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For the second year running, the LBPS took a stall at the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green in August. Not all the visitors were human ...

OUR STALL at the “World’s” was situated in a prime position, writes Jeannie Campbell - right next to the final tuning area for the Grade One bands, so there was always a big crowd outside the tent (or inside the tent whenever the rain came down). Society members staffed the tent during the day and were also able to fit in some playing between selling LBPS merchandise and providing information on bellows-blown piping for the many interested visitors.

Pipe makers Nigel Richard and Ian Ketchin demonstrated their instruments and allowed those interested to have a shot for themselves.

Our photograph here shows committee member Stuart Letford serenading one apparently interested visitor - a parrot. Suggestions are welcomed for an appropriate tune title for the occasion - or a suitable caption.


- Reviews -

Love and a Bottle, Jon Swayne & Becky Price (Rocke Records)

THE instrumental combination of Border pipes and piano accordion may initially strike one as an embarrassment of reeds, but this CD by English piper, pipe-maker and bagpipe activ- ist Jon Swayne with accordionist Becky Price is a beguilingly rich-toned piece of work which ranges through lesser- known English repertoire, either for bagpipes or playable on them, as well as some more familiar Lowland/Border tunes.

There are also tunes composed by the two players, as well as some interesting pointers to the cross-border nature of the older hornpipe repertoire - A Lankeshire Hornpipe, for in- stance, is surprisingly (or perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised) reminiscent of old Lowland tunes such as Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him. Or The Bonny Miller, learned from the Vickers Manuscript, via the English piper Dave Faulkner, is simply The Dusty Miller “up here”.

Right from the start, the sound is a distinctive one, Swayne’s heavy vibrato giving almost a French cornemuse accent to the piping, as in some of the set of three English carols. Along- side, Price’s piano accordion provides inventive yet sympathetic acompaniment, often sono- rously mellow, or her Scots-flavoured riffing which opens the otherwise English first track, Mr Preston’s Hornpipe, or the syncopated chording, reminiscent of uilleann pipe regulators, which crops up in their arrangement of Little Wee Winking Thing, from the Dixon manu- script.

Elsewhere, the two instruments dance nicely alongside each other, as in two Lowland jigs from Gordon Mooney’s collections, Woo’d an’ Married an’ A’ and Drink the Worts and Spill the Beer, topped off by Swayne’s own catchy, and again fairly Scots-sounding jig, Cowpie.

There are some nice tunes, too, from the Playford collection, and if Price’s accordion can frequently sound quite organ-like, she actually doubles on a church organ (with trombone from Rob Stevens) in the short, stately and satisfying Interlude, an arrangement from a late 18th-century organ concerto.

There is rewarding and sometimes intriguing listening here for anyone interested in both Border piping, the English piping revival, or simply in search of a good tune.

- Jim Gilchrist