PP Ed’s Blog: Support for Piping/ UK Championships G1/ Practising Indoors/ 214 Trophy

It’s all election politics here in Scotland; everything changes then nothing changes. We all thought when the Scottish National Party ascended to power ten years ago piping and pipe bands would be front and centre in their culture and arts policy. We were right not to hold our breath.

I say again: have a look at the way regions in France (Brittany) and Spain (Galicia/Asturias) treat their national music with direct funding and promotion, and politicians in Scotland, of whatever party, can hang their heads in shame.


As someone said yesterday, there is a more important event taking place in Belfast tomorrow: the UK Pipe Band Championships. We had our preview of Grade 2 yesterday but in Grade 1 will FMM be able to re-assert their authority after being pushed into second by one point at Paisley? They are on first with all the other big names in attendance:

Grade 1 order of play and times:
13:30 Field Marshal
13:40 Inveraray
13:50 Bleary
14:00 Vale of Atholl
14:10 Boghall
14:20 St Laurence O’Toole
14:30 Ravara
14:40 Glasgow Police
14:50 Shotts
15:00 Scottish Power
15:10 PSNI
15:20 Buchan Peterson
15:30 Johnstone
15:40 Fife Police

Can Fife Police (pictured top) maintain their position in the top six? Will Inveraray consolidate their big win at the British? It’s medleys at Stormont, the first run out of the season in this discipline. It may be all about content and impact. Things are so tight at the top that what catches the ear can make all the difference.

SLoT are always strong here and if they sound the way they did a few weeks ago they might take a bit of beating. And don’t forget Shotts who were outstanding at the first major despite an over-high pitch. The forecast is gloomy; in order to keep the pipes at their best pipe majors will be playing very little before going on. First results on the RSPBA Twitter feed as they are announced.


Absent from this major will be SFU and Dowco from Vancouver who both put on a show at the British. Neither was at their best at Paisley but they certainly brightened things up, Dowco especially with their bass drumhead:

Thanks to Bobby Allan for the pic.



Re the chanter muffler item of a couple of weeks ago, here’s what the Musician’s Union say about practising indoors: ‘As a rough guide, local authorities often state that if your neighbour can hear you practising above the sound of the TV it can be considered a nuisance. Of course, this is a subjective guideline and depends on how loud your neighbour listens to the TV!

‘Night hours are considered to be between 11pm and 7am so subjective noise levels during these hours are much lower than dipping to around 40 decibels. The majority of cases are resolved with a courteous conversation between neighbours to agree practice times and noise levels.

‘When communications break down it can descend into a litigious mess in which the musician can’t work. Loud and late will inevitably produce a problem. If possible a sound proofed-practice room should resolve any issues, as will playing away from adjoining walls.

‘If a complaint has been made and can’t be resolved amicably, environmental officers will visit the property to monitor noise levels. If an authority agrees that the noise is a statutory nuisance they can issue an abatement notice which stipulates that the noise stops, is reduced to an acceptable level or is only permitted during certain times of the day.’


The 214 ex-Members Secretary Alan MacColl has sent this: ‘We have posted something new on our website from the British Championships 2017 at Paisley. With a damp start St James Playing Fields, there was a large turnout of 4,000 pipers and drummers, competing to become British Champions in their respective grades.

The 214BB ex Members trophy for the winners of the Novice Juvenile B grade was contended for by ……..an amazing number of entrants for this newly formed grade. The trophy, in its second year of existence, was won by  Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band.’

You may view the latest post at http://www.214bb.com/2017/05/20/british-championships-2017-paisley/