PL! 2 – devine duos, teen idols, and fearless fours
The second day of Piping Live! – “The Tuesday,” as people would say – saw a bevy of events across the city centre, with the epicenter of the action of course at the National Piping Centre.
The usually-annual Pipes+Drums Recital of Grade 1 pipe-majors and leading-drummers, brought to you by the kind folks at pipes|drums (hey, that’s us!) showcased four of the topper-most talent in the world.
Kicking off this year’s event were Pipe-Major Alan Bevan and Leading-Drummer Reid Maxwell of the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. They came straight over from a morning rehearsal of their big “Nous Sommes Pretes” Pre-World’s Concert show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. In especially fine form were they, rich new material at the ready.
Next on were Pipe-Major Adam Holdaway and Leading-Drummer Scott Fletcher from the Stuart Highlanders of Boston (pron. “Bah-stan”). We like the fact that the event is a chance to hear talented players just a bit out of, but still well within, context, and Holdaway and Fletcher impressed the large crowd. Holdaway’s pipe was especially rich and resonant, with a Roddy MacLeod-esque high-A coming off of his new Gibson chanter, which he put in especially for the event (the band plays G1 chanters).
Pipes+Drums veterans Chris Armstrong and Jake Joergensen, leaders of ScottishPower, came on next, showing their new-found symbiotic musical relationship, keying off one another, demonstrating that this could be – or already is – an ensemble combo made in heaven.
The final duo to play was Pipe-Major Ryan Canning and Leading-Drummer Jim Kilpatrick of the Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia. Under Canning, Shotts has catapulted itself back into the top-tier of Grade 1, already just narrowly missing winning a championship, and the favourite of not a few to win the Big One on Saturday. Canning’s top-drawer solo abilities and Kilpatrick’s . . .