In just seven days, the streets of Glasgow will once again be alive with the sound of the bagpipes – and drums, traditional guitars and fiddles – as 8000 of the world’s best pipers and pipe bands arrive in the city for Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and the World Pipe Band Championships.
Taking place from 6th – 12th August, Piping Live! is set to attract an audience of around 30,000 people to more than 150 ticketed and free events across the city morning, noon and night, including concerts, recitals, competitions, ceilidhs, free pipe band tasters at George Square and come and try sessions.
The festival will once again culminate in the incredible spectacle of hundreds of pipe bands competing for the coveted title of World Champions in front of 50,000 people at the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green on Saturday 11th August.
This year, the events will welcome pipers from more than 15 different nations including Spain, Sweden, France, Estonia, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, England and of course Scotland.
EVENING HIGHLIGHTS THROUGHOUT THE WEEK
Monday 6th August
The Opening Night Concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is bursting at the seams with incredible talent from Ireland and Scotland and should not be missed. The Award winning Michael McGoldrick, who has performed with Mark Knopfler, Capercaillie and Kate Rusby to name a few will be joined by John McCusker, one of Scotland’s most versatile instrumentalists who has shared the stage with the likes of Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Teenage Fanclub and Paolo Nutini. Also on the line-up is Irish musician John McSherry who has been described as a ‘true master’ of Uilleann Piping and is in demand as a musician from the likes of Nanci Griffiths and Sinead O’Connor. Lastly, this bill also includes young guitarist and former Wolfstone frontman Kris Drever, whose acclaimed debut solo album Blackwater includes appearances from Eddi Reader, Roddy Woomble and Donald Shaw. Doors 7pm.
Watch Michael McGoldrick and John McCusker in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtpCV77xa2c&feature=player_embedded
Tuesday 7th August
The RT Shepherd & Son International Quartet Competition returns by popular demand to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with eight of the best Grade One bands going head to head in a pre-Worlds showdown. Stepping up this year are current winners Inveraray and District Pipe Band, who will be facing challenges from 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band, Bagad Cap Caval, ScottishPower Pipe Band, St Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band, Strathclyde Police Pipe Band and the Toronto Police Pipe Band. Doors 7.30pm.
Watch Inverarary & District Pipe Band in action at last year’s competition here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kdK2_yyymQ
Wednesday 8th August
Orain nam Piobairean (Songs of the Pipers) will showcase the best in piping and Gaelic song. With the new look Breabach performing tracks from their latest album “Bann” and amazing Gaelic Songstress Kathleen MacInnes with friends, this evening will leave you inspired by the interwoven traditions of language and music of the West Coast of Scotland. Fear an Taighe for the evening is Calum Ross. National Piping Centre, doors 7.30pm.
Watch Kathleen in action here with Michael McGoldrick, Donald Shaw and Sarah Jarosz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W7QM8X2EdE
Thursday 9th August
We welcome back Pipes & Strings with the sensational Asturian piping group Tejedor, whose fusion of celtic traditional music creates a showstopping sound. Then Blazin’ Fiddles will perform their fast and furious musical stylings with a fiery blend that raises the roof. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Doors 7.30pm
Watch Blazin’ Fiddles performing here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYIq3ZjCRpo
Friday 10th August
Two of the hottest, critically acclaimed young acts around will take to the stage for Piping Live! New Folk Friday. This night will present the vanguard of new, exciting Celtic music that is sure to challenge your perception of piping! The Arches, doors 7.30pm.
Watch Niteworks at the Go North Festival here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlqGki5z1HU
Saturday 11th August
The World Pipe Band Championships return to Glasgow Green. Pipe Bands from across the globe will descend upon Glasgow Green in an attempt to become World Pipe Band Champions 2012. This competition is truly global with over 200 bands and 8000 pipers and drummers travelling from as far afield as Canada, Denmark and USA. Will Northern Ireland’s Field Marshall Montgomery make it a double or can someone steal their crown?
As well as the all-important competition, The Worlds has plenty of other entertainment on offer to make it a perfect family day out. There’s the kid and youth zone, a crafts fair, the Glasgow World Highland Games, bars and lots of delicious food on offer
To round off this tremendous day of world class piping, prepare to party until you drop at the After Worlds Shindig. The Vatersay Boys whose fantastic, no nonsense brand of ceilidh music will have your feet stomping into the night. Fresh from performing on Disney’s Brave soundtrack, Lorne MacDougall and his Band will also bring their own style of high energy music to the Shindig. The Old Fruitmarket, doors 8.30pm.
A full programme is available for free download here: http://www.pipinglive.co.uk/news/piping-live-2012-pdf-programme-available/
Tickets for all evening concerts are available by calling 0141 353 8000 or online at www.glasgowconcerthalls.com
For events at The National Piping Centre, tickets are available from 0141 353 0220
Tickets for The Worlds are available from 0141 353 8000 or www.theworlds.co.uk – please note that all Grade 1 tickets are now sold out, but some general admission passes are still available.