A fun evening – and the Grand Draw results

We entered Autumn with a great evening of music at the Eastgate. The audience was treated to a great selection of music from top class traditional marches, music from the musicals with West Side Story, some great Beatles numbers – and some fantastic more relaxed melodies in the form of Sleep and Irish Melody.

“Highly enjoyable” “A great evening” “A fantastic selection”

The evening featured The Silver Band, Youth Band – and the Senior Band.

As well as the fun evening of music we’ve also been running the Grand Draw with a range of great prizes. The winners are:

Grand Prize Draw – Winners

£200 – Cliff Balson,  £100 – Sophie Ward-Murray, £50 – Louise Ballantyne

Other winning tickets of non-cash prizes: –

Nos 0159, 0175, 0322, 0548, 0572, 0575, 1261, 1337 & 1369

Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and/or donated raffle prizes.  Thanks also to our ticket sellers on the High Street – Lisa, Lorna & Lindsay!

Hot day on the High Street

The Band were out in force this morning on Peebles High Street. Entertaining shoppers with some pretty cool playing of popular numbers like “Sweet Caroline” and “Yes Sir! I Can Boogie” as well as Scottish favourites like Sunshine on Leith and that well known march Ingleside.

We made a good collection for band funds and quite a number of people wanted to enter the Band raffle.

But what made the morning especially fun was the traffic works going on in Peebles right now. Apparently a manhole cover needed to be fixed – necessitating endless lines of stationary traffic backing up along the High Street. But, in the 26 degree heat, at least they could wind their windows down and listen to the music – as many did. Some almost looked disappointed when the lights changed to Green.

Peebles Show 2023

August saw the band returning to the Peebles Agricultural Show – a large and well attended event held just outside Peebles at Horsburgh Ford.

As well as the many farm animals, the show is also a chance for many local small businesses and other community organisations to share what they’ve been up to. These included the band’s very own resident artist and celebrated pet portrait painter, Eilidh Geddes.

Perhaps the most notable event was an escaped bull in the main arena. With its long and very pointed horns it was a fearsome beasty. But its handler did the right thing and lay motionless until others were able to get it under control. Compared to that, the bands marches were perhaps a little less stirring, but nonetheless entertaining.

Beltane 2023 – Coronation & Grand Procession

Saturday is the highlight of the week for all those involved in the Peebles Beltane Festival Week. This is the ‘big day’ for the Beltane Queen, but most of all this is the ‘big day’ for the hundreds of school children who have been given costumes to wear with pride when they march down the High Street; stand on the Church steps, watch while the Beltane Queen is being crowned, and then show their enjoyment by waving and cheering from decorated lorries as they parade through the town.

The Peebles Burgh Silver Band is the town band – it leads the grand procession and plays whilst the Queen is being crowned.

The town’s Primary School children in costume, heading for the Queen’s Coronation

Once all the children are assembled on the church steps at the end of the High Street the assembled audience await the arrivale of the Beltane Queen and her court.

The audience, school children, and band await the arrival of the Queen

Led by the Cornet and Cornet’s Lass who are on horseback, the Beltane Queen arrives by carriage for her coronation.

The Beltane Queen arrives for her Coronation

Once crowned, all the children move to a series of floats for the Grand Procession.

Beltane 2023 – Installation and Ride Out

On the Wednesday of Beltane Festival Week the Band paves the way for the Cornet’s Installation and Ride Out. We start the evening at the Chambers Institute and lead the principles and public to the Church Steps for the Installation.

Getting ready to go!

At the church steps the Cornet is installed, the Cornet’s Lass is installed, as are their Supporters. The Cornet and his Lass are installed by the Beltane Festival Chairman and the Cornet’s Lass pins the Cornets ribbon to the Flag. This is known as Bussing the Colours. All duly installed, the Cornet, Supporters and followers mount horses and proceed to ˜Ride the Marches”. Each year more than 250 horse riders can be seen enjoying the spectacle that is commonly known as the “Ride Out”.

The Beltane Ride Out – the Band’s perspective

Once the horses have started on their Ride Out the Band is bussed to Neidpath Castle to play at the Warden of Neidpath’s installation. Here’s a picture of the Band playing in front of the Castle – note, this picture was taken when creating a special video for the town following relaxation of COVID when Beltane had to be cancelled.

The Band playing at Neidpath Castle in 2021

Here’s the video we created:

23rd Europäische Blasmusikfestival, Germany

In September 2022 the Band were lucky enough to be invited to return to the Europäische Blasmusikfestival (European Brass Music Festival) in Bad Schlema, Germany. With many bands invited from across Europe, only two were invited from the Anglo Celtic Isles – Peebles, and the Irish Friendly Band. Bands varied from town and nationally-renowned amateurs to professional bands such as the the Bundespolizeiorchester Berlin.

Bands assembled from all other Europe

The festival is spread over four days and the organisers arranged all local travel, accomodation and refreshments. The festival is held in a huge temporary performance arena that was typically full of up to 5,000 keen audience members – as well as many stalls selling typical German food – and of course beer.

Bands played on two stages – one at each end of the performance arena. One playing whilst the other set up. This led to the spectale of audience members moving up and down the arena depending on the band playing. Huge screens were erected and the bands televised to help reduce this – but it was still quite some sight to see the rush of Germans whenever we struck up – particularly when joined on stage by the Tweedale Pipe Band who joined forces with us.

Looking down the performance arena from one stage to the other – just waiting to start!

We typically plaid in both daytime and evening – with changing audiences as the day progressed (rapidly getting younger as the evenings progressed!). The atmosphere was fantastic – with audience members dancing (on and off the trestles) and joining in with the drinking songs (or Tom Jones, in our case). Check out our highlights video:

Highlights of the Band’s trip to the European Brass Music Festival in Germany

We also marched around the town that the Festival is hosted in – and helped out with leading the dancing when the need arouse. Here are some of the Band members accompanying the Irish Friendly Band. We shared accomodation with the Irish and even helped each other out on stage from time to time!

The band “show how it’s done” with the Irish Friendly Band on stage

The full event programme