Published: January 31, 2008

Our 2007 Predictions – how’d we do?

Happy New Year from all of the staff at pipes|drums!

A year has passed since our 2007 Fearless Forecasts, and, because we are always accountable for our prognostications let’s see how our crack panel did. For each prediction, we will consider and award ourselves one-point for a correct forecast; deduct a point for an incorrect one; and calculate no points for a net-neutral, hung-jury, a joke prediction, or still-pending-decision.

Prediction: “World’s prediction: FMM, SFU or Shotts – who else?”
What actually occurred:FMM won, SFU was second and Shotts third. Are we good or what?
Score: +1

Prediction: “Iain Speirs will win the Northern Meeting Gold Medal.”
What actually occurred:Correctomundo!
Score: +1

Prediction: “Strathclyde Police will replace Shotts in the top-three. They should’ve in 2006, but fell short in their performance at the World’s, and Kilpatrick’s drum corps holds the band in place.”
What actually occurred: Didn’t happen at the World’s, but most would agree that the Polis are at least on an equal-odds field as HOE-SAD.
Score: 0

Prediction: “Willie McCallum will finally win the Clasp”
What actually occurred: The big prize at the Northern still eludes the world’s greatest competition piper. The biggest prize in piping went to Stuart Liddell.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Major contests will again struggle to have enough top judges and will approach senior competitors to judge some B events.”
What actually occurred: Didn’t seem to be an issue . . . but some competitors might have preferred it at places like the Argyllshire Gathering where people who never competed continue to judge.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Northern Meeting will decide to return to Inverness for 2008”
What actually occurred:Bang on!
Score: +1

Prediction: “FMM will again dominate pipe band season with SFU coming to prominence and maybe shading the World’s.”
What actually occurred: FMM dominated the World’s; SFU didn’t.
Score: 0

Prediction: “Major new piping product will take the piping world’s notice.”
What actually occurred: The new McC-Squared Pipe Chanter seemed to fit this bill.
Score: +1

Prediction:Piping Times will continue its small-minded attitude to the National Piping Centre; Piping Centre will continue to ignore their jibes."
What actually occurred: While this is always an easy prediction, we’ll still give ourselves a point for having the balls to say it!
Score: +1

Prediction: “Pipe bands will talk about boycotting Cowal, but no one will do anything about it.”
What actually occurred: Spot on. Lots of anonymous chatter on the net, but attendance at Cowal is bigger than ever, and a major marketing campaign is producing results.
Score: +1

Prediction: “Pipe bands and composers will rise up to challenge the ongoing shambles of the World’s CD and take on the RSPBA and Klub. They will be told to go away, thus only increasing the resentment.”
What actually occurred: Sadly, no one yet has had the guts to do this.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Richard Hawke will finally break through and get the Oban Medal.”
What actually occurred:Got it!
Score: +1

Prediction: “Look for Strathclyde to again win at least two championships this year.”
What actually occurred: The band won one, the Scottish.
Score: -1

Prediction: “The big five solo competitors will continue to win almost all the major solo prizes.”
What actually occurred: The simple fact that we’re wondering who the “big five” actually are makes us think this was not a correct predication. Armstrong, Dunn, Henderson, Gandy, Liddell, Lee, MacColl, MacLeod, McCallum, McCready, Speirs . . .
Score: -1

Prediction: “Shepherd to launch a new-must-have-if-you-want-to-win-a-prize-pipe-chanter.”
What actually occurred: No, but usual results-producing Shepherd chanter is still available.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Greentrax to take over World’s recordings contract.”
What actually occurred: We’re still waiting for this.
Score: -1

Prediction: “New product waves: less synthetic; more sheep and cane."
What actually occurred: Very true. More natural stuff is being played now than any time in the last 15 years.
Score: +1

Prediction: “Band size continues to grow and at the top 24 and 10 seen regularly at championships.”
What actually occurred: Glenn Miller has nothing on 2007’s big bands. Correct, but this trend may have peaked.
Score: +1

Prediction: “RSPBA: the beast will never change, just wish the bands could get together on a united front. We are all wimps. It’s all about winning and not ruffling feathers.”
What actually occurred: True. We are all wimps.
Score: +1

Prediction: “Strathclyde Police reclaim the World’s title.”
What actually occurred: Not so fast, Nostradamus.
Score: -1

Prediction: “McCallum chanters will completely take over the competitive pipe band scene.”
What actually occurred: Most competing bands are playing McCallum chanters, but complete world domination is yet to happen. It’s still a competitive market.
Score: -1

Prediction: “RSPBA opens dialogue between bands for purpose of studying copyright and royalties as they pertain to competition performances – no brainer.”
What actually occurred: Are you freakin’ kidding us?!
Score: -1

Prediction: “More bands will adopt the Cameron/Stronach snare drum.”
What actually occurred: It’s catching on, especially with young bands.
Score: +1

Prediction: “Gordon McCready and William Geddes for Gold Medals.”
What actually occurred: Not yet; not yet.
Score: -1

Prediction: “The RSPBA will make no changes to the way they conduct the World’s. Now, instead of obvious results leaks to connected players before massed bands, the results will be again given away by the appearance of TV cameras around the winning band, as they were in 2006.”
What actually occurred: Correct. Once again, the scrum of media around FMM before the results came out ruined a lot of the fun for the 220-odd other bands. Shame!
Score: +1

Prediction: “SFU will win the World’s, simply because it’s become “not the done thing” for a band to win twice in a row and it’s “their turn.”
What actually occurred: So much for that theory!
Score: -1

Prediction: “A Canadian piper will win one of the Gold Medals.”
What actually occurred: Well Iain Speirs might be quasi-Canadian, but last time we checked he and Richard Hawke are still British and Kiwi.
Score: -1

Prediction: “The trend toward huge bands will continue, and someone in Grade 1 will field 25 pipers. More Grade 1 and 2 bands will fold. See the connection?”
What actually occurred: 25 in Grade 1 was not uncommon in 2007, and several grade 1 and 2 bands indeed bit the dust last year, with no new ones emerging. Put another tally on the tote board!
Score: +1

Prediction: “Jim Begg will buy a new car.”
What actually occurred: Yes, the venerable sheepskin bag maker might be spotted ripping across the M8 in a new Lamborghini Countach . . . a rented one, perhaps. No new car for James!
Score: -1

Prediction: “Final season for MAP experiment. RSPBA finally abandons bizarre scheme.”
What actually occurred: According to the RSPBA, MAP is to continue in 2008 and then be assessed.
Score: -1

Prediction: “More top-grade bands will continue to return to sheepskin bags.”
What actually occurred: Hard to say, but this was probably true. Sheep running more afraid than ever of pipe bandsmen . . . but for new reasons.
Score: +1

Prediction: Record heat at World’s; UK bands crumble under conditions. Advantage Al-Cal, SL78FH and Dubai Highlanders."
What actually occurred: How off could this prediction be? Some brogues are still drying out!
Score: -1

Prediction: “A Piobaireachd competition will be held where note mistakes are ignored by judges and adjudicated purely on the musical performance.”
What actually occurred: In your dreams, Sausage-Fingers!
Score: -1

Prediction: “Climate change will have impact on rain-cape business; Mr. Antony transitions to manufacturing "Sun-Spec" tartan parasols."
What actually occurred: That’s supposed to be funny, so we’re not taking a point off!
Score: 0

Prediction: “The 2007 Grade 2 World Champions will not fold the month after the contest.”
What actually occurred: Haw, haw. Cullybackey won it and seem to be in good health as a Grade 1 band.
Score: +1

Prediction: “Who will win the World’s? For the sake of the contest, someone who hasn’t won it before. Vale of Atholl are my favourites.”
What actually occurred: Who cares if FMM won again? They keep raising the bar and it gets more and more exciting every time they do.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Argyllshire Gathering will continue to disappoint competitors with poor organization. New piping convener will promise changes.”
What actually occurred: We’re not seeing any great improvement at Oban, particularly with the choice of judges.
Score: +1

Prediction: “A Grade 1 band will break the 490 pitch barrier.”
What actually occurred: Happened in lots of high-altitude hot places, just not at the freezing World’s.
Score: +1

Prediction: “What will the RSPBA do in response to performers rights? Bugger all. They know that for 90 per cent of the bands, competition is their only way to play publicly and the simple competitive drive of North American people will keep them coming there. A band almost cannot risk missing the worlds as their players will just leave and join the band that is going to the WPBC.”
What actually occurred: A complex prediction, but we think it’s mostly correct, so we get a point.
Score: +1

Prediction: “Pipe bands to start playing with two bass-drummers.”
What actually occurred: Thank God, no.
Score: -1

Prediction: “CPA will get shut out of any set tune negotiations and the Joint Committee for Judging will dissolve into several sub-committees.”
What actually occurred: Not under Dr. Jack’s watch!
Score: -1

Prediction: “Windsor Police will start to challenge in Ontario Grade 1.”
What actually occurred: WPPB is definitely a challenge to all Grade 1 bands on the Ontario circuit.
Score: +1

Prediction: “A pipe band in the Grade 1 final will compete with more than 30 pipers.”
What actually occurred: Binder-Dundat!
Score: +1

Prediction: “The National Piping Centre and The College of Piping to kiss and make up and merge into new premises in a purpose-built Portakabin that can be taken anywhere around the world. To be called The National College of Piping Centre.”
What actually occurred: Yes, and Lindsay Lohan is getting a sex change.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Rain at the World’s.”
What actually occurred: Whoo-hoo! Let it pour!
Score: +1

Prediction: “SFU will win the worlds. It seems that the band that should have won it the previous year gets it the next. Either way, they’re due.”
What actually occurred: Not last year.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Talks begin to start planning a real World Championship.”
What actually occurred: Well, there’s always lots of talk, but there’s never any action.
Score: -1

Prediction: “A new Grade 1 band will emerge on the North American west coast as fallout from the RMM debacle. Look for them to be fired up and very good.”
What actually occurred:Triumph Street was promoted to Grade 1 on the final day of 2007, so we get a point!
Score: +1

Prediction: “ScottishPower will be the one band to improve their standing.”
What actually occurred: Can’t say this happened, but they do have the World Solo Drumming Champion leading their corps. We’ll call this net-neutral.
Score: 0

Prediction: “Three bands in the top-six at the World’s will be Canadian.”
What actually occurred: Just the same two.
Score: -1

Prediction: “Quality cane reeds will begin to revive themselves on the market.”
What actually occurred: Reedmakers are again discovering the margins that cane can bring!
Score: +1

Prediction: “SFU to win the World’s”
What actually occurred: Once again, this common prediction was a big fat no..
Score: -1

So, overall, how did we do? By our count, we got 24 of our 53 predictions absolutely correct, BUT, we scored a zero on four of them, so in essence we got 24 out of 49 for a 49 per cent success rate, which is down from our 62 per cent correct-rate of 2006.

Watch for our 2008 predictions, coming soon on pipes|drums!

1 COMMENT

  1. A pipe band will compete with MORE than 30 pipers in the grade 1 final. You gave yourself a point for this. Which band had 31? We might need a counter on this one.

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