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Red Hot Chilli Pipers - Scottish Bagrock (Bagpipe Rock) Music Band

Updated on January 22, 2013

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.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Red Hot Chilli Pipers

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.

Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Album cover of their first album, Bagrock to the Masses
Album cover of their first album, Bagrock to the Masses

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.

Did you get this far without ordering a record or mp3 download?

Red Hot Chilli Pipers at Amazon


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    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      De nada Francisco. Eres de Asturias o Galicia en el norte de espana? se hay celticos en el norte que gusta mucho eso tipo de musica.

      perdoname yo no hablo mucho espanol, pero gracias por tu comentario.

    • profile image

      francisco urena 7 years ago

      aunque muchos de los que escuchan este tipo de musica no hablan espanish no impide que diga que las gaitas producen en algunas personas como yo un sentimiento de tranquilidad tremendo.Esto les apasa a muchas personas y no saben porque.gracias por esre momento.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      I had to go look and my internet is crawling so I can't watch it all - but if you watch, his right arm is pumping some kind of airbag. I picked that video up from youtube. I believe the player is Dutch or something. I hadn't really noticed that, I was looking for a video where someone played that song well.

    • profile image

      Longhunter 7 years ago

      I like this. I'll have to look into their CDs.

      I have a chanter, the instrument used to learn how the play the bag pipes. You have to have the lungs of an elephant to play it.

      I noticed the man sitting in front of the table on your other hub wasn't blowing into the bag on his bag pipes. Any idea on how that was being done?

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      It is amazing the sound they can get out of those pipes!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 7 years ago from Ireland

      Good lads rocking those pipes in way that really is cool. The bagpipes will never be the same again. Thanks for the hub.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks Snakebaby:) This hub was actually inspired by Lyndre (who commented above you) thanks to a suggestion he made on my bagpipe hub.

    • snakebaby profile image

      Sabrina Yuquan Chen (陈玉泉) 7 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

      Gee, you always have great ideas for hubs, and all of your hubs look so neat and constructive, just what I want my own hubs to be. I thought you had a typo at first, no, that's just another brilliant idea, something I've never heard of and now have learned little

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Brilliant idea you gave me, thanks Lyndre :)

    • lyndre profile image

      lyndre 7 years ago from Scotland

      Great info on the chilli pipers glad you did this follow on hub.