Press Releases

City pipers prove hot stuff in Canada

Band appearances doubled

Kirsty Macnicol
The Southland Times
June 30, 2001

THE City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band's Pipin ' Hot has proved so popular in Canada that organisers of the Nova Scotia International Tattoo have doubled the number of times the band will appear in the show.
The nine-show tattoo begins in Halifax on Canada's east coast tonight (NZ time). Staged indoors, it boasts a cast of more than 2000 from eight countries and by the season's end will have performed to about 100,000 people.
The Invercargill contingent, the first New Zealand band to be invited to the tattoo, was originally to have performed a 5-minute solo spot
incorporating a marching display with a medley of Pipin ' Hot tunes,
massed music and marching items.
However, on the strength of the solo act and the excellent reviews that preceded the band's arrival from Victoria, the tattoo's producer scheduled two more solo Pipin ' Hot tunes into the show. Backing band members have also been appointed New Zealand flag bearers for the opening and closing ceremonies.
The band arrived in Halifax a week ago and has been rehearsing every day from 8am, often not finishing until 9pm.
The work has been made harder with temperatures in the high 30s. Two days ago it hit 40degC and was made even more uncomfortable by high humidity.
Pipe major David Pickett said the producer and musical directors were
touting this as the best tattoo yet. The acts were as varied as the Flying Grandpa gymnasts from Germany and France's Paris Fire Brigade acrobatic team to traditional dancers from Korea.
Pipin ' Hot has been rated among the top acts and was selected to
perform at a special media launch earlier this week. It was also featured on a live, Canada-wide breakfast television show.
Today it will take part in another live television broadcast. Print
journalists have also sought interviews with the Kiwis.
There were stark differences in this show compared with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland, Mr Pickett said.
"The Nova Scotia Tattoo is almost a cross between an outdoors tattoo and a stage production and our band has strengths in both areas and is finding combining the two strengths challenging but also very exciting." The band had the luxury of special lighting, pyrotechnics and sound, Mr Pickett
said. Several members of the band wore radio-microphones as they did in Pipin ' Hot.
"Some of the Canadian drill movements are different from the Scottish drill movements so we've had to learn to perform them the Canadian way," he said.
Last night's dress rehearsal, performed before a full house of family and friends of cast members, ended in a standing ovation.


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