I know to say it is submitting to the great borough of Hackneyed in much the same way as telling someone how bad George Bush is, but bagpipes are absolutely fucking awful. I mean, here is an instrument that’s (unless my memory is my dark betrayer) purposefully out of tune with its own drone to avoid wolf notes and unintentional vibratos. That’s hardly an auspicious beginning before it’s even been played. But whoever decided that twelve out-of-tune instruments, each differently out of tune and hence out of tune with each other, would make a smashing centrepiece for Witney town centre deserves at the very least some sort of complimentary syringing.
Later on, someone dressed as a fireman asked me if I wanted a free car wash, some sort of charity fund- or awareness-raising dodge. “I don’t have a-” I began, but he’d already started looking through me at the next punter. Yeah, go ahead, be a convenient metaphor for West Oxfordshire District Council, why don’t you? I wonder what donation I could make to get him to clean out a dozen bagpipes with Cif.