Published: November 30, 2006

Trailing Drones

by Harry Tung

The piping wedding of the year recently took place when Margaret
Houlihan
married Alastair Dunn, tying the knot as they
walk into the sunset (or make that sunrise) of piping glory. Harry
made it to the church just in time to find out where the reception
was and got completely bevvied. Seriously, health and happiness to
you both, and may your drones never trail.

The World Solo Drumming Championships are fast approaching
and may the best percussionist win. That young Kilpatrick
lad could do well. Of course, there are a number of great players
always chapping at the door: Creighton, Maxwell, Wilson, Brown,
Ward
. . . and this year Drew Duthart is competing in
the event for the first time in a while, with piper John
Cairns
in tow.

Rumours are out there that the Robert-Malcolm 2 (I guess
that’s what they’re still called), recently promoted to Grade 1
after winning the Grade 2 event at the World’s, is planning to come
to Maxville in 2007 and may even be putting on a concert. Harry’s
been asked to emcee the event, if it happens.

A kindly reader pointed out that the Victoria Police did the
“pre-World’s” concert in 1998 and went on to win the big
championship a few days later, thus refuting my contention that the
concert may be unlucky. Notwithstanding, it does seem that most
bands that play the concert finish
not-as-well-as-they-may-have-hoped at the World
Championships.

With YouTube being bought by Google for a gazillion
dollars, can some piping we properties be far behind? PlanetPipe must surely
be on some media mogul’s shopping list.

Harry’s laughing again. The RSPBA‘s website continues to
contend that it’s “the most widely used website throughout the pipe
band world.” Bollocks. Not even close. The site boasts 96,628
visits from January 1 to June 30, 2006. For a start, this site had
more than 900,000 visits during that same period. They have
been advised that this claim is not accurate, but don’t seem to
care. Don’t get me wrong, like: it’s a great site for RSPBA results
and during the contest season, but that’s a little more than an
average of 500 visits a day. Get a grip.

Question: why do they call competing in solo piping as playing “on
the boards”? Maybe true on most of the Scottish circuit, but in
North America it should be referred to as “competing on a patch of
uneven grass with sticks and other crap getting caught in your
laces during the piobaireachd.” I say bring back the boards. Heck,
like Iggy Pop, I’m the chairman of the bored.


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