Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Murrayfield Blues

Remember those happy days standing around freezing cold while camp TV 'boys' got a massed pipe band to stand around in stupid salture shapes where, when you played, you couldn't hear the rest of the band and the entire thing sounded hellish?

Well clearly the Scottish Rugby Union did. All the invites to the bands that previously played at Murrayfield have been cancelled in favour of Grade1 and Police bands, who are, allegedly, being paid £2,000 a pop. You'll remember we played for nowt and a ticket.

This from the Scotsman (A newspaper based in Edinburgh, which is a large town 40 miles from Coldstream).

Top piper defends school bands after Murrayfield axe

ONE of Edinburgh's most famous pipers has sprung to the defence of school pipe bands following the Scottish Rugby Union decision to replace them with professional bands before international matches at Murrayfield.
Rugby chiefs revealed last week that they took the decision after receiving complaints about the quality of performances.

But Major Gavin Stoddart, who used to be responsible for co-ordinating the pipes and drums at the Tattoo, today said the band members would be very disappointed by the move.
He said: "The SRU always booked military bands from the schools, including Fettes and Watson's, and I have no doubt the youngsters are bitterly disappointed at the new policy.
"Murrayfield has always been something to aim for, they were thrilled to bits to play on the sacred turf.
"They did a really good job considering the lack of rehearsal time and facilities.
"I saw them twice at Murrayfield and I was impressed, all things considered."

Major Stoddart retired in 2000 but was known to millions of television viewers around the world as the lone piper who played a lament from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle to see in the New Year.
The former Firrhill High pupil co-ordinated the massed pipes and drums at 20 Edinburgh Military Tattoos.