The gig I had booked for midnight new years eve have just cancelled due to the business closing down, this means I am now available for hire at the midnight slot new years eve.This is a very rare opportunity as I am always booked very early on in the year. So if you would like to book me for the main slot please get in touch with me as soon as possible.
I am now taking bookings for over the Christmas period, so whether your in the cheshire, merseyside, greater Manchester area or further afield and you want to hire a bagpiper of a high standard to make your celebrations going into 2015 go off with a bang then get in touch. Please note dates are going fast but theyre are still major dates available.
Choosing a Bagpiper for your event
Bagpipers spend years learning and trying to perfect this unique instrument, usually through playing in a pipe band from a young age to having at least one tutor (some of the best solo bagpipers in the world still have tutors) to get to an acceptable level it takes a good few years of hard practice then after this many will compete in both solo competitions and/or playing with a pipe band in competitions, the usual governing body for bagpipers is the Royal Scottish Pipe band Association (see links eyrewaves.co.uk).
There are however a number of bagpipers that advertise themselves as something along the lines of "world class" or "the countries Number 1 Bagpiper". I would be very dubious about these bold statements because genuine bagpipers are a very modest folk ;)
If for whatever reason I am unavailable to play at your event, I will always endeavor to make sure you are put in contact with another reputable Bagpiper as I have many contacts throughout the UK of top quality Bagpipers. This is important to me as I am so passionate about this great instrument, I wouldn't want somebody to give it a bad name and also spoil your event through poor playing and out of tune sounding bagpipes.
A few tips to show a genuine bagpiper are:-
Associated with a pipe band(in the past or still presently playing) or Bagpipe organisation i.e RSPBA
They have had one or more Bagpipe tutors over a number of years.
They May have won awards such as solo piping or in their pipe band.
They have a good repertoire as well as the classics they should know jigs, hornpipes, reels etc
Most importantly however would be to have sound samples or examples of their playing for you to listen to so you can make sure you are happy with the Bagpipers performance before they play at your event. Usually they should have recordings on their website or links to you tube, if this isn't the case it may be a good idea to be sent a sound sample by email this way you can get a 2nd opinion, to ensure the bagpipe playing at your event will be a memorable and professional performance.
Oct 2014 Approaching Busiest Season
As we approach the last Months of 2014 the calender becomes extremely busy for myself and many other Bagpipers, this includes New Years eve/Hogmany Christmas parties and other events on the run up. If you want to hire a Bagpiper for your event it may be a good idea to start inquiring or even booking a piper quite soon as many businesses will be drawing up there Christmas and New year festivities and so will be booking bagpipers soon to advertise for their seasonal events.If you can't get a bagpiper for midnight try not to be too disheartened as you may be able to book a piper before or after, last year I performed at a church hall, and a club in Didsbury and Manchester before playing at a pub in Manchester for Midnight but the best reception and atmosphere was the local in the Wirral at 2am, (the sauce may have helped a little with that one) So whether your holding a private function or works party, Hotel, Pub or Restaurant. I would start looking and booking a Piper thats going to make your event.
July 2014 WEDDING SEASON.
The summer season as we know is also the Wedding season which can be such a stressful time for organising the perfect dream wedding (Ive/my wife has been there) and with all that hard work, preparation and expense involved, It is then very understandable to make sure that everything goes well. If you want to hire a bagpiper for your wedding, then it is important to have a piper who has experience and knowledge to help make things go smooth (on the music front)
As mentioned previously it is important to hire a bagpiper with a good calibre. It is also important for the bagpiper to be able to help out with what you require for the big day if you need advice on tunes or when you want the bagpiper to play. With myself I always endeavour to help out with this as much as possible and always try to be as flexible as possible and with just a little information I can have a good idea on the kind of tunes and when and where to play the bagpipes. To help out with this I have recorded some popular tunes on the sound samples page to help with ideas, however this is by no means all the tunes I play. I have countless bagpipe tunes in my repetoire as well as a knack to learning new and different tunes to make it all the more personal if there was something in particular you have in mind. As a Bagpiper I understand the importance to the big day and make sure that each time it is as personal as possible. As well as this I make sure that my costs are kept as low as possible knowing full well the expense of a wedding. So whether it be Liverpool, Manchester, Other parts of the North West or any where else throughout the country Contact me for a very reasonable quote.
A little on the Heritage of Bagpipes and Pipe bands from the North West. The North West of England has a rich and proud heritage of pipe bands with particular individuals sparking a successful era for Pipe bands in the North West, this stems back to the 1970's and 80's in particular and of which I am proud to be associated with. One Band in particular that stood out Was Mount Carmel Pipe Band, who were based in the Salford/greater Manchester area. They became the only English civilian Pipe band to reach Grade 1 (the highest grade possible in pipe bands) Other Bands of note were Warrington Pipe band Which reached grade 2 as well as Chorley Pipe band and City of Salford Pipe band (then called Hodgkinson Bennis) who would consistently pick up prizes from major competitions in Scotland, many of the members of these pipe bands still play today and I was very lucky to play with and taught by very prominent individuals from this era. Although some of the the pipe bands in this time are no longer competing, they have left a great legacy in the fact that never before has so many bagpipers and drummers from the North West played at the highest grade for Pipe bands from around the world. This is all because of the standard and quality set by these earlier players which was at the highest level, in turn would be great for the youngsters learning to play so you can rest assured then that if you wanted a bagpiper from the likes of Manchester, Salford, Liverpool Merseyside Lancashire way etc (with the right Background) you will be getting a quality Standard player.