A well-arranged showcase for the Border and early Northumbrian Bagpipes
Horseplay are a band based near Durham (UK, that is), and regularly play in a session there. They are very good musicians; though the dominant sound in their sets is normally that of one or other of Paul Martin’s bagpipes, the backing from the others complements and integrates this beautifully, and fiddle, whistle, flute and piano-accordion all get a chance to lead a tune.
Sleeve notes give the sources of the tunes - mainly Northumbrian and other English, the odd Balkan or home-made tune as well, having in common the restricted note-range that these particular bagpipes enforce.
Ideally they should have included some notes about the bagpipes used, but maybe this wasn’t practicable.
Horseplay have a website through which albums may be ordered and, I imagine, questions asked about instruments etc. It is linked to other websites in the bagpiping world.
Border Bagpipes, yes: the others may be English Bagpipes, not NSP.
I think that apart from Border Pipes, English Bagpipes are played, not Northumbrian Small Pipes: I may, however, be mistaken.
Mostly, they’re Border Pipes playing a nine-note scale in A with a G natural at top and bottom: G A B c# d e f# g a
On track 4 they’re definitely something in a comparable scale, only this time in D with C naturals.
At the end of track 7 (a good tune called The Grinders), pipes are being played in an octave of G Major, including the C natural.
I’m told that Border bagpipes are used throughout except for one track, where Northumbrian pipes are used - could it be the above track?
Track 3 (The Black Cock Of Whickham / Stay A While Bonny Lad / Little Wat Ye Wha’s Coming) is my favourite on this album.
I love Northumbrian smalpipe playing, and am listening to Track 7 as I write this. (It’s one of these catchy ones you want to have on repeat). I don’t there are any Northumbrian smallpipes here.
I don’t think there are