The People of Boghall and Bathgate

L/D Gordon Brown

Gordon was born and brought up in West Lothian and joined Boghall and Bathgate in 1976. He first competed with the Novice Juvenile Band in 1977, winning both Champion of Champions awards the same year. In 1978 Gordon was promoted to the Grade 2 corps under his father’s leadership and the story that follows has been truly remarkable. The Grade 2 band won the Champion of Champions award two years in a row, gained promotion to Grade 1 for the 1980 season and within their first season, the Grade 1 corps won their first major title, the Cowal Championships. The following year saw the start of a hat-trick of World Drumming titles and by 1983 the band had won their first major championship. Since then Gordon has taken over leadership of the drum corps in 1992 and has maintained the level of excellence achieved by his father’s corps, winning multiple major drumming and band titles including two drumming Champion of Champions awards (2007 and 2010), a World Band Drumming title (2001) and two World Solo drumming titles in 1994 and 2002. Outwith band Gordon is also heavily involved in drumming – he runs a drumming supplies business (, teaches drums at Glenalmond College and Morrison’s Academy, writes scores for and works closely with Andante on product development. He says his favourite tunes are the Big Road Brusher and Balmoral Highlanders, both of which have featured heavily in Gordon’s corps and solo prize winning performances. Away from drumming Gordon loves spending time with his two daughters, enjoys Italian and Indian food and is a massive Rangers fan.

Alan Irvine

Alan was born in Newtonards, Northern Ireland and grew up in Bangor. He began learning the drums with tuition from Mark Armstrong and initially played with Cleland Memorial, Bangor Caledonia and Ravara. During his time in Northern Ireland Alan won most prizes in Grades 3 and 4 and his individual playing improved significantly with input from Richard Coffey, Bobby Rea and Aaron McCarten. In 1997 Alan moved to Scotland and began competing with Boghall, initially playing with the Grade 2 band, before gaining promotion to the Grade 1 band in 2002. Since then he has gone on to become a very valuable member of the organisation not only as a flank drummer in the Grade 1 band but also for his help in teaching the Novice corps and his input as Vice-President on the committee. On moving to Scotland, Alan studied a degree in Business Studies at Napier University and now works as a Wine Sales Executive with Wallaces Express, Scotland’s largest independent wholesaler. Aside from a love of food and red wine, Alan enjoys supporting Hearts and is a keen ceilidh band drummer with his band having appeared live on BBC Radio Scotland as part of a Celtic Connections feature. Alan says he has a number of favourite memories with Boghall but one particular highlight was on the last day of the Russia trip in 2004 when Alan was trying to get rid of his remaining Russian coins at the casino and hit the jackpot resulting in him buying cocktails for the whole band (have a look at the gallery!)

Calum Burns

Calum is 26 and a joiner by trade from Broxburn. He started drumming in 1992 with instruction from his father, Jas. Calum has enjoyed time in a number of bands including Seafield and District (with whom he won the 2001 Champion of Champions drumming title), Polkemmet, Glasgow Skye and Lomond and Clyde before joining MacKenzie Caledonian. During his time at MacKenzie, Calum won 4/5 championships in Grade 3A including the worlds before the band was promoted to Grade 2. In 2012 he was appointed leading drummer and became the band’s most successful leading drummer in its near 100 year history. Following the 2016 season, Calum decided to join his brother, Gavin, at Boghall and is looking forward to playing alongside him once again. Out with bands, Calum is no stranger to the solo scene where he won Juvenile Section 1 at the World Solo Drumming Championships in 2003 before having a long break and only returned to the World Solos in 2014; however, he has won the Dundee, Perth and Angus branch contest on multiple occasions. Calum is a collector of retro video games and consoles as well as being a big fan of graphic novels and horror films. He is also a lover for rock/metal music and enjoys jazz from time to time due to the drumming always being incredible. He states is favourite bands as Aerosmith, Van Halen, Led Zeooelin and Motley Crue.

Callum Duncan

Callum is 20 from Newtongrange, where he began his drumming career with his local band, under Bill Black, before joining City of Edinburgh. With these bands he won many prizes across the grades including the Scottish, British and European Championships. Callum joined Boghall for the 2017 and is looking forward to his first season with the band. He is also a kit drummer in a rock band called The Carvelles with where he plays most weekends in various pubs and clubs across Scotland. Outwith drumming he enjoys watching Rugby Union and going to Scotland and Edinburgh matches. He is a Rangers fan and enjoys travelling. Callum is currently studying an HNC in Manufacturing Engineering as Forth Valley College and is an Apprentice Engineer at MacTaggart Scott.

Christie McKenna

Christie was born and brought up in Bathgate and began drumming with Boghall and Bathgate in 2006 at the age of 11. He spent three years with Novice band (including some time as leading drummer) before moving up to the Juvenile band in 2010. He has received tuition from both Tom and Gordon Brown. He says his best memory with Boghall so far was being crowned Juvenile World Drumming Champions in 2010 and that the World Championships are his favourite contest due to the incredible atmosphere around Glasgow in the week building up to the event. Christie also enjoys competing in the solos and has won a number of local juvenile contests. Outwith band Christie is studying physics at the University of St Andrews and is due to graduate in 2016. He enjoys playing golf (he is a member at Bathgate Golf Course) and is a big fan of American Football where he supports the San Diego Chargers.

Colm Gibson

Colm is from Denny where he is a student at Denny High School. He initially received tuition from his father, John Gibson, and played with Denny and Dunipace for one season before joining Boghall in 2013. He had great success with the Novice Juvenile band in 2013, winning Champion of Champions. Following the Novice band’s promotion to the Juvenile grade in 2014, Colm played with the band for a further two seasons before playing his first season with the Grade 1 band in 2016. Outwith the band Colm says a favourite past time of his is water skiing!

Craig Brown

Craig was born and raised in “The Beautiful Kingdom of Fife” and began drumming with his local band, Methil and District, where he received tuition from Mark Gibson. After a few short years Craig moved to Boghall in 2004 and his potential became immediately apparent. Craig won Juvenile 1 Section at the World Solo Drumming Championships in 2004, before going on to win Juvenile Section 2 in 2005 and 2007 and Juvenile Section 3 in 2008 and 2009. He first played with the Boghall Juvenile band for the 2004 season and part of the 2005 season, before moving up to the Grade 1 band later that year. Since then Craig has gone on to become a very strong member of the Grade 1 corps and became a flank drummer in 2011. He has enjoyed many great memories with the band including two Champion of Champion Drumming titles in 2007 and 2010 and also thoroughly enjoyed the band trip to Switzerland in 2008. Outwith band Craig works as a Yard Marshall with Amazon UK and enjoys playing football and socialising with friends.

Ian Tobin

Ian was born and brought up in Fife and despite spending many years playing with bands from the Kingdom, he finally joined Boghall in 2010. Ian’s pipe band journey began in 1976 at Bowhill and Seafield Collieries under the tuition of Davie Clark and Ian Gordon before spells with Cupar and District and Kinglassie and District. Ian joined the Vale of Atholl in 1996 where he spent nine seasons initially under L/D James King before taking over the corps for 4 seasons until 2005. Since then Ian has played with Dysart and Dundonald and latterly spent four seasons at Tayside Police. Ian has won a number of solo prizes and has played in the semi finals of the World Solo Drumming Championships on multiple occasions. Outwith band Ian works as a Welding Development Manager and is married to Paula who he met at Bowhill Pipe Band (though unfortunately she’s a piper!) Ian says his favourite memories with Boghall are sweeping the boards for drumming at the 2012 World Championships, lifting the 2012 Champion of Champions drum corp prize and having Broon as a roommate in Canada! Interestingly Ian has been leading drummer at every band he has played with except Dysart and Boghall, though he says he is currently working on the latter!

Paul Kilbane

Paul was brought up in the village of Falkland in Fife and now travels to Boghall from Glasgow. Paul has had an extensive pipe band career beginning with Cupar pipe band aged 9. During his time at Cupar, he played under fellow Boghall drummer Ian Tobin and then played under Ian again at Kinglassie. In 1998, Paul joined the Vale of Atholl under Leading Drummer Jim King and subsequently stayed with the band when Ian Tobin became his leading drummer for a third time. Paul moved to Tayside Police pipe band in 2005 under John Moneagle before, unsurprisingly, Ian Tobin took over as leading drummer. Paul then managed to have a few seasons away from Ian where he played two seasons with Fife Constabulary and five with the Glasgow Skye Association before joining Boghall for the 2016 season. Outwith drumming, Paul enjoys watching sport and is keen to keep fit. He says that he even entered a marathon once!

Reed Cameron