Sky’s the limit for Craig

**FRE OR MEDIA USE** FOR SUNDAY MAIL/ ARTS AWARD TO CRAIG WEIR.'WITH HELEN FLANNAGAN

**FRE OR MEDIA USE** FOR SUNDAY MAIL/ ARTS AWARD TO CRAIG WEIR.'WITH HELEN FLANNAGAN

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In a month that has seen Craig Weir win a Scottish arts award, play for Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and release his band Gleadraich’s first EP ‘Pipe Dreams’ it seems there is no stopping the Carnoustie piper.

Craig was announced as the winner of the Sunday Mail Young Scot Arts Award for his work promoting the bagpipes to young people through community piping as Pipe Sergeant of the Arbroath Royal British Legion Pipe Band and with his Celtic rock band Gleadhraich.

“It was a huge honour just to be nominated and to win it was a real shock,” said Craig, “I wasn’t expecting it at all. Helen Flanagan presented the award and when she read out my name as the winner, I was just stunned.”

Craig dedicated his award to his bandmates: “I want to dedicate this to everyone connected to the Arbroath RBLS Pipe Band and Gleadhraich. Without them I wouldn’t be here.”

Craig was nominated for the award, sponsored by Creative Scotland, by Councillor Helen Oswald, Provost of Angus. She was present last November when his four-piece celtic rock band Gleadhraich were named Angus Cultural Ambassadors.

Speaking to the Guide and Gazette, Craig explained the changes he is seeing in people’s reaction to traditional Scottish music:

“With Gleadhraich, we sometimes get quite a wild reaction and it’s great because people are realising that the bagpipes can be a ‘cool’ credible rock instrument.”

The four-piece band from Carnoustie hope to make the pipes a more accessible instrument to young people by being a rock band with pipes up front, in order to encourage Scotland’s youth to take forward the native instrument and to give it the widespread appeal it deserves with older generations.

That means there is a busy schedule ahead for Craig and the band members Paul Weir (percussion), Graeme Ritchie (bass) and Ross White (guitar and vocals).

“I have a lot of plans lined up for the year. I am performing for Andy Murray on April 23rd which I am really excited about. I have events lined up all across Europe for the summer which is going to be great and Gleadhraich are also going to be branching out into England and Wales a bit more too, which will be great.

“We’ve also just sold out a gig in Dundee to launch the EP on April 26th which is exciting.”