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Another rockin' triumph

How do you improve on perfection?.

How do you come up with something new every year to keep audiences coming back?.

Somehow the Pipin' Hot team manages to do both.

Version seven of the celtic rock show on Friday and Saturday nights at the Stadium Southland was yet another triumph for the City of Invercargill Caledonian Pipe Band and guest performers, notably Suzanne Prentice and Neil Chilton.

There were some minor flaws and I did worry that some of the oldies in the audience would find it too loud.

Although, by act two, either someone had turned it down slightly or my ears had become numbed to the decibels.

The band's opening number, The Gael was simply brilliant, a spectacle on a set full of atmosphere.

And the pipers and drummers continued to nail it every time they showed on stage the rest of the night.

Chilton took a few songs to get warmed up but when he did the result was worthy of a rave review.

His handling of U2's Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Steve Earles' Copperhead Road were just two examples of his top-notch capabilities. Prentice was applauded just for walking on and, as expected, sang faultlessly, as did Amy Morton.

And what Pipin' Hot show would be complete without the incredibly talented fiddler Sheena Naughton.

I do have some criticisms - musical director and stunning guitarist Craig Allot should have sung more than one song and the drumming corps should have done an encore.

If there was some way those highland dancers could have been included in every number, they should have done that, too.

Mostly this was a rocker, edgier Pipin' Hot than previous years.

Parts of it were probably a bit of a gamble but it paid off handsomely.

David Cosgriff
The Southland Times

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