Grace Notes: Red Hot Chilli….. Pipers?

Last week, while taking part in the CoLab Ceilidh band (here is a link to last weeks blog post if you’re interested) we spent some of our time watching Ceilidhs on YouTube. This rapidly turned into sharing videos of folk music we liked and one of the members of the band showed us this.

These are the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. They were formed in 2002 and their first festival appearance was with a cameo performance at T in the Park with The Darkness in 2004. They fuse traditional Scottish music with Rock/Pop song (they call it ‘Bagrock’). In 2007 they won the BBC talent show ‘When Will I be Famous’ and have since had concerts and TV appearances worldwide. They have even appeared on the soundtrack to ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2 (which has a great soundtrack even without the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and is an awesome film. I seriously recommend it!).

I particularly like them because they are different to anything else I listen to (the ensemble is made up of pipers, drummers, guitarists and keyboard players). Not only can they ‘rock’, but they manage to fuse it with Scottish folk music brilliantly. From watching videos I can tell that their shows are incredible – the crowds love them. Because of the tuning of Bagpipes they can only play in certain keys and have a limited range. I know almost nothing about the Bagpipes but here is a link to a really interesting article explaining more. Some pop songs wouldn’t work, but the ones they choose work perfectly. I particularly like this one of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the discovery of the ‘Red Hot Chilli Pipers’ as much as I have!

On a completely different note, there is a concert next Saturday at St John’s Smith Square featuring brass students from conservatoires all over the country. This is a chamber music concert in memory of Philip Jones who was an internationally famous British Trumpeter. If you are in the area, it should be great!


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