Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Amazing Grace: Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards perform in Dundee

The Pipes and Drums of the Leuchars-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards perform at the Caird Hall in Dundee
The Pipes and Drums of the Leuchars-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards perform at the Caird Hall in Dundee

They’ve been on Top of the Pops, performed at the Sydney Opera House and won a Classical Brit Award.

The Pipes and Drums of the Leuchars-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are famous the world over and have not performed a full concert in the UK for 32 years.

That all changed on Thursday night when the 18-strong band put on a private performance for the regiment, families, local VIPs and the Regimental Association at the Caird Hall in Dundee.

The Pipes and Drums – who are all “soldiers first, musicians second” – have recently returned from a two month 47-concert  tour of Australia where they played in front of 50,000 people.

And they received a heroes’ welcome in front of a home coming crowd in Dundee  when they recreated the Australian set – the 48th – of their tour.

The packed hall was blown away by stirring performances including the band’s famous 1972 hit Amazing Grace and other classics such as Last of the Mohicans and Mark Knopfler’s Going Home: Theme from Local Hero.

It was also a special night for singer Layla Brown and keyboard player Joe Fleetwood, both from Arbroath, who were called in to perform with the band at the 11th hour.

Speaking to The Courier backstage at the Caird Hall before the performance got under way, Major Kevin McDowell, Squadron Leader with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and Pipe President of the band, explained where the inspiration for the Dundee concert had come from.

He said: “The band’s just come from a two month tour of Australia where they played 47 concerts in 40 different venues.

“I was lucky enough to be able to visit them for four of those shows.

“And whilst out there I just thought it would be a great opportunity to try and put this on for all the friends and family of the regiment at Leuchars Station, and the Association of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards as well.

“We were lucky enough that the stars aligned and we ended up having tonight available at the Caird Hall because of a cancellation and that’s where we are today.”

Lieutenant Colonel Dom Coombes, commanding officer of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and Station Commander at Leuchars, said: “We suddenly realised that everyone in Australia had seen the concert but we hadn’t.

“Pretty last minute, we threw this together.

Soldiers, families and guests streaming into the Caird Hall, Dundee, at the start of the night
Soldiers, families and guests streaming into the Caird Hall, Dundee, at the start of the night

“The Caird Hall have been brilliant allowing us the opportunity to use this venue, and this is a really good opportunity for our soldiers, our families and our friends to come and see what our band have been doing and for them to showcase their incredible talent.”

Lieutenant Alex Stewart, has just returned from the Australian tour. He said it was “fantastic” to be using the Caird Hall and to “promote some local partnerships.”

The compere for the evening in Dundee, he explained that the history of the Pipes and Drums dated back to 1922 when the regiment were mounted on horses.In 1946, for practical reasons, it was decided that it would bet better to have dismounted pipers and drummers.

The accolades have been growing since.

They include the 1972 gold disc presented to a previous incarnation of the band after it topped the charts for five weeks with Amazing Grace, ousting Nilsson’s Without You from the top spot, before making way for T-Rex’s Metal Guru.

They also have trophies galore from British, European and World championships.

And let’s not forget the 2009 Classical Brit Award for the album Spirit of the Glen: Journey, part of which was recorded in an air-conditioned tent in sweltering heat while the regiment was in Basra, Iraq, in 2008.

The pipes and drums saw off albums by Katherine Jenkins and Andrea Bocelli to take the gong – making them the first non-professional musicians to win a Classical Brit.

But while upholding the rich legacy of the SCOTS DG Pipes and Drums is important to the regiment, the real achievement is maintaining high standards in music alongside their primary role as highly trained soldiers.

The SCOTS DG – Scotland’s only regular cavalry unit – have been based at Leuchars since they moved back to Scotland from Germany in summer 2015.

The Pipes and Drums took part in this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo where they were part of the Massed Pipes and Drums.

Crowds dispersing into the Dundee night....
Crowds dispersing into the Dundee night….

One long-since retired Fife soldier leaving the Caird Hall after the performance told The Courier:”I really enjoyed that. They were almost as good as the Black Watch!”

In photos: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards play landmark Caird Hall show

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]