Pipin' Hot joyride for the senses

Last updated 11:49 08/10/2012

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OPINION: Pipin' Hot Reignited ILT City of Invercargill Highland Pipe Band Civic Theatre, Invercargill

Aye, the pipes.

If there's anything that stirs the blood for battle as much as a haka, it's the uplifting skirl of a well-drilled pipe and drum corps.

Add a tight, classy rock band to the mix and you've got Pipin' Hot.

After a five-year hiatus, fans were treated to a wondrous reboot of the world-class show. No-one would have left the theatre disappointed.

Led expertly by champion drummer Scott Birrell and piper Alasdair Mackenzie at the front and driven hard by the band at the back, Pipin' Hot Reignited was a sensory joyride, giving a traditional music genre a fresh, contemporary edge.

The blending of bagpipes and rock band was seamless and dynamic.

Thrilling renditions of Gaelic tunes such as Loch Lomond, Erin Shore and Tir Nan Og were interspersed with hits including Adele's Set Fire To The Rain, Tom Petty's Free Falling and Steve Earle's Copperhead Road.

Featured vocalists Jason Schmidt, Bonnie Turner, Alice Fraser and Craig Allott all delivered standout performances.

Not to be outdone, the City of Invercargill Pipe Band drum corps's Drum Salute was a magnificent exhibition of high-precision stunt drumming, with some well-rehearsed humour.

The Silver Thistle Dancers and the Rosedale Kilties marchers added to the impressive spectacle.

Robert Pay's sound mix was clean and full without being oppressively loud, and Neale Smith's dazzling light show was superb.

After such a triumphant return, there must be very short odds on Pipin' Hot returning in 2013.

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- The Southland Times


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