World’s pressure cooker ready to roast
For those from places like Florida, Texas, and Ontario, competing in intense heat is just part of the regular game. The thermometer hitting 27°C (80°F) suggests perfect conditions.
But for those in the UK, that’s positively roasting.
The city of Glasgow has had a week of spectacularly sunny and warm weather, and the forecast for Friday and Saturday, August 12-13, is calling for peak temperatures at a sun-soaked Glasgow Green.
Will Field Marshal Montgomery, winners of the 2022 UK and Scottish championships, take back the crown, or will Inveraray & District, winners of the other two majors – the British and European – and fresh off their triumphant Pre-World’s Concert performance successfully defend the title they’ve held since 2019?
Will the retirement of Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Lead-Drummer Gordon Brown give the perennial contenders a sentimental bump, and could the surging success of Police Scotland Fife, ScottishPower and Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia continue an upward trend to take out the title?
And what about St. Laurence O’Toole of Dublin? Are previous results an anomaly and will the band play once again to their tremendous capabilities and get their due?
What about non-UK/Ireland competitors? Simon Fraser University can never be counted out, as their six World titles attest, and remember, Florida’s City of Dunedin and Houston’s St. Thomas Alumni have been practicing in-person without much if any breaks right through the 2020-’21 when restrictions caused other bands to make do with video meetings.
And, remember, the 78th Fraser Highlanders of Ontario only a few weeks ago played through 35°C (95°F), complete with crushed ice in their pipe bags, to sustain a sound.
What about the possibility of young and hungry Closkelt, Johnstone, and Police Scotland Federation surging to upset the apple cart?
The pressure, the heat, the anxiety – enough to make your heid explode.
One thing’s a good bet: the invited guests in the RSPBA’s hospitality tent will not this year get to savour lovely cool drinks and sangwiches as the musicians work and play in the background. The association has apparently finally realized how bad that looked in front of members either sweating their kilts off or getting pelted with rain.
Here’s how you can watch the Grade 1 events on both Friday and Saturday for free:
Best of luck to all competing at the World Pipe Band Championships and may only the most deserving bands take the prizes!