Cyclones and crashing rain attacked many parts of the UK this weekend, but there was another storm brewing, deep in the dark corners of Otago Street. Nine misguided pipers who go by the name Tryst assembled and began to pull together a new show as part of Piping Live’s opening concert.
Tryst comprise nine (and sometimes 10) fairly well-known Highland piping names from the Scottish folk scene; Finlay Macdonald, Ross Ainslie, Ali Hutton, Mairearad Green, Calum MacCrimmon, James Duncan Mackenzie, Lorne Macdougall, John Mulhearn, Steven Blake and our fearless conducter/sound technician Andrea Gobbi. The band formed over a few pints back in 2013. Conceptually aiming to push boundaries as bagpipe composers, arrangers and, as we keep finding out, as performers. It’s already been an amazing and challenging journey, realising each other’s vision of original music for a piping group…and there are always plenty of obstacles…but that’s just pipes for you!
New chanters and reeds were issued in July with the invaluable support of G1 Reeds. Final scores edited, instruments set up – this weekend was our one chance to bring the show together – supporting the folk superstars and long time heroes of ours, FLOOK!
Monday arrived like a flash and there was definitely a nervous edge upon arriving at The Drygate to conduct the sound check and play through any last-minute holes in the material.
The gig itself was a ‘big blow’, we huffed and puffed, feet stomped, hearts pounded, bodies sweated – It was a considerably moist affair for all those in attendance, but we had a total blast playing the new music! Thanks so much to our tuners Scott Figgins and David Shedden. The drones buzzed beautifully, the tunes and arrangements seemed to serves us well and the vibe from the Piping Live audience was really great.
Later in the evening, we got to hear Swedish duo Dram and then Flook headline the night. Unbelievably tight, packed full of expression and wonderfully animated arrangements in their set. It is an honor to play at such a renowned festival, but it is also invaluable to be able to take influence from bands like Flook and many others on the expanding folk scene.
Our next Tryst adventure will be at the William Kennedy Piping Festival, Armagh this November. Stay tuned!