This year marks the 25th Blowout. The Bagpipe Society began in order to support the re-emergence of English piping in the ’80s. To me, the Saturday night Blowout concert reflects what is best about the state of piping in any one year. And then the bal afterwards shows how we keep up the quality and let our hair down at the same time. Last year, as I emerged from yet another incredible Saturday night concert, it struck me that these concerts demonstrate the maturity of the Bagpipe Society and its willingness to experiment.Read more »
Dave was a founder member of the Bagpipe Society who passed away in December. His contribution to the English Bagpipe Revival, especially in the early days cannot be overestimated, as can be seen in these reminiscences: My first encounter with Dave VanDoorn was in characteristically surreal surroundings. It was the inaugural meeting of (what was then known as) the “English Bagpipe Society” in December 1985. Although I can recall few details of the meeting itself, I have a vivid memory of us going through the galleries of the Pitt-Rivers museum afterwards and gazing at the shrunken heads.Read more »
3rd to 5th June Savage Prunes (concerts, Saturday, Sunday) In 2015, the Savage Prunes won the ‘Petites Formations’ competition at ‘Le Son Continu’ music festival, since when they have expanded into a trio. The group is particularly influenced by European folk, as well as baroque, Celtic, jazz, techno, and classical music. Callum Armstrong is an innovative piper whose questing approach to the hitherto unexplored acoustic possibilities of the smallpipe is taking the instrument into areas most of us have never encountered.Read more »
Polesworth Abbey, near Tamworth, Staffs Featuring Griff Trio Cätlin Mägi The Jon Swayne Mystery Band David Faulkner and Steve Turner Paul Roberts Sean Jones Scott Marshall Pat Goodacre Terry Mann plus… The Friday Tune competition!! Download: Saturday schedule Sunday schedule For workshop material downloads, go to the “Workshops” section below Griff (Sat, Sun) “They are 3. They are from Belgium. And they are great musicians. These 3 authentic troubadours from the 21st century invite you on a journey of celtic myths and legends, Scandinavian sagas and other traditional laments through vocal polyphony, bagpipes and flute soundscapes.Read more »
Polesworth Abbey, near Tamworth, Staffs 3rd to 5th June Featuring Savage Prunes Juraj Dufek Estron MoltenAmba Jean Pierre Rasle Vicki Swan Sean Jones Cliff Stapleton Julian Scott Dave Rowlands Andy Letcher plus… The Friday Tune competition! Savage Prunes Callum Armstrong of the Savage Prunes The Savage Prunes are a young and innovative band from England, playing new compositions on traditional instruments. Having won the ‘Petit Formations’ competition at Le Son Continu 2015 as a duo, the ‘Prunes’ now exist as a trio.Read more »
Who performed in 2015: Trio Matta Rouch Balázs Istvánfi and András Németh Jon Swayne and Becky Price (Bal) Rohan Kriwaczek Paul Martin Chris Allen Dave Rowlands Andy Letcher John Tose Trio Matta Rouch Trio Matta Rouch Welcome to this talented trio of musicians and instrument makers, who have done so much to revive and sustain the music, traditions and instruments of the Occitan region of southern France.Read more »
Blowout 2013 – Our 21st! Were you there? Polesworth Abbey, near Tamworth, Staffs Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June Featuring Antón Varela trio Cliff Stapleton Callum Armstrong Vicki Swan Pete Stewart Heretique Tom Hughes Richard York Antón Varela (Concerts, workshops, Sat & Sun) Antón is one of Galicia’s top gaita players, who won some of the most important gaita competition prizes in the early stages of his career, which started in the seventies.Read more »
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