Bagpiper in Kiev, Feb 2010

March 3rd, 2010

Burns Night in Kiev

 

I flew out on Tuesday for rehearsals with the Kiev Masterclass orchestra who were performing a piece by Maxwell Davies, called ‘An Orkney wedding with Sunrise’. This features a 2 minute bagpipe section at the end of the piece to herald the sunrise and the drunken walk home from the wedding. It was quite an experience playing with a 40 piece orchestra, especially when rehearsal time was so tight.

The Ukrainian crowd loved the piece, which finished their concert in style. I got asked to play a few tunes as an encore, so played a couple of jigs as a different ending to a wonderful concert.

After the concert a guy approached me, and asked if I remembered him, turns out he was a Ukrainian born Spanish bagpipe player who I had a tune with 15 months ago while in Odessa Ukraine opening a Whisky bar, Corvin. Small world!

 After the concert, I was invited to play at Kiev’s no 1 bar nightclub, Shooters  It was ladies night, where only ladies are allowed until 12, before they let the guys in!! I was well flanked by bouncers and performed my bagpipe dance music set ( if you haven’t seen this then check out bagpipes in a nightclub video. Was a great night and I enjoyed catching up with some friends from Kiev.

On the Friday, great friends and colleagues The Clann  came into town. We were helping put on a charity Burns night on the Saturday, so thought it would be a nice touch to give some Scottish culture to one of the benefactors of the event, the Kiev blind school. 

What a reception we got from the kids, who had prepared some artwork and some performances of their own, for us. Friends of ours from the Tartan Army were also over and presented the school with a large cheque, with proceeds from Scotland football fans who had been in Kiev the previous year.

I think we all left the school feeling touched at the experience we had with the kids, it is hard to put in words.

 

We then headed to Gergel, a Scottish school in Kiev who teach and are huge ambassadors for Scottish culture. Teaching Scottish dancing, Gaelic, burns poetry etc. We worked with 50 children putting on a Burns afternoon, which was great. (check out some pictures of the event on Flikr) they had also cooked Ukrainian haggis to celebrate the Burns tradition. Following the haggis, the children put on a theatrical rendition of Robert Burns ‘Tam o Shanter’, which featured some music from my Reel Time album (buy it on EBAY) I’m sure the Bard would have approved!!

Robert Burns Night 2010

January 28th, 2010

Roddy and the Greek guard

 

Back to Greece last weekend for the St Andrews Society of Athens Burns supper.

A formal get together of 130 people, with haggis, poetry, song and dance.

I played as guests arrived and in for dinner. Piping in the top table then the haggis. I played a Burns set later on, followed by a good going set of reels, the crowd had a lively handclap, but the dancing was reserved for later when the ceilidh started!!

IF you are looking for a great place to stay in Athens, I can recommend the Intercontinental Athens or if you are on more of a budget, then pop in to see Eddy at Athens Backpackers for a super friendly welcome.

Photo above is of a Greek Guard and Roddythepiper, which made front page of the Greek no 1 Sunday paper!

Unique Venues of Edinburgh Scottish Event Supplier

December 9th, 2009

After 5 years of running Reel Time Events I am now delighted to be recommended as a supplier to the Unique Venues of Edinburgh.

The Unique Venues of Edinburgh are an initiative formed to promote the very best in hospitality Edinburgh has to offer. The group is made up of 26 members, including Historic Venues like Edinburgh and Dundas castles.  Alternative underground dinner venues  the Queens private yacht Britannia, the HUB (Scotlands festival centre) to the Beautiful surrounds of the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens .

The UVE consortium aims to compliment the marketing activities currently undertaken by Visit Scotland and the Edinburgh Convention Bureau.  The Unique Venues website lets clients search through the facilities and events catered for at different Edinburgh establishments.

Reel Time Events is recommended for its Scottish entertainment and contemporary Scottish events production.  For more information, visit the Reel Time website www.reel-time.co.uk

Major Pipe Band Championships 2010

December 8th, 2009

For those of you who are looking to hire a bagpiper for a wedding in 2010, then may i offer you a word of advice.  There are 5 major pipe band championships throughout the summer.  These are dates when most competing pipers get together and compete for the accolades of pipe band competition.  This means that the supply of pipers for weddings on these days is greatly reduced, so book early.  Just a wee word of advice from a friendly piper!

DATES for 2010

22nd May- Scottish Championships at Dumbarton

26th June- British Championships at Annan

31st July – European Championships at Belfast

14th August – World Championships at Glasgow

28th August- Cowal Championships at Dunoon

If you are interested in more details, then visit the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association http://www.rspba.org/

Scottish Wedding Directory feature on Reel Time bagpiper

October 26th, 2009

One of my piping colleagues, Greig, was recently given rave revues in an article in the Scottishwedding directory’s (www.scottishweddingdirectory.co.uk ) sister publication Real Life Weddings (www.reallifeweddings.co.uk) autumn winter 09. He was playing bagpipes at a wedding for a couple in Cornhill House ( www.cornhillhousehotel.com ) just outside Biggar. The couple had hired a Samba band to round off their multi cultural wedding.  The impromtu jam session between bagpipes and bongos that ensued was ‘the icing on the cake’ according to the bride.  Another happy couple. 

Roddy the Piper, helping to create dream weddings

October 26th, 2009

It was a great feeling when i got a call earlier in the month telling me that there was a big article in Wedding Ideas magazine (www.weddingideasmagazine.co.uk ) about a wedding that we had entertained last may at the exclusive Dundas Castle (www.dundascastle.co.uk) The couple had come to me looking for some contemporary scottish entertainment.  They were looking for someone who was going to have some fun with their guests, and make their wedding day special and unique.  I knew that Dundas castle would set the tone for this, with its wonderfull grounds and facilities.  We gave them our special wedding package, with Myself preciding over the offical piping during the ceremony and reception.  For the evening entertainment they were looking for a good and funky ceilidh band (http://www.reel-time.co.uk/weddings/reeltimeband.html) who could explain to their guests how to do the scottish dances.  This was made interesting on the day, as half of the guests were from France (ooh la la).  Both the guests and the Reel Time Ceilidh Band enjoyed the tune!

At 10pm, we handed over to DJ Gus, one of our trusted dj’s.  After a bit of restbite following the ceilidh, all the guests were back up and enjoying the couples special requests and party tunes selected by Gus. 

The evening was brought to a close with the sound of my pipes filling the air from the top of the Auld keep.  Dundas staff had positioned a flood light so guests could see ‘the lone piper’  a perfect conclusion to a lovely wedding day.

For more inspiration on creating dream scottish weddings, check out www.reel-time.co.uk

Check out the story in:  www.weddingideasmagazine.co.uk issue 75, november 2009

New Reel Time website goes live

October 8th, 2009

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After months of designing, writing, programming and checking, the new Reel Time Events website is now live.  Have a look for yourself at www.reel-time.co.uk 

Reel Time Events is Roddy’s company which organises the very best in all things Scottish.  We work with wedding and corporate clients to provide them with the very best entertainment Scotland has to offer.

If you are looking for a trusted Scottish company, which can act as a one stop shop for your event requirments, then pay a visit to the new website.  It showcases our full portfolio of Scottish events and entertainment. It is designed to inspire clients whether they are organising an event for the first time, or are looking for something new and fresh on the Scottish events scene.

New Reel Time Ceilidh Band video sample

August 24th, 2009

Reel Time ceilidh Band, evening entertainment at weddingAfter a great summer of playing gigs, from Perth to Pollockshields, Edinburgh to Edradour, we have put up a new clip of the band live in action.This is not your traditional ceilidh band.  The Reel Time Band, led by Roddy on the pipes, are a funky 3 or 4 piece ceilidh band.  Playing for weddings, corporate events and parties.  We have entertained 40 weddings so far in 2009 with our Funky brand of ceilidh music.  Why not see for yourself:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QEvn3rBkbM&feature=channel_page We are now taking bookings for 2010 and are offering our clients a Disco service, if they wish to split their entertainment between ceilidh and disco.  The band has a professional speaker system (1000W) and we have brought in a new Laser to our light show, to impress your guests.

Roddy on the Plinth

August 14th, 2009

Every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days, as part of Antony Gormley’s One and Other project, a different person will make the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square their own.  At 14.00 on Monday 17th August, it will be the turn of Pipe Major Roddy Deans to turn the plinth Scottish.This summer, sculptor Antony Gormley has invited the public to help create an astonishing living monument. He has asked the people of the UK to occupy the empty Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London, a space normally reserved for statues of Kings and Generals. They will become an image of themselves, and a representation of the whole of humanity.

“While on the Plinth, I need to do something that will embrace those who are viewing this incredible artistic experiment.” said Roddy

As a professional bagpipe player and purveyor of all things Scottish, Roddy is planning a bagpipe concert and some haggis with its traditional address to mark Robert Burns’s 250 year anniversary.

“I really want to turn a few heads in Trafalgar Square and take a part of Scotland into the centre of London” said Roddy.

Roddy will be in full highland regalia and will certainly stand out not only from the three permanently occupied plinths, but also from the people below in Trafalgar square.

“A few hundred years ago I would have been hung drawn and quartered for such an ambitious show of Scottishness” he added.

“It was quite coincidental that my slot was to be the week after the world pipe band championships and Piping live festival in Glasgow.  It is good to see bagpipes in use in the 21st century” said Roddy.

An online feed of Roddy’s performance on the Plinth can be seen 2-3pm on Monday 17th August, on http://www.oneandother.co.uk/

More details of Roddy the piper can be found at www.roddythepiper.com

Scottish bagpipers for Edinburgh Castle

August 2nd, 2009

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Reel Time Events, working in partnership with Historic Scotland are providing professional bagpipe players every day during the summer for Scotland’s no 1 tourist destination, Edinburgh Castle.  The pipers duties include opening the castle to tourists, playing up at Hospital square and on the ramparts.  Then adding some music to the 1 o’clock gun ceremony.

 

It is a dream come true to be supplying this contract to Edinburgh Castle.  After having provided services to numerous corporate and wedding events at the castle, we are proud to become part of the whole visitor experience of Scotland’s most famous visitor attraction.

 

For more information and chat on the matter, see the forum,  http://www.footstompin.com/public/forum?threadid=561546 

It was the military tattoo at Edinburgh castle that first inspired me to play the bagpipes, so this is indeed an honour.