Don’t silence the pipers!

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It was in the press over a week ago but the story of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s introduction of a new “code of conduct” for those playing bagpipes could be seen as a the first step to getting them banned from London entirely! Street musicians that create “piercing sounds like bagpipes” will be forced to move regularly or move to locations with “no flats, offices, shops or hotels.”

The new rules classify bagpipe music as a “repetitive loud sound” that can become annoying quickly which is pretty insulting to the performers. Further many London buskers see this as the first step to introducing a licensing scheme for busking.

Interestingly Alastair Campbell, of all people, has revealed himself to have been a bagpiping busker in his younger days. The former communications director at 10 Downing Street, the man that was a least part of the inspiration for Malcolm Tucker from the Thick of It, came out in protest and stated that he was “a great supporter of buskers in towns and cities.”

To silence the sound of Scottish pipers in London would be a great shame for the atmosphere and culture of the city A spokeswoman for the mayor of London stated: “Bagpipers are very welcome in London and we have many fantastic players. We also welcome feedback on the code of conduct.” So we will have to wait and see where this goes long term.

Now on a lighter note lets leave you with some of Peter Capaldi’s best rants.

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Alternative ideas for Wedding Pipers

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People may just think booking a piper is just booking a piper, however there are more options than you might realise. If you are in the market for something a little different to a classic piper here are a few options you could take into consideration.

If you are looking for a little showmanship how about the self proclaimed “Badpiper?” This flame throwing, tattooed punk looks like he wandered off the set of Mad Max and has been delighting crowds around the world for over 15 years. He’s just maybe not one for your granny. Search YouTube and you’ll find The Badpiper performing his take on rock standards by AC/DC and Queen as well as his own signature tunes. His bagpipes spit fire in the process, resulting in some awesome visuals that your guests wouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Looking for something a little more surreal? Portland’s Unipiper is the guy that looked at The Badpipers flaming bagpipes and said “I can do more with this.” This video of a man, dressed in Darth Vader cosplay, a kilt, on a unicycle playing the Star Wars theme on his set of fire spitting bagpipes is probably the best thing you’ll see on the internet today….

….unless that is, you’re more of a Game of Thrones fan.

Not sure if he’s available for bookings but he’d certainly bring a memorable amount of of weirdness to the day. Altthough, again, maybe not one for your gran.

Closer to home when speaking about pipers its hard not to mention The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, one of the highest profile pipe bands in the world. They made their name performing a combination of traditional pipe tunes and contemporary pieces, covering music an eclectic mix of music from Deep Purple to Snow Patrol to Gangnam Style (!?)

Would they play at your wedding? You never know, but you’d have to book early. These guys are in high demand having played around the world not to mention a few times at T in the Park too.

Of course if these ideas aren’t for you theres always Elite Bands’ handpicked piper, Stuart looks the part and is one of the best Scottish wedding pipers out there.

Piper 1

Stuart is the pipe major of the elite pipe band, the best sounding pipe band on the planet (if we do say so ourselves!) Depending on what you’re looking for the company Elite Bands can provide you a solo piper or the full pipe band, that will keep you (and your granny) happy. Head here for more details: http://elitebands.co.uk/band/elite-piper

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