Archerfield House in East Lothian hit the news fairly recently as being the venue chosen for Ronan Keating’s Wedding. Both Ed Sheeran and Boyzone were said to have performed there on the grand occasion, and just one month later – Garry arrived there from Edinburgh to play his bagpipes at a different wedding.
Garry greeted the guests as they arrived in two huge red buses in traditional Scottish Wedding style – with pipe music. He continued to play at the drinks reception until the party moved inside.
There was just enough time for a quick costume change as Garry the piper abandoned his kilt and instead opted for a smart black shirt and waistcoat as he transformed into the evening’s piano player. Playing a mix of pop songs from classics like The Beatles and Van Morrison to Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, some guests were surpirsed to discover that this was the same person who they saw on the way in, piping along to “Scotland the Brave”.
Altogether a fantastic day at a beautiful venue that I’m sure the happy couple will remember forever.
On Friday 23rd January Garry traveled to Aberdeen for Piping Hot Burns. The guests of the Village Urban Resort Hotel were dazzled not only with haggis, neeps and tatties, but also with the unfaltering wit of Les Peters and the beautiful voice of Jenni Malloch. And of course the bagpiper, Garry, with his signature blend of traditional and not-so-traditional tunes. Garry also played the role of accompanist on the guitar to Jenni’s renditions of “Pride” by Amy MacDonald and “500 miles” by the Proclaimers. He played the tin whistle to an unconventional Michael Jackson “Thriller” Mash-up and continued with some audience participation in the “Hokey Cokey” played on the pipes. The night was rounded off with everyone joining in with “Auld Lang Syne”.
The new stylish building was an excellent setting to a wonderful night. Watch out for Piping Hot coming back to Aberdeen next year!
On June 15th Garry was given security clearance into Edinburgh castle to perform at a wedding. Despite it being quite windy, it was a great day which was enhanced by the spectacular view of Edinburgh. The St Margaret’s Chapel is right at the very top and the bridal party had to slowly push their way through all the tourists as their car spiralled it’s way round. As the chapel is rather small, Garry played outside. Not only were the wedding party happy, but many tourists from around the world enjoyed Garry’s playing. Overall a successful day.
On 8th September Garry set sail along to a little Island called Inchcolm in the Middle of the Forth to perform at a wedding there. From South Queensferry, he piped the guests from the Two Bridges bar to the Hawes Pier (crossing the road with some busy traffic!) and onto the boat. The Maid of the Forth offers this service available for the public as well as for private hires. There’s even a bar on board the ship! After arriving, Garry then piped the guests up to the Abbey where the ceremony was performed and later back on to the boat. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the repeated request for the Bride and Groom’s song – the Star Wars theme!
I was recently asked to play for a 25th wedding anniversary. It was held at Stevenson House – a very nice venue in the New Town area of Edinburgh and the home of Robert Louis Stevenson. It is kept in a beautiful condition and is inhabited by a very nice family. Take a look at their website for more details. Unfortunately it was raining rather heavily so I was forced to play inside as the guests were arriving. The event ran very smoothly aside from a slight time delay and included speeches and readings of Robert Louis Stevenson’s work. Later I received a very nice reference from the organiser:
“When you’re stressed from preparing for a 25th wedding anniversary it’s a huge help that the piper is on time and ready well before you asked him to be there. A good start by Garry. He also absolutely looks the part. Musically he was perfect and everybody enjoyed his pieces. Inevitably our schedule slipped, and we kept Garry longer than we had intended. He was absolutely fine with that. More than happy to use him again when the occasion arises.”
Peter Downie, June 2012