Graham Walker

1. How long have you been playing pipes and who taught you?
I started learning the pipes around 1975, not long after my brother-in-law Iain took over the pipe major role of the band. I was taught by Iain but I was also taught by Ian Plunkett and Dougie Pincock.

2. Favourite tune(s) that the band plays?
My favourite tunes that the band plays is the slow air and jig set Farewell to Govan (known to us as the Big Picnic), The Hammerman and the Timepiece.

3. Favourite tune(s) that the band does not play?
There aren’t too many tunes that the band hasn’t played over the years so I can’t really say what my favourite tune that the band doesn’t play. 

4. Favourite trip or gig you’ve played with the band?
There have been so many amazing trips over the years but the best has to be when we went to La Trimouille, France in 2014. We stayed with families in the small town and the hospitality we got while we were there was second to none, topped off by the guy we stayed with crying in the airport when we were leaving.

5. Most memorable pipe band moment?
My most memorable moment in the band was probably the first time we went to Strakonice in 1978. It was still Czechoslovakia then and we were there for two weeks playing in all sorts of places. For most people in the band it was their first ever trip abroad and it was just incredible to experience a foreign country for the first time.

6. What is the funniest moment while being in the band? The funniest moment in the all the years I have been in the band was when we were down in Rothbury one year for the traditional music festival. There was a small stage set up in a marquee and we were all squashed on it. In typical Iain fashion he was tapping his foot to keep the band in time but every time he changed which foot he was tapping, he took a small step backwards. This went on until he finally fell backwards off the stage. Nobody batted an eyelid and used the chance to spread out slightly while Iain was lying on his back. Iain quickly got up and rejoined the band from off the stage to a huge round of applause. A true professional and as they say “the show must go on!”

7. What is your favourite thing about being in the band? Although there has been a large part of my family has played in the band, everyone else feels like family too. Everyone gets on like one huge family and it makes it good fun and a great laugh.

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