Angus celtic rock band Gleadhraich added another continent to their musical passports last week after taking New York Tartan Week by storm and meeting a Hollywood star in the process!
After successful solo trips to the event the last two years, their leader, Carnoustie VIP piper Craig Weir, returned this time with his band Gleadhraich. And they were a huge hit at the official Post-Parade Party at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill near Times Square.
The 23-year-old primary teacher, who’s piped for Queen, the Bay City Rollers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the MOBOs and the Dalai Lama, had to cancel the first engagement on his solo itinerary after British Airways flight problems in the UK delayed his arrival by a day. But once in the States last Tuesday he began a programme of school visits and gigs.
When the rest of the band – brother Paul, Ewan and Kerr Barrack, Jordan Robertson and Ross White – arrived the next night they immediately joined Craig for an impromptu jam after he’d played his booked set at the city’s St Andrews Restaurant & Bar.
Thursday saw Craig accompany the demonstration by Highland dance group Flings and Things at Saint Andrews Bar before Gleadhraich guested at The Highland Divas gig at The Cutting Room. Gleadhraich then played sets on Friday at the Belhaven best event at Beer Authority and the Caledonian Club Pre-parade Ceilidh at the Abigail Adams Auditorium.
Finally, last Saturday, the band got to walk in the city’s world-famous Tartan Day Parade before having the honour of being the only Scottish band on the bill at the Official Post Parade Party at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill.
Video shot by them and the crowd showed the audience’s hugely enthusiastic response. One woman is heard telling her friend “This is fantastic!” You can see that and photos on the band’s Facebook page.
Oh and they also met this year’s parade Grand Marshal Scots Hollywood actor Tommy Flanagan (Braveheart, Face/Off, Gladiator, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Alien vs. Predator)!
Speaking about the visit, Craig said: “We had an amazing time. The highlight of course was the Saturday - walking down 6th Avenue for the parade with the band and people cheering and screaming for us before the Post-Parade Party.
“Naturally we were very excited to be playing in such an iconic place and it didn’t disappoint. You could feel the history it was as soon as we arrived. The crowd were fantastic - what an ovation we got! They went crazy for us.
“Hopefully we can do it all again next year as the band are really keen to repeat it for the 20th Anniversary of NYC Tartan Week.”
The rest of the year is looking good for the band, with slots booked at the Enjoy Music Festival in Aberdeen, in June, and headlining Jocktoberfest in Inverness. Other exciting dates will be announced soon. For details, follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Gleadhraich