Pipers bring new twist to old rock

By Haley Galvin

DeKALB — Traveling all the way from Scotland, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers put their own spin on classic rock hits by performing them with a bagpipe twist, melding two genres to create a new kind of music which they call, “bagrock.”

The band will be showing off its unique talent 8 p.m. April 21 at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. Creating this combination, the Chilli Pipers will put on a hybrid show ,which Jeanine Holcomb, marketing director at the Egyptian Theatre, said can appeal to all.

“It is a blend of Rock ’n’ Roll and bagpipes,” Holcomb said.

Taking their name as a spoof from the American funk rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Pipers play a collection of classic hits from other artists, such as Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.” These well known songs take on a whole new element with the Scottish bagpipes, coupled with the band’s drummer, guitarists and singers, according to the band’s website.

Since 2002, the band has been slowly gaining popularity throughout Europe, and they have begun to travel globally. Holcomb said this will be a show audience members are not going to find anywhere else in the area, making it truly unique.

Band member Willie Armstrong said creating a Scottish environment for the audience is something the group strives to do, and it doesn’t stop with the music.

“[Each band member] has had a traditional Scottish upbringing as well as being highly trained bagpipe professionals,” Armstrong said.

The bagpipe performers stick to tradition when it comes to how they dress as well, each wearing a kilt and traditional Scottish apparel. Armstrong said this is something that takes the audience and transports them to Scotland for one night.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be showing off their bagrock style with songs from Coldplay, AC/DC, Queen, Journey and Muse, as well as classic Scottish music melded into the show.

Armstrong said they are each skilled at their craft and are able to blend the two elements of classic rock and traditional Scottish music together to form a unique experience he hopes audience members will enjoy.