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Haggis and Bong / Blog

TinCups full of Jagermeister!!!

So, the weekend started out with our show in Witbank/eMalehleni as I see its now called. Our first time playing the venue, so we didn't really know what to expect.

We arrived at TinCups (Tom, Nadia and I) and immediately started setting up the sound...as Tom's sound company, Mean Music was doing the sound for the night. My personal mission was to organise power points...so after a half hour mission of running extensions and planning distances perfectly (thanks to my Mom for all the help with Geometry back in the day), we were set up and ready to get the first band going.

The show went well, we came out with maximum energy and ready to pick up where we left off last weekend. Song after song I could see the crowd getting more into it, mosh pits breaking out, people headbanging over the monitor in front of me, it was awesome!! The venue is a really intimate experience with the crowd...and it had a rebel show feel to it with some people choosing to stand on the side marvelling at Tom's drumming. They loved him so much that they got him to do his first ever live drum solo!!! THAT WAS HELLUVA SICK!!!

The next day we were set to perform at the JagerMusic Showcase. The one we had been looking forward to for the weekend!! Unfortunately the turnout was a bit disappointing, especially considering the line up!! We got up there and rocked those that had come though. The crowd was awesome and I could feel all the good vibes flowing onto the stage from them!!! Something great bout playing to people who know your music well, cos you know that they're feeling you in the moment!! Please don't get the wrong idea from that last sentence!! lol

We were all super stoked after 2 awesome shows, the playing is getting so tight now and the band is gelling like we never have before...so the next few shows for the month are going to be MASSIVE I'm sure!!!

The saga continues at Tings an' Times (my favourite place to be in the whole world!!!) 2moz night....

That's gonna be a helluva thing hey!! WOW!!! Gussy Groovespeare

Back on the circuit!!!

So, after a few months in the studio...having not played a show for what seemed like an eternity, we finally took to the stage again at Cool Runnings Fourways on Friday night.

We arrived an hour and a half and saw that Runnings was depressingly empty. To my great surprise however, Rory Bellingan (Chairman of the Pipe Band Association of South Africa) was sitting at a table near the entrance with some band mates from African Skye. Its always great to see guys from the Pipe Band community coming out to support our shows. They share the same love that us pipers do for our instrument, and that is why we are making the music after all.

As we chatted to the other band members, some of whom we hadn't seen in a while (like the guys from Durbs), more people started filtering in. We were on first however and no times had been made available until a couple days before...so we hoped that our last ditch effort of informing the masses that we were playing really early had helped. It did, and we had a crowd that grew in size and energy.

Its always a funny thing playing first. Its a very different type of crowd. People are more reserved with less alcohol in them...so as a frontman, its a real test for me to see how much I can rev the crowd up with minimal amounts of alcohol in their blood stream. The show was a great success!!

The following day, we performed in Hatfield Square in the blistering 34 degrees Celsius sun!!! At least we had shade provided by three marquees lashed together with tape!! lol The crowd was a very different one, a great deal of German pride and Hatfield Square regulars for the HERR GUNTERS Beerfest. We were the random act, that turned out to be cool! People enjoyed the set thoroughly!! Unfortunately for me, I tore a whole in my bag. The only reason I can give is it must be due to my headbanging and playing the pipes at the same time, given the fact that it ripped by my blowstick. Like Will said to me tho, thats awesome, cos it means ur instrument isn't hard enough to keep up with you!!! lol

Thats what our band is all about!! Pushing the limits of ourselves and our instruments!! Thats wat I love about this band and this music!!

Sweetness Gussy Groovespeare

Thoughts and ramblings from another Haggis and Bong weekend...

So this weekend has been a most enlightening one for the band...plans have been formulated, and it seems within the next week we will be confirming dates for our first overseas tour!!

Tom got back from England this week, witnessing the scene in London, watching bands like Ozzy Osbourne, Dimmu Borgir and Ensiferum. When I saw him on Friday night, all Tom could say was how desperately we need to be overseas in a thriving industry. A place where Metal Shows are packed EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK!!

I must admit that it does sadden me to take the show overseas and to leave this beautiful country, but the scene here is struggling to support its bands. Many great bands have risen and fallen over the years, having made music that is comparable if not competitive with international sounds. The talent on display here is amazing and unique to this country.

England and the UK, however, hold the future for this band. The culture of our music and music in general overseas is far more suited to our sound. This is what we want to do...in fact it has transcended that now...we need to do this. Playing pipes every day for the rest of my life is what I believe I have been born to do. The same can be said about the other guys in the band. The talent here cannot go to waste...and the world must be educated in the word of The Celtic Force.

Hard work, late nights and long roads await us, but we are at the start line, rearing to go, the end goal is in sight and we won't stop until we have achieved it.

Watch this space... Gussy Groovespeare