“First Highland Watch” by First Highland Watch
Bagpipe Rock? That’s an obvious question! And one answer to it is definitely First Highland Watch.
They hail from Philly – and consist of three competition pipers (who have competed on the East Coast, Canada, and Scotland) and a fantastic rock trio. It was cool to learn that, together they’ve rocked some big events, including the Washington Crossing Brew Fest (2,500 in attendance!) and a Philadelphia Union Soccer Game.
Now, to the album. I’m a huge bagpipe fan, first of all. And if you’ve gotten this far, chances are, you are too. I’ll start with UAF, a rousing instrumental to get things started. This one gets you into sure fire anthem Battle of Culloden, I feel like I can hear this one at a sporting event to get a crowd going. Go, fight, win guys! My favorite might have to be Hag of the Mist. While my favorite band might be Queen, this one reminds me of early Metallica, another band I really love – can I even hear some Sabbath and Dio influences in there? This one grows on me with every listen. In fact, the whole album grows on me with each listen! Of course, don't forget to check out Irish Paddy, Midnight Ramble, and O'Neill's in Temple Bar. None of the songs disappoint.
While most the songs are originals, their covers of Amazing Grace, I’m Shipping Up to Boston, and Back Home in Derry definitely rock it. You can hear their skill in I’m Shipping Up to Boston, as it enters a short musical interlude. I even hear a Reggae beat in their Amazing Grace. Nice one, guys.
In all, I don’t think I’d miss an opportunity to see these guys if it came up. Sounds like they’d bring the rock to whatever venue they’d perform in, whether in a bar, or say for that 2,500 in attendance. Check this album out, and thank me later.
Romana Guillotte is an MFA Screenwriting Candidate at UNLV and a terribly average cellist. In addition to writing reviews the Celtic Music Magazine, she moonlights as a barista and writes short stories. She managed to self-publish her first novel “Lydia’s Family” back in ’06.