It’s not uncommon for ceremonious occasions to send a shiver down your spine but when the atmosphere is then accompanied by the sound of distant bagpipes, every nerve in your body tingles with emotion. When you turn and let your eyes lock onto a Pipe player dressed in full regalia, suddenly the reality hits that you are a part of an event laced with respect and importance.
Though Rob is London based, he was born in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, by the Campsie Fells, grew up in Glasgow and lived there for over 40 years before moving to England. Down south, Rob was a member of the Surrey Pipe Band for five years, in which time he played on numerous band engagements, including the Surrey County Show, Hendon Police College passing out parade and the Star & Garter Military Tattoo at Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson.
I asked Rob “Why should our clients choose you out of all the Pipers available on the internet?”
Rob replied with this, which reinforced the respect I already had for his performance:
I offer competent playing on a nicely-tuned, well-maintained, quality instrument. These things can’t be taken for granted when booking a piper ‘off the internet’. Even with digital tuning devices available today, getting a set of bagpipes sweetly in tune and keeping them so over the course of an engagement can be something of a ‘dark art’.
Regarding experience, I’ve been doing this for years and have played many gigs. I know what to expect and where the pitfalls are. I can offer advice on tune selection, how to use the pipes to best effect in different situations, and where accidents are waiting to happen.
I am sympathetic to the clients needs, allowing for the fact that they might not have employed a piper before and might have lots of questions they need answered. I invite them to keep the questions coming until everything is clear to their satisfaction. On the day, I realise that things won’t always go to plan and that it’s important for me to be patient and flexible. While there are limits, obviously, I won’t be ‘watching the clock’, and if the wedding breakfast starts an hour later than planned, well, that’s life.
I care about the quality and condition of my piping attire and I will make every effort to ensure I ‘look the part’ for their special occasion. They can be confident I won’t turn up in a moth-eaten kilt with a half-bottle of whisky sticking out my sporran! My kilts, tunics and accessories are bespoke, best quality from Scotland, as opposed to cheap, imported kit bought from an on-line auction site.
I prepare thoroughly for every job to ensure I’m there on time with all my kit present and correct and my pipes in good working order. My rule of thumb is to be on site at least one hour in advance of when I’m first due to play.
Erm…I’m Scottish, born and bred!
Now, that’s professionalism through and through. Feel free to call us or click the enquiry button above and we will let you know Robs availability and pricing. As you can imagine, Rob gets booked up very quickly so even if your requirements are for a years time, get in now!