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  1. #1
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    TCHD at the Worlds today

    Up at 2am California time with café mocha in hand to watch the Live Stream of the 2017 World Pipe Band Championships Grade One MSR Finals.

    As usual I pay attention to the kit as well as the music.

    Even less variety than in recent years past. Every one of the 12 Finalists was wearing:

    -kilts pleated to the stripe

    -dark kilt hose (black, navy, or charcoal). The one holdout of the White Hose Era, Boghall, finally made the switch.

    -longsleeved shirts (white or light blue) mostly with spread collars and French cuffs

    -waistcoats without jackets. One change is that most of the bands are now wearing tweed waistcoats with plastic buttons rather than the once-ubiquitous black Barathea with silver buttons.

    -dark neckties (black, navy, or claret) with stripes. Only one band, Power, didn't have a striped tie.

    -needless to say black Glengarries and ghillie brogues.

    I have to give a special award to Simon Fraser University for Best Beards; they boasted an Epic Ginger and an Epic Salt & Pepper.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th August 17 at 07:32 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

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  3. #2
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    No Sgians

    I noticed that none of the bands had Sgian Dubhs, but most of the judges did.
    There are seemed an equal number of sporran straps, plan chains, and ornamental chains.

  4. #3
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    5th August 14
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    I spotted a few sgians on drummers. in the Australian PBC. I appreciate the few bands that had kilts pleated to the sett. It is a nice touch.

    I did notice the amount of chains on the sporran straps. I would think that a solid leather strap would be more comfortable, but I see how the chains are "showy".

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumary View Post

    I noticed that none of the bands had Sgian Dubhs
    I guess that's something I wasn't paying attention to, though I do recall seeing one piper in one band wearing one.

    I don't think that nowadays any serious competition band would dream of issuing sginean to the band as a whole. In my 40 years of playing in bands I've seen bands take one of two policies on sginean:

    1) ban them.

    2) allow them. These bands will often have one or two guys that wear a sgian; they're sometimes regarded as slightly eccentric for doing so.

    I've never seen the third possibility

    3) require them.


    Quote Originally Posted by jumary View Post
    There seemed an equal number of sporran straps, plan chains, and ornamental chains.
    Yes the ornamental ones are a fairly recent fad in the pipe band world. In the typical way of pipe band fashion, one top Grade One band showed up with the fancy straps one day, all the other bands thought they looked cool, and scrambled to get them. Within a year of seeing the first Grade One band wear them all the Grade One bands were wearing them.

    I think part of the thing is that competition pipe bands all wear waistcoats without jackets now, making the chain prominently visible, and an opportunity to add a bit of bling to the kit.

    I could be wrong, but I think the ornamental chains were spearheaded by the Edinburgh sporranmaker Ian Grant. That firm offers sporrans with fancy tops, fancy chains, sginean, and belt buckles all displaying a clan crest or other design. Two of the pipe bands in the Grade One finals today were wearing Ian Grant sporrans.

    Here's an Ian Grant sporran chain, and sporran.

    Here's a closeup of the Los Angeles Scots sporran chain by Ian Grant



    Here's an Ian Grant sporran. They're distinctive and easy to spot. The ones worn by the Los Angeles Scots have their bespoke design in the centre boss

    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th August 17 at 06:54 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

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  7. #5
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    15th August 16
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    Thanks for sharing the link, I'm totally pumped for the Edinburgh Tattoo in two weeks time
    Last edited by fflex; 12th August 17 at 02:26 PM.
    I'm not lost, I just don't know where I am

  8. #6
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    Congratulations to Inveraray & District!

    Here they are on their victory march, Stuart with the bratach buidhe on his bass drone. Like many pipe bands, everybody has jackets, they just don't wear them in competition.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwx2IbRLSqM

    For those who don't know Inveraray's story, it's quite amazing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbikiMAjhDM

    From those humble beginnings to World Champions.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 13th August 17 at 04:29 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

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  10. #7
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    After Richard mentioned the fancy sporran chains, I decided to post a few for the folks that can't view the World's. This is the Shotts & Dykehead band chain and sporran.
    This is from the People's Ford, Boghall & Bathgate.
    This is Scottish Power.
    Finally, Saint Lawrence O'Toole.
    There were many simple chains (rope and linked type) that seemed to cut into the kilts. Maybe these wider chains equal the comfort of a leather strap?

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Congratulations to Inveraray & District!

    Here they are on their victory march, Stuart with the bratach buidhe on his bass drone. Like many pipe bands, everybody has jackets, they just don't wear them in competition.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwx2IbRLSqM

    For those who don't know Inveraray's story, it's quite amazing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbikiMAjhDM

    From those humble beginnings to World Champions.
    Inverary & District are sentimental favorites of mine. What an amazing "Ascension" -- so glad to see them finally win the big prize this year.

    Off-topicish: Richard, what are the tunes being played during the victory march? Thx.

  12. #9
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    Interesting (to me) that spread collars have taken over--it seems like everywhere. I haven't been much of a fan. Don't prefer the larger knot in the tie which the spread seems to require and the way my neck is the large knot feels like it sits on my chin. Ah, well, the world of fashion. I'm hopeless.


    JMB

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blupiper View Post
    Interesting (to me) that spread collars have taken over--it seems like everywhere.
    I think it's one of those Britain v USA things.

    Here, within recent memory, I could go through the Mens departments of every store in a major shopping mall here in the USA and see nothing but Point Collars (that is, less than a 90 degree angle).

    I would go to Britain and in the Mens dept see a mix of collars with a 90 degree angle (I don't know the official menswear term) and angles greater than 90 degrees (Spread Collars).

    Recently here in the USA I'm seeing more and more of the British-style collars. I could be wrong, but as I recall the first time I saw spread collars being commonly worn was by President Clinton. I had assumed that he had shopped in London, or had his shirts tailor made.

    To me, point collars just don't look as good with Highland Dress as square or spread collars do. Neither do button-down collars (another common USA thing).

    Of course collar spread is supposed to correlate with tie knot size. I use a Full Windsor and I like spread collars.

    With the strongly pointed American collars you really need a narrow knot.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 13th September 17 at 07:01 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

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