Having missed out for years on the Worlds concert, I have now had two profoundly different experiences in successive years.
Last year's effort from Boghall was, in truth, rather disappointing. It was massively over-long and the insistence on playing in every possible combination throughout the entire band repertoire made for a tedious programme.
Inveraray & District provided an altogether different and more pleasing night. One of the primary differences was the length of time spent on stage by the entire Band. Aside from a couple of stunning solo performances and the obligatory drum salute, it was full band almost the whole time.
And what a band!
Performances were consistently driving and exciting. Drum scores had the McWhirter touch - which I always feel owes a great deal to Reid Maxwell (who was in the crowd). Pipes sang out clearly through the sold-out auditorium and the audience lapped it all up.
There were many highlights but I particularly enjoyed the barber shop quartet featuring Stuart Liddell and Dougie Campbell, treating us to an acapella version of The River is Wide. It was played slightly for laughs but was quite excellent.
The night ended with a superb Mason's Apron encore and the Band paraded off and through a standing ovation to the foyer, where they were practically mobbed!
All in all, a night to remember. It's hard to imagine that this Band will not win the World title sometime soon....