MEET WIGHT HOT PIPES
Kieron(Piping Hot Doc) - A champion piper with medals for solo piping contests in Scotland and a member of the Portsmouth based Rose and Thistle Pipe band. Piping is in his blood being brought up in pipe bands and having a lifelong experience of solo and band performances. With solo gigs ranging from University of Cambridge May Balls to wedding celebrations up the Spinnaker Tower and from Cross Solent party ferries to the turret of Carisbrooke Castle. No job too big or small he says. He is the Honorary piper for the Isle of Wight British Legion and Caledonian Society and with close links to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice Kieron can be seen and heard all over the Isle of Wight on and off all year long at various functions and charity events. And with a 7ft 6 stature in his highland bonnet he sure can be seen and heard from a long way away! But when he plays with WHP look out for the fingers, they not only move pretty quick they can often be seen to glisten in the lights, fingers on fire or what! He recently decided push the boundaries of bagpipe music into a new era and his determination led to the birth of Wight Hot Pipes.
Tori (Vox) Blain - The voice of WHP’s and second percussionist, Tori views herself as a happy accident for the band and has been on a steep learning curve since joining them in 2010. She admits to feeling excited but a little nervous still before a gig, smiling but with knocking knees! Not that you would know this once the kilt and boots are on and the music starts. Although a keen traveller Tori is happiest on her Island home. She has an interesting array of past times; motorcycles, kayaking, caving, mountain biking and abseiling to name a few! Our action girl has done several charity parachute jumps and has participated in the London Bikeathon. Tori counts herself lucky to have a diverse ancestry of some note and enjoys exploring her ancient European family tree, blaming this for her cosmopolitan tastes and love of shoes, (which is almost on par with her love of cake and flying saucer sweets!) Big hearted, quick witted and fun loving you can’t help but catch her infectious smile.
Chris (Monkey-Boy) Austin - Having lived, worked and played for most of his life in London and Essex area Chris moved to the Island around 2005. His eccentric personality is reflected in his playing style and previous occupations, a high level access worker (dope on a rope), he has worked on the ‘Gerkin’ & St Paul’s Cathedral to name but a few. An accredited Master Builder and Restoration Glazer he particularly enjoys working in, on or atop some of the many Island churches. A generous soul, he gave away his previous drum kit to be auctioned off in aid of the Tsunami appeal, happily he has replaced this and in fact is constantly looking to expand and improve his kit (or play pen as we refer to it!) Chris comes from a musical background; his father played drums with the likes of George Melee & is distantly related to Roy Wood of Wizard. He has played in numerous bands starting with the ‘sizzlers’ as a mere boy, Gasp and SQWINT to name just a few, including some sessional work for Slade and has enjoyed drum duelling with Russell Gilbrook (Currently with Uriah Heap). Chris brings his experience, enthusiasm, nuttiness and creativity to the band and we can always rely on him to pick up the tempo and interact with the crowds. We have recently press-ganged him into some vocals (drummers singing? Who would have thought?) But we all know he’s loving it!
Andrea (McFingers) - Having rekindled her interest in keyboards after a number of years, Andrea has brought her own ideas and style to the band. A complete task master at rehearsal, full of enthusiasm and ideas, she’ll often sit behind the drum kit or pick up Stu’s bass to have a little play, she is also the proud owner of a full size piano accordion – as yet she still hasn’t gone near the pipes though! She is a keen sportswoman and a competent sailor, taking part in several sporting events each year. Funny, creative and the voice of reason are only a few of the qualities she has brought to the band, it goes without saying that her quirky sense of humour makes her feel right at home with the rest of us.