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"WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS" WINNERS TO APPEAR IN WICK

28th February 2007

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The winners of last Saturday's BBC1 programme "When Will I Be Famous", the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have agreed to play at a Massed Pipe Band event in Wick in September. The live TV show is hosted by Graham Norton and each week 8 different acts compete for a 10,000 first prize.

In the first round the Red Hot Chilli Pipers were up against Stringfever, a quartet of classical string musicians, the studio judges of Max Clifford, Chuck Harris and Dave Spikey were fullsome in their praise of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the armchair panel of 101 viewers voted them through to the next round. Members of the public then voted by telephone for the 4 acts chosen with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the Human Slinky going on to the final where each performed their act again. The studio judges again praised the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Chuck Harris offered to arrange gigs for them in the USA. Again members of the public were invited to telephone in their votes and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers came out on top to win the 10,000 prize.

The band was formed just over four years ago after Stuart Cassels the 2005 BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year was asked to do something different at the wedding of fellow band piper Kevin MacDonald. The other musicians in the group are piper Willie Armstrong, drummers Steven Graham and Malcolm McEwan. They were recently joined by guitarist Gregor James. They have performed in Oman, China, Thailand and France. In January this year they played at a Burns Supper organised by Ewan McGregor and attended by celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney.

The Wick Massed Pipe Bands will be held on Saturday 8th September 2007 in the Market Square. It will have a similar format to the extremely successful event held there in September 2006 when the Caithness Junior Pipe Band, Sutherland Caledonia Pipe Band, Tain Pipe Band, Thurso Pipe Band and Wick RBLS Pipe Band performed a series of massed band and solo sets. It was estimated that around 2000 people attended that event which was followed by a ceilidh in the Francis Street Club. One of the event organisers, John Bogle, secretary of Wick RBLS Pipe Band said "The 2006 event was a tremendous success and thoroughly enjoyed by all the bands taking part. Last year was always intended to be a taster for this year which we wanted to be a bit different as part of the Highland Year of Culture. I contacted the Red Hot Chilli Pipers last year after hearing them on the radio but I only recently managed to book them for this year's event. As well as giving a short performance in the Market Square they will also perform a longer set at a ceilidh to be held in the Assembly Rooms afterwards. We are absolutely delighted that the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have agreed to come to Wick, we are sure it will be a tremendous boost for piping and drumming in the north, particularly for the young folk.

We are well advanced in our preparations for September but we still have to get the full funding package in place and are looking for sponsorship from local businesses. The cost of bringing a band such as the Red Hot Chilli Pipers to Wick is considerable, the other bands are giving their services free of charge but we will meet their travelling costs and provide some catering so we need to get the funding sorted out. The Market Square event should provide a spectacular opening to the Caithness Arts Festival which starts that day and we are sure that it will be very popular with both visitors and locals."

Mr Bogle has Red Hot Chilli Pipers CDs on sale for anyone who wants to hear more of the band, he can be contacted on Wick 603080.

See Red Hot Chilli Pipers On BBC web site at

 

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