its security or reliability and readers download and install it at their risk. pipes|drums takes no responsibility for readers’ use of the application.) The first part of “Pipe Dreamers” can then be found here. The second part should be available on December 8th.

Field Marshal Montgomery won the 2011 World Championship, while 2010 winners St. Laurence O’Toole finished fifth.

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  1. Justadrummerfan

    I enjoyed the video. Thank you Andrew for providing the info on the downloads required for us expats. One of the take home messages for me was the level of personal committment required of each member of a world championship Gr 1 band.

  2. uilleannonlooker

    not a great year for Terry and the gang to have a tv crew follow them around. Conversely couldn’t have been a better year for Richard and his lot to have been filmed. They didn’t loose a tournament. The show narrator did his best to make it look like an even contest but truth is, we are talking the Premier League’s Alex Ferguson and Harry Rednapp here. (canadians and americans may need to use their own sports and icons to compare). Richard/Alex has beaten Terry/Harry so many times that the odd blip in a season doesn’t take away from the overall facts. Roughly speaking the two bands must have competed against each other approx 10 times a year in the last 20 years, and even with O’tooles recent upsurge I suspect the score must be FMM 170 to O’Tooles 30, (take the 7 worlds titles of FMM v O’Tooles just 1 for a broad example) I enjoyed the show but things have to be taken in to perspective.

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Pipers: If your bass drone wants to roar when struck in, it might be riding high on the bottom pin. If so your reed might be too sharp. A quick fix, if time is short, is to put a bit of tape over a third to half of the bush at the top. This will flatten the drone and allow you to shortenit by moving the middle joint down the bottom pin.
Charley Kron, C.E. Kron Bagpipes