Russell Mechan

1. How long have you been playing pipes and who taught you?
I learned to play the pipes aged 8 in 1974, not long after Iain MacDonald took over as pipe major. I was originally taught by Donald McKenzie and then I was taught by both Alec McLean and Dougie Pincock.

2. Favourite tune(s) that the band plays?
My favourite tune that the band plays would be the hornpipe Sandy’s New Chanter.

3. Favourite tune(s) that the band does not play?
My favourite tune that the band doesn’t play would be the jig The Last Tango in Harris by RS MacDonald.

4. Favourite trip or gig you’ve played with the band?
This was tough as there have been many amazing trips that I’ve been lucky to go on but I’d have to single out the trips to Japan but also Barbados.

5. Most memorable pipe band moment?
The most memorable moment in the band was the concerts that we have played along with the RSNO in both the Glasgow Concert Hall and the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

6. What is the funniest moment while being in the band? There has been many a funny moment in the band but I think the funniest has got to be when we were in Macedonia. We were running late for a gig and had to stop the bus in a lay-by and get changed at the side of the road. There was a shepherd sitting tending to his flock when 20 (hairy a****) Scotsmen pile off the bus and begin to undress and get our kilts, spats, etc on and then get the pipes out to tune up so that we were ready as soon as we got to Tetovo. Im sure you would agree that it would have been quite a sight to see! I have always wondered whether the shepherd told his story to anyone and whether they believed him.

7. What is your favourite thing about being in the band? The best thing about being in the band is the fact that we are a close knit group since a lot of us have been in the band for a long time and travelled the world together. I love the camaraderie and friendship we all have. I still get a buzz whenever we play together.

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