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Red Hot Chilli Pipers - Scottish Bagrock (Bagpipe Rock) Music Band
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have added a new phrase to the dictionary - Scottish rock bagpipe music, shortened to just bagrock. Who'd have imagined that the bagpipe, of all instruments, would have lent itself so well so rock music? If you can't imagine the sounds, scroll on down and listen to some of their music videos, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have taken the world by storm and are especially popular in Asia as well as most of Europe and parts of the US. They have played live in New York City as well as Boston, Toronto, Houston, LA and Washington DC and their unique act has received high accolades where ever they go.
Don't mistake the name for that other well known band, American rock group the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The two bands are nothing alike, but their name and, indeed, very existence, is actually accidentally inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Band founder Stuart Cassels, himself an award winning bagpipe player and musician, asked his girlfriend to tidy up his Glasgow flat because his CD collection was all over the place after a party. Some days later, he found a CD by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in amongst his bagpipe collection and asked her why she put it there.
"Oh", she replied. "I thought it said Red Hot Chili Pipers"!
Easy mistake to make, but it planted the seed of an idea in Stuart Cassels's head.
Some days later, after a few phone calls and chats, Stuart Cassels and a few musician mates got together and organised some gigs for their newly founded band, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
After a few corporate gigs, and with the increased confidence that comes with popularity, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers applied for an audition to appear on the BBC's entertainment contest "When Will I be Famous?"
Winning this contest projected them to stardom, and in 2004 they appeared on the main stage beside The Darkness at major Scottish rock festival T in the Park. (and the crowd went wild!)
Shortly afterwards, their first album Bagrock for the Masses was released and went on to sell an estimated 60,000 copies which accounts for a massive 90% of all bagpipe music sales worldwide.
Live in Concert - We Will Rock You (performing live in Germany)
Listen to the Red Hot Chilli Pipers version of Coldplay's Clocks
Band member of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers include:
Founding member Stuart Cassels.
Stuart is a graduate of Glasgow's Royal Academy of Music and Dance, and has played the bagpipes since he was just 7 years old.
In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious title of Young Musician of the Year by the BBC.
His early success brought him into contact with many famous musicians, and in actual fact the sleeve-notes on the album cover on Bagrock for the Masses were written by none other than Phil Collins of Genesis fame, himself a talented bagpipe player.
Stuart's other successes include playing the bagpipes on some of the background music of the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and in the soundtrack of "One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back" by The Darkness.
This professional sampler video by REL Records includes snippets of their work including their version of Smoke on the Water, We Will Rock You and Eye of the Tiger among many others.
Other group members include pipers Willie Armstrong and Kevin MacDonald, both of whom have extensive experience playing in Grade 1 pipe bands.
The guitarist was red haired Gregor James up until 2010 when he left to form his own bagrock band called "Bags of Rock". His previous experience involved playing with rock bands Rhythmic State, the Ted McKenna Band, Rolla and and his own band Danse or Die.
He has been replaced by guitarist Nick Hawryliw.
Steven Graham is their snare drummer. His previous experience included playing with world renowned bands, The House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band. He has been crowned world champion snare drummer twice.
Malcolm McEwan, their percussionist, is the first percussionist graduate from the Glasgow School of Music and Drama and has also gained experience playing with several Grade 1 bands.
If you watch the videos you will see an awful lot more band members in Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
I'm sorry guys, I don't know your names but if you care to comment in the comments section at the foot of this article I will gladly include your names (and CV's if you care to add them).
The Dark Island (get yer hankies oot!) Red Hot Chilli Pipers
All in, the professional musicians who are members of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have an impressive list of credits to their name.
These are real musicians, the likes of which the world had never experienced before.
Who could have imagined that a mix of rock and the more traditional Scottish blend of music would sound so well? And that a bagrock band could make such an impression?
Listen to the red Hot Chilli Pipers now, and if you like what you hear, help these lads out a bit by buying their recordings.
You won't regret it.