Ewan bangs the victory drum on Pipe Band return

Ewan Mutch and his fellow West Highlanders celebrate
Ewan Mutch and his fellow West Highlanders celebrate

He thought he’d hung up his drum sticks for good but after a change of heart, Eyemouth’s Ewan Mutch is now the member of an ward winning band.

Ewan is one of the West Coast Highlanders a band hand picked by Pipe Major David Ogilvie and featuring an international lineup of players from Canada, Germany, Switzerland and of course Scotland.

Ewan is one of the Scottish contingent but was shocked to receive a phone call out of the blue from David just weeks before the band were due to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow on August 16 and 17.

“At first it was a crazy idea given the short notice of only 5 weeks and I knew to form a band to compete takes years to do,” Ewan told ‘The Berwickshire’.

“But at the same time I knew David was very capable of doing this with the calibre of players he had lined up so I agreed to join up.

“Competition was stiff with bands participating not only from here in Scotland, but in total 62 bands in the grade from all parts of the Globe.”

Although Ewan agreed to compete with the West Coast Highlanders just over a month before the championships, he didn’t actually practice with his fellow players until a day prior to the big event.

“It was the only chance we had as we were waiting for some of the players to fly into Scotland.

“Some would say it was a very risky thing to do, however we were willing to take the risk and go for it.

And it was most definitely a risk worth taking as after battling their way through some tough qualifying heats, the Highlanders won both the Drumming Title and the accolade for best band as a whole.

It’s not the first time Ewan can call himself a world champion though. He also took top billing at the world championships as a member of Penuicuik & District Pipe Band back in 2000.

Ewan’s competition days started with Duns Pipe Band and it’s no surprise he got involved as his family has strong pipe band connections.

Ewan’s brother Sandy is former pipe major of Eyemouth Pipe Band, with nephews Adam and Steven also drumming in the band. And now Ewan’s six year old son is keen to follow in his footsteps.