Names and Places Concert

An unmissable celebration of (one of) Pipe Major Ian Duncan’s contribution to the piping world. This special show which took place on Saturday 4 February 2023 as a special double-bill, revisits and reimagines the ground-breaking “Names & Places” album originally recorded by the Grade 1 Vale of Atholl Pipe Band and folk group Eclipse First in 1990.

The Names & Places Album Cover
The Names & Places Album Cover

The show started with the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland playing selections reflecting Vale of Atholl sets over the years then on to new compositions, all played musically and technically and blending with their backing musicians.

“Names & Places” was an album where four Vale Pipers teamed up with Eclipse First to play new tunes together: tunes still unpublished and many nameless, composed by Ian Kirkpatrick and Martin Hughes.

“Names & Places” started off with Pipe Major Ian Duncan walking on to the stage playing a lovely slow and melodic tune and was then joined on stage by the other original pipers from 1990: Adrian Melvin, Malcolm Robertson and Gary West. All showing poise, immaculate technique and musicianship in solos as well as together. The four were augmented in varying degrees by bagpipes, bombarde, fiddle, harp, flute, accordion and drums to give a mix of slow, fast and frankly insane, all aided by excellent sound balancing and lighting. A fantastic concert of great music.

Towards the end a presentation was made from the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band to Pipe Major Ian Duncan who then played “MacCrimmond Shall Never Return” before leading the entire company, including the National Youth Pipe Band, off into “El Paco Grande”. Then in true Vale of Atholl fashion the entire cast marched off with “Green Hills” through the Glasgow Concert Hall to the foyer where they were led by Malcolm Robertson into Gordon Duncan’s arrangement of the  “Mexican Hat Dance”.  Musical, unflagging and fun-filled.  A great tribute to Pipe Major Ian Duncan indeed.

This was such an impressive concert it will be performed once more at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in 2024.

Gordon and Lorient, Brittany

“Travelling across Europe exposed Gordon to other traditions and he became fascinated with Breton music and musicians. The attraction was mutual. Gordon won the coveted Macallan solo piping trophy in Lorient, Brittany two years in succession and became a hero among young Breton pipers who learned the tunes on Gordon’s three CDs for Greentrax Recordings grace note for grace note.”  Source: Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame