PL! 3 – lifted spirits, and we are ready
tunes from the book with performances from solo pipers Darach Urquhart and Ben Duncan. The ever-informative and eloquently plain-spoken Taylor nicely drew out observations on the content and the merits of the music.
Alex Gandy took his first turn playing at the lunchtime recital in the National Piping Centre’s auditorium, with a good crowd on hand to take in the playing of the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) – or, “78th Halifax,” as they’re generally referred to – pipe-major, who was in fine form as he prepares to take on the major gatherings at Oban and Inverness in just a few weeks’ time.
Then it was off on the Glasgow Underground, with its distinctive aroma of axel grease, dust and a hint of sewage, but otherwise spick-and-span, just three stops from Cowcaddens to Kelvinbridge stations, and to the College of Piping on Otago Street. We must confess that it was the first time back since we interviewed the late Angus John MacLellan in the 1990s during the end of the great Seumas MacNeill era of the institution. We just weren’t particularly drawn to the place for some 15 years, and were happy to see the remodeled premises, with a welcoming staff.
Why did we go? For a brief show by a mini-band of the Grade 1 Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band was why, comprising nine pipers, two snares and a bass, which was ample presence for the smallish and well-filled room. The group was in good form, playing some new material and content that we heard at last year’s Ceolry concert.
A spot of lunch and then back to the National Piping Centre for a spot of Pipe Idol, this round featuring Scotland’s Scott Barrie, who had just done a solo bit at the Glasgow Police . . .