August 31, 2007

Piping Live! Festival clowning around on Day One

Iain MacDonald reports

Glasgow’s week-long festival of piping kicked off under grey skies, but kept the mood light with comedy acts, clowns, balloons, and other family oriented activities.

Big Rory and Ochie the Dog. [Photo: I. MacDonald]Big Rory and Ochie the Dog meandered among the folk listening to music in the Piping Centre Street Café, and regularly created a stir with their antics. The morning activities included face painting, a bouncy castle, and animal balloons for the kids, and there were lots of happy faces walking about in the afternoon.

The music shows in George Square had a very good turnout of spectators in the morning, and then crowds were thin under raining skies in the afternoon, but the tunes kept rolling.

Day one of Pipe Idol featured four young pipers playing in the Street Café, to a full house of appreciative enthusiasts. The standard of play was excellent, and day one showcased the great teaching that is going on in Scotland.

Chris Gibb and Lauren MacColl on the Café stage. [Photo: I. MacDonald]After the Pipe Idol contest, Chris Gibb and Lauren MacColl took the Café stage on border pipes and fiddle. Chris is a graduate of the RSAMD degree program in piping, and currently teaches piping in the Stirling schools. Chris and Lauren played a set with many great piping tunes: classic jigs from Donald MacLeod and great 2/4 marches, and then modern tunes from the likes of Gordon Duncan. It was a very entertaining hour of music.

Iain MacDonald contributes frequently to pipes|drums, and lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. A well known and accomplished competitive solo piper, he is playing with the ScottishPower Pipe Band while his own band, the Grade 2 City of Regina, is on hiatus.


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