------Est. 1980 Glasgow city centre's oldest bagpipe shop------
click on the banner for our home page
Dear Piping Enthusiast,
At Begg Bagpipes, with Easter on the horizon and days getting longer, we are offering our loyal customers the best quality products and prices. Situated In the heart of Glasgow and ensconced in what we think is the centre of the bagpipe world, we are here to encourage and develop individual players as well as the pipe band fraternity. I hope your pipes are "eggsactly" on form! ( Anyone got any better jokes? Ed)
I am sad to report the death of Mr. Jimmy Liddell, ex-Bcal and Scottish Power. Whilst I didn't know Jimmy greatly, I did enjoy his patronage and company for many years. On his last visit to the shop, I suggested the sheepskin bag would mold to his shape. He quickly retorted - I hope not! He was slightly on the rotund side of things and we almost rolled about the floor laughing for some 5 minutes. There were many other funny moments including the time he fell overboard from a boat in a duck pond in Ireland and passed it all off in his usual nonchalant manner - he will be sadly missed in the world of piping.
I recently enjoyed the company of Iain Duncan of the Vale of Atholl PB at the excellent annual Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. He Introduced me to a French couple who said they would send me a tune in tribute to the late Erwan Ropers - Erwan was a famous French piper and led a well known Bagad band. Here it is and thanks to Gilles Houez who is based in Brittany France with the GPS Bretagne Band.
Field Report 1 - from Ibrox Stadium
As I continue my current tirade about artificial items versus natural as read in our last newsletter, we have another interesting parallel in football. Should it be played on natural grass as opposed to man made? One of our local newspapers, the Glasgow Herald, reported the view of Glasgow Rangers Mark Warburton
on the 16th February. His words were that the number one choice has to be a good grass pitch. If you're prepared to accept second best and take a cheaper option, then go and get a good artificial pitch. It's exactly the same point in piping - natural or artificial. It is no coincidence that as the new Spirit of Scotland Band aims to achieve the highest possible standards, they are going down the natural route on sheep bags and cane reeds. Did I mention I was sponsoring the Band? How remise of me (lol)! You may hear me mention it again....and again.... and again. As I write, another thought occurs - would you buy your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend plastic or leather gloves as a present? Who fancies the doghouse??!
p.s we recently received this rather nice comment from Euan MacCrimmon viz.
"Many thanks for everything and especially the tight timeframe to tie the new bag on. Since I have gone back to your sheepskin bags I have won a lot of big prizes, including the Inverness Gold Medal and Lochaber Gold Axe. Had a tune today with the new bag and the pipe is sounding great! Good to have a new bag for the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band competing this year. Thanks again."
This is a lovely set of pipes in great condition, made by RG Hardie in 1978. They are hall marked silver/real Ivory and a collector's item at only £3,750. All parts are original and come with the Begg Bagpipes approval.
10% off all Electronic items
for the month of March - James will apply the 10% when order received.
Field 2 Report - Uist and Barra
My annual and almost spiritual event arrived recently in the form of the Uist and Barra Solo Piping competition held at the College of Piping in Glasgow. It's a very tight venue seat wise and not that hard to fill but it does create an atmosphere so the place was buzzing all day. It was really nice to meet up with so many old friends, and I was glad to see a few children and younger persons there too. John Angus Smith was the man in charge of proceedings and full marks to him for travelling from his home in London. It was quite a contrast to hear his distinctive anglicised voice in comparison to the soft Uist lilt and is a good example of the diversity of the people drawn to piping. The glamorous Catriona MacNeil performed admirably as the MC. The event was streamed and this is a welcome continuation of this trend. It's a no brainer for competitions to have events streamed live if at all possible. However, if you can attend such events in person, it is always better to do so to take in the brilliant atmosphere. I thought the standard of playing was a bit mixed. The usual seasoned pros did what they are good at - consistency. However it was a younger buck in the shape of Callum Beaumont
who won out overall. I didn't hear all tunes from all the competitors but I was surprised how quite a few of them had their drones out of tune and in some cases, miles out - this is not the expected standard you would think from top players. Bass drones were raucous from some as well. Whilst it's great to have a strong bass and John Wilson is a good example of this, you need to be careful that it doesn't sound like the Waverley paddle steamer's
hooter as she is sailing down the Clyde. Dress sense again varied and whilst you could play with your jacket on or off, some seemed to be looking a bit too much like the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons! However, I'm being a bit of a prude and ultimately, if players are comfortable with their attire, the playing must surely benefit. Overall, it was a great day and I have to admire the complete dedication from those that organise this event annually. It's also "Bravo!" to the ladies and gents that showcased how good solo piping can be and I am glad to have supported the event again.
James C. Begg
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