Bagpipes news and links

Bagpipes, Music, Piper, Wedding, Wedding music

Rather than regurgitate a bunch of stories I thought I could instead just post a handful of links to Scottish pipers (and for the matter American pipers) news stories I’ve found interesting the last few days.

Here’s one about James Rivers, a fantastic musician with both jazz and the bagpipes making for a unique combination of instruments. http://wgno.com/2015/06/22/rivers-master-of-jazz-and-bagpipes/

Here’s a story about the College of Piping offering some new courses and credits that some of you may find interesting. http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2015-06-22/article-4190971/Bagpipes,-highland-dancing-now-high-school-credits/1

if you are looking for a Scottish Wedding Piper look no further than big Stuart on the bagpipes. http://elitebands.co.uk/scottish-piper

Some more about the Swords and Bagpipes tabletop game I was just talking about, including a discussion with the creator. http://geekdad.com/2015/07/swords-and-bagpipes/

I’ll leave you this time with a picture of Scotland’s greatest hero. Groundskeeper Willie!

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Swords and Bagpipes

Bagpipes, Piper, tabletop games

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Something a little different today, caught sight of this just now and thought it was pretty unique, a tabletop board game about the first war of Scottish independence featuring bagpipe cards and a map of Scotland on the board. Each round, the players, representing noble houses of Scotland, are asked to choose a side in the current battle—either to ally with England or stand for Scottish independence.

It’s an interesting idea, one that could make for a fun strategy game on the PC, reminds me a bit of a Scottish twist on the old Sid Meier game Colonisation actually. I like the idea of any piece of media featuring Scottish pipers so I could be tempted to pick this up.

The project reached it’s Kickstarter goal and then some and you can find out more about it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1957487380/swords-and-bagpipes-freedom-treachery-power?ref=card

The company is apparently based in Florida so I don’t know how Scottish it truly is but still an interesting curiosity for sure. It does make me wonder if any other games, be they board games or video games, have prominent roles for Scottish pipers on their bagpipes. Can’t think of any myself but if you can feel free to let us know in the comments section below, thats why it’s there!

Something I love about Glasgow….

Bagpipes, Music, Musical Covers, Piper

So it was a couple of weeks ago now but one of the things I absolutely love every year in Glasgow is the Mela festival. 40,000 people (according to their website) headed to Kelvingrove park for a festival that has a combination of different cultures and some really interesting performers. One of my favourite things about the day is that you’ll sometimes see performances combining two or three different types of music you wouldn’t usually see, for instance this video from 2009 featuring the bagpipes:

The Mela has a great variety of food, a nice wee part of the park to go hide in and have a beer and a stage featuring a lot of interesting performers you wouldn’t usually get the chance to see. It’s always a decent day out.

On the subject of Scottish wedding pipers I didn’t see any bagpipers this year but that’s not to say they weren’t there. Will have to keep an eye out next year.

If you were at the Mela and got any decent photos or videos why not post them or a link to them in the comments below! Also check this out!

AC/DC for bagpipes!?

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This article states that that an organisation devoted to supporting traditional Scottish music raised almost TEN THOUSAND POUNDS to put together a book of sheet music detailing how to play AC/DC on bagpipes!

It is being put together in the memory of Scottish piper Gordon Duncan, a man described as an influence on the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and responsible for THIS incredible cover of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck:

Not sure if he was ever a Scottish wedding piper but thats the tune I want played at my wedding!

Gordon passed away in 2005 and this is the second such book put together since his death, commemorating 10 years. Amazingly the man played his tunes by ear so not a lot of them were written down.

Visit the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust webpage here.

Listen to Thunderstruck HERE:

Until next time…

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Lidl £12.99 Bagpipes

Bagpipes, Music, Piper

These have apparently been a thing since at least the start of the year! The supermarket Lidl has been selling inexpensive bagpipes for over half a year and in the Daily Record article I’m shamelessly taking a lot of my information from (an article that can be found here.) the director of the National Piping Centre, Alisdair McLaren, had positive things to say about them! He said;

“A basic set of pipes costs around £700 so at £12.99 they are definitely worth the money, even though the sound is more like what you would get from a practice chanter.

“They are a bit of fun and if a young person then wants to learn the pipes properly that can only be a positive thing.”

Can’t argue with that, the price of a basic set could scare off a lot of people before they’ve even begun to take up the pastime. Hopefully the introduction of a cheaper alternative will help a few people to pick the bagpipes up, keep piping alive and well and maybe introduce us to some new Scottish wedding pipers down the road.

The video below see’s the Scottish National Youth Pipe Band try them out and have fun in the process:

What do you think about the Lidl pipes? Have you had an opportunity to play them yourselves? Are they any good or a bit rubbish? As ever feel free to let us know in the comments below.

 

Wedding entertainment: Some statistics.

Bagpipes, Music, Piper, Wedding, Wedding music

I was looking at wedding music statistics today (as you do) and found these one’s to be pretty shocking. Statistics I found on the St. Louis Bride and Groom website, taken from sources such as USA Today and The Knot suggest that almost 100% of brides they spoke to would, if they could do things again, spend more money when it came to choosing the entertainment for their wedding. 72% of those brides said they would spend a significantly larger amount of time choosing their musical performers. Finally 81% said that the main thing they remembered about their reception was the entertainment they chose.

Choosing a Scottish wedding piper for your wedding can be a time consuming business but these statistics definitely show that it will be time well spent. Don;t leave it until the last minute and don’t underestimate the importance of getting a really good piper to play. We can recommend Stuart (who can be found here: http://elitebands.co.uk/scottish-piper ) however if you have anyone you’d like to recommend make sure to do so below in the comments!

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More famous songs covered on bagpipes.

Bagpipes, Music, Musical Covers, Piper, the Flinstones, Wedding, Wedding music

Here’s another collection of songs you are probably familiar with that you wouldn’t expect to see covered on bagpipes and certainly wouldn’t expect to see on a blog about Scottish wedding pipers!

The Flintstones theme song

Do they still show the Flintstones on TV? I have vivid memories of watching it as a kid along with about fifty other Hanna-Barbera shows that used to cheaply fill up kids television.

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I’m also old enough to have begged my dad to take me to see the 1994 movie complete with Agent Dale Cooper as the villian and the terrible B-52s cover of the theme. It doesn’t take much but the video below is certainly a more enjoyable cover than that one ever was:

(And for comparisons sake here’s the B-52s version. I’m very sorry.)

If I can make some requests I’d like to hear some more kids TV show themes covered, in particular Thundercats, The Pink Panther and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. MAKE IT HAPPEN INTERNET!

Game of Thrones theme

I’d like to do some research and see if any Scottish pipers actually show up in the show. Living in Glasgow I’ve seen half the cast out drinking over the years, I’ve seen the actor that plays Sandor Clegane on a few occasions, he’s intimidating looking man!

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Game of Thrones is a good show to do a bagpipe video for, the theme fits and the success of the show means that you can rack up the youtube hit count. This is a pretty cool video in my opinion so be sure to check it out!

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah 

We’ll finish with one I never thought I would see, a cover of a song that depending on your vintage you may know from Leonard Cohen (the writer of the song,) Jeff Buckley or Alexandra Burke. Or from 5 years of terrible X-Factor auditions.

Hopefully Leonard got a nice retirement check out of it all.

Personally I’m a big fan of the original Cohen version without all the historic of the X-Factor cover but your mileage may vary. I think the band covering it are from Russia but I’m not 100% sure but, well, it’s something different right?

Have you seen any cool cover versions done on bagpipes? Let me know in the comments below! Also check out the Elite Bands pipe major here: http://elitebands.co.uk/scottish-piper

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