Published: November 08, 2016

Trailing Drones: here comes the fudge!

competitions. I understand that it’s probably necessary, but it really makes me sad that our art at its very greatest level isn’t attractive enough to sponsors or ticket-buyers.

Fudge! Here’s a thing: if you are a serious solo piper, get a kilt that isn’t your band’s. I cannot understand why anyone would want to parade around in a band uniform at a strictly solo competition. I understand doing it when there are solos in the morning and band in the afternoon, but wearing the band kilt at major competitions? How gauche!

Fudge! And what about all those lead-drummer changes? Vale of Atholl and Bleary & District had maybe some bad timing on their side. If the Vale had waited a week then they might have got Eric Ward (and he them) but, as it was, they brought in Adrian Hoy, who has to travel from Northern Ireland to get to practice in Perth, Scotland. Then Bleary agrees to terms with Ward, who has to come to Northern Ireland from Glasgow. Both bands have a great solution in place, but, all things being equal, wouldn’t it be a lot better if these roles were reversed? Great drummers and bands all, but the logistics make zippo sense.

Fudge! You have to feel sorry for these pipers who get prizes from their teachers judging them. They might well have deserved them, but no one thinks of it that way. The players can’t win even sheepishly, as it were. If their teacher doesn’t have the good sense to stand down from judging and put their student’s interests before their own, sorry, but that teacher is fudging it for everyone.

Fudge! How can the RSPBA allow judges and others on their payroll to do public critiques of their own competitions in the print and online magazines that the RSPBA for all purposes controls? This is conflict of interest, and some of the utter sh^te I’ve seen – some from people who have not played in a band in 40 years and never in one at the top-tier – reads like it’s an attempt to sway results, pure and simple. Any association worth its ethical salt would look after its members and invoke a policy that prohibits these idiotic fudgy screeds.

So, what’s making you say fudge about your stone tablet? Just send along your ooey-gooey sugary mess to Harry. Anonymity assured. No fudging that.

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