------Est. 1980 Glasgow city centre's oldest bagpipe shop------
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Dear Piping Enthusiast,
The Piping season in the UK is now off and well and truly running. Field Marshal Montgomery are firing on all cylinders and just picked up their 3rd major after a close result. The beauty of a band like FMM is that even with the odd glitch, they're still out in front of the others. We are glad to be supporting most of the grade 1 bands with a quality bag - Shotts, along with Inverarary and Scottish Power, are doing well and are all perennial customers. The list of quality bands that we supply worldwide is endless and we are delighted to be playing our part. At Begg Bagpipes, we really enjoy delivering good bagpipes, reeds,hemp,repairs etc that are made by hand and individually suited to the player. The customer is always the most important person in our business psyche.
I had great week's holiday recently with a few friends in Lake Garda, Italy and it was a great way to relax and prepare for the busy piping season ahead. I enjoyed swimming in the lake even if it was a bit nippy. It did however help my G gracenote, not to mention my Crunluath, so get to Garda and chill - but don't mess with these dodgy looking mafioso types spotted on Lake Garda - brother Bill and self
I noticed a great article on Bob Shepherd's home page produced by the new online video hub Pipe Band TV
. He mentions how crucial drumming should be in the pipe band ensemble. Perhaps we should have the drummers at the front of band? This would certainly go down well with the bods that want the orchestral arc with a conductor on a plinth - now we talking! However, I'm sure pipe bands will change and evolve with time but as long as the remit is competition orientated, it may continue to be stuck in a time warp. I hope not - check out Bob's website
John McDonald, the Emmy award winning Director of "On the Day",
has created a new film called Pipes and Sticks on Route 66. Five “rock stars” of the bagpiping world get their kicks on Route 66 as they play an unforgettable concert tour down the Mother Road of America. Scottish pipers Willie McCallum, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and drummer Jim Kilpatrick join forces with American percussionist Mike Cole in Chicago for the 2,400-mile journey to Los Angeles. Interweaving incredible music with the band members’ personal experiences, the film entertains and enlightens, offering a unique view of America’s fascinating people and places through the eyes of these foreign visitors. The film will kick off at Piping Live! with its European premiere at the Glasgow Film Theatre on August 9 at 5pm. John will be in attendance and will be joined there by Willie, Angus, Stuart and Jim. Have a taster or buy/rent the film at this link - Pipes and Sticks on Route 66.
Piping Adventures and Experiences - Snooker and Piping
In my younger days -steady, it's not that long ago - I played at a lot of events, functions, weddings, hogmanays etc. There were a few functions that were more out of the ordinary than others -in fact some were Just Plain Crazy and one such example was a Sunday sometime in the late 70s.Yes, I did say it wasn't yesterday but I think I am wearing well despite it all! I turned up at the Anderson Cross area of Glasgow for the Final of the Scottish Snooker Championship. It wasn't a particularly salubrious location but having had a mis-spent youth in various gin joints and not to mention the Mitchell Street pool hall, I could handle the challenge. It later became a bus station and I now believe they have converted it into flats. Anyway, I was duly introduced to the combatants and I could not believe the age gap between the main two protagonists - one seemed to be about 10 and the other 90! It seemed such an odd combination, but who was I to say - I was being paid and was not there for any niceties. I quickly got proceedings underway with a rousing tune on a superb bagpipe - my music was the equivalent of a televised 147 break in snooker! Anyway it turned out I was in the illustrious company of one of the famous Davis brothers (not sure if it was Joe or Fred) and a future superstar of the game - our very own Stephen Hendry
. To be honest, he looked at that time to have not long been out of his nappies but history tells the story - the snooker equivalent of a young Gordon Walker or young John D Burgess. They all rose to the greatest heights of their chosen profession but with the mass appeal of things like snooker, there also comes great financial gain for the very best - shame it doesn't reach into the piping sphere.
Watch out for some Hogmanay adventures in our next edition of the newsletter.
James C. Begg
Special Offer - Piping Live!/World Championships Special
Order any bag, reed or chanter ONLINE, collect from our Glasgow shop during August and receive a 15% discount - discount will be refunded on collection - the finest quality for a great price.
When checking out, write COLLECT in the shipping instructions box
Field report - Vancouver Island
Our friend, Gordon MacDonald, who owns and runs Island Bagpipe
in Vancouver Island, is also a keen angler and of course the fishing there is stunning. So when he needed a new priest to despatch the trout, Begg Bagpipes were pleased to turn a lovely priest from African blackwood. My brother Bill also enjoys his fly fishing and he too sports a Begg priest - maybe we should branch out a bit and start marketing this and other hand crafted works of art!
If you would like to report on any aspect of the Piping World from wherever you live, or if you would like to comment on any articles or issues, we'd be pleased to hear from you. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org