Monday, October 22, 2007

Satisfied customers

Good morning ! [or good evening, or good afternoon ]I saw your pipe band at Montbrison [near St Etienne, France], and I just want to tell you, it was great [too late, I know]See you soon in France (I hope) [why not at Lyon ].Oumanie. [one of the crazy girls who talked with Logan]


Pics and an article from James Bell on the recent trip to Montbrison. Sounds like a great time was had by all.

On Friday 5th Oct, at 4.00am, Coldstream Pipe Band set off for Montbrison, near Lyon in Southern France. We had been invited to take part in the Journees De La Fourmee 2007, a truly European festival, with bands and groups from Poland, Lithuania, Georgia, Croatia, Spain, Belgium and France.

We arrived at Lyon airport to be met by our guide for the weekend, Cynthia Bordas, an American living in Montbrison with her husband and two children. Cynthia was almost immediately nick named Madame Cyn by the band. After an hour and a half bus journey we arrived at Montbrison and shown to our accommodation which was in a college. The Croatians had already arrived and gave us a hearty welcome. We were fed in a community canteen washed down with the local red wine.

After dinner most of the band went to watch the Croatians and the Polish bands perform on a stage at the Town Hall. The elder gents of the band, Gordon, Rob, Frank and Alec decided they would finish off their wine and have an early night.

After watching the bands perform on stage the rest of the pipe band decided to find a bar for a nightcap. Just round the corner from the town hall was a bar which looked busy so in we went. Low and behold guess who were propping up the bar, more like the bar propping them up? Yes, the four elder statesmen of the band! Gordon was oot the box, Rob and Alec were not much behind him and Frank had found a friend called Fred. The bar man was an Italian called Alan, after a bit discussion about how Scotland beat the Italians at Rugby, big Al gave us all a complimentary drink with the promise of more if we came to his bar on Saturday night for the French /All Blacks game.

The auld yins had by this time long left us, so we decided it was time to go, as we could always have a drink back at the digs. On arriving back we heard that the Pipe Major had a mishap on his way home, missing the pavement and falling into a ditch. This will go down in band folklore as Rob’s cowp to join Gordon’s La Capelle side step.

On Saturday morning we visited the local market, getting souvenirs for the band WAGs back home. After that we killed off some time by visiting Big Al who was very pleased to see us.
After lunch it was down to business. The band had to play on four different stages dotted all round the centre of town. Starting at 3.15pm and finishing at 7.00pm.
Then a break for dinner, before, along with all the other groups, playing for over 900 people at a banquet. What a reception we received as we marched in to the hall playing “Blue Bonnets”.
Then it was a quick march down to Big Al’s for the Rugby when we all became French for the night.
Madame Cyn joined us for the night and soon found out she could not keep up and kind of fell by the wayside! But she coined a phrase that I am sure will be used often by the band in the future, “Oh my God, you guys are awesome!”

Sunday morning came all too soon and a rather hangover band got themselves ready for what would prove a massive day of playing.
After breakfast at 8.30 we made our way to the Cathedral where, along with the Croatians, the pipe band would play during the service.
At 10.30 we paraded to meet the Mayor and exchange gifts. The Mayor wishing us good luck for Scotland’s rugby match in the evening.
Lunch was followed by the fancy dress parade. To give you an idea how big the parade was, Coldstream Pipe Band started at 17th in the procession. In front of us was a Chinese group and immediately behind were five horsemen. The drummers felt it was just like Flodden day with the horses often getting a bit too close.
At the front of the band was Madame Cyn with a placard and a trolley full of water as the temperature was 26 degrees. It was estimated that there were 40,000 people lining the streets with all the children showering the band with confetti. After the parade the band had half an hour respite before performing on all four of the stages for one last time. It has to be said that the French love a Pipe Band, they clapped and cheered all day. It made us feel really appreciated.
After dinner and a wee drop of the red wine we headed to Big Al’s to watch the big game. It was shut! However, just up the street was a small bar so we took that one over. It was a great party atmosphere with the locals cheering on Scotland. We will not go into the result but the band had a great night!
On the way home James, Peter and Duncan re-enacted Rob’s cowp, with Duncan playing the Flowers of the Forest. What a grand end to a great weekend. Can’t wait till the next trip comes along.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Civic Week

Type 'Coldstream' into Flickr ( the site where people share their photos and it's amazing what you find.

These pics quickly emerged. The first is the band at the Installation of the Coldstreamer on 17 August this year. Thanks go to Phalarope, the Flickr contributor, for the picture.
The second, well, someone will have to explain. But it does look like confirmation that the Borders are, indeed, odd.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weddings (3)

More pictures of the wedding of Laura and Scott Melville, 14th July 2007.

Weddings (2)

Pictures of a wedding we played at during the summer. This time at Ford Castle.

The weddings have been very enjoyable afternoons and great fun. We really hope they added another a bit of spectacle to a wonderful day.

Friday, October 05, 2007


The band has been up to all sorts this year but a new phenomenon has been playing at weddings. Very enjoyable they are too.
There are a number of local options for celebrating a wedding in our area:
There's Coldstream itself:
Here are a couple of pics from a 'do' at Ford Castle and another chance to see Pete and Tammi.
If you are interested in booking the band for your big day, please contact us via the blog or the website.
All venues in the Borders and North Northumberland considered.

Au revoir

Last night in Thierache, presentations and speeches. Sir Gordon waxing lyrical as only he can.

Zuit Alors (3)

Late night shenanigans. The picture is in focus, it's the band that are blurry.

Zuit Alors (2)

Concert night.

Zuit Alors! (1)

Ooh La La. Le Band, de Coldstream in Thierache, Picardy: France ya bass!

This was a short tour we made in August. You might recall that the band from Thierache, the mighty d'Origny-en-Thierache visited Coldstream in April this year, see entries for April.

Pete and Tammi's wedding (4)

Now for the reception at Roberton village hall = BEER!!!

Pete and Tammi's wedding (3)

Here are pictures of the band playing Pete and Tammi from the Kirk.

Pete and Tammi's wedding (2)

As promised, more pics from Pete and Tammi's wedding in Roberton Kirk on 15th September. Pete has played in the band for ages and we were very happy to play him and his bride from the Kirk.

Here the band is playing into the Kirk yard.

Roberton is a small village in nearby Roxburgh; more info here:

A great day and a lovely wedding.

Many congratulations to Pete and Tammi.