Glasgow letter with Robert Robertson 22.08.19

Inveraray and District Pipeband European Champions lead the parade down the main street to the games field inveraray highland games picture kevin mcglynn

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The ‘after Worlds hangover cure’

On Sunday afternoon, I headed down to the Park Bar where (as I wrote last week) Gray Street had been turned into a huge beer garden for the annual World Pipe Band Championships ‘hangover cure’.

For me, it wasn’t a hangover cure as such – I had been playing a festival in Exeter the day before so hadn’t got back to Glasgow until quite late on Saturday and was raring to go by Sunday afternoon.

I arrived to find hundreds of pipers visibly weary from the effects of the weekend but with a steely determination to carry on the party as they all glanced nervously at the ominous clouds blowing down Sauchiehall Street.

No sooner had I joined some pals and ordered a drink than the heavens opened and everyone was running back in doors or squeezing under the cover of the gazebo over the bar.

It was a great opportunity for those pipers and drummers from warmer climes to sample a typical Scottish summer scene. Australians and Americans looked on with particular amusement when, as soon as the smallest chink of sunlight appeared back through the dark clouds, everyone piled outside again, took their coats off, and carried on the al fresco party.

Music inside the pub was courtesy of Lorne MacDougall and his band for most of the day, although eventually a set of pipes was passed round virtually everyone in the pub to play a tune.

By the end of the night, I believe there were still a host of hardy souls still standing outside seemingly blissfully unaware of the plummeting temperatures. They were certainly making the most of the last few hours of Worlds weekend.

Congratulations to all the competitors and, in particular, of course, to Inveraray and District Pipe Band who beat competition from 13 other nations to be crowned World Pipe Band Champions 2019.

Whisky and gin tasting

The next Mòd Ghlaschu fundraising event has all the ingredients (quite literally) to be an absolute cracker.

Held this Saturday, August 24, in the City Centre Holiday Inn, it is a whisky and gin tasting evening alongside haggis, neeps and tatties. Who could ask for more?

The selection of whisky includes Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Glen Garioch and Laphroaig. Gins include Barra Atlantic Gin and Downpour gin from North Uist.

Although I have regrettably not managed along to any of their events yet, I must commend the Mòd committee for keeping up the profile of Gaelic and traditional music in Glasgow through the summer months which are usually so barren of cèilidhs and concerts as so many people return to the Highlands and Islands for the season.

Their concert in the Òran Mòr last weekend, featuring Oban singer Kim Carnie and her band as well as Oban band Ceòl an Aire, was reportedly a great evening and I am sure this gin and whisky tasting will be well worth attending too. Tickets are £25 and can be obtained by contacting