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Bagpipes and drum entertain Lower Hutt locals


Residents of Redvers Drive in Lower Hutt are being treated to a daily serenade of bagpipes and a Turkish belly-dancing drum by musical duo Briar and Neil Whitehead.

Video footage of the couple in action piping and drumming out Neil’s specially written cheerful tune “Ode to Redvers Drive in Covid-19” is receiving positive social media coverage.

Briar and husband Neil have been amazed.

“All we are doing is trying to raise the spirits of our neighbours and this thing has just taken off. We walk the street from top to bottom and people seem to be loving it.”

A few days ago the couple was asked to play the Friesian anthem to a Dutch couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary living on the street.  It was to have been a big family affair with relatives arriving from Holland, said Briar.

As well as the anthem, Neil composed a special tune for their 50th, they then added a medley and finished the musical performance with Amazing Grace.

It all started two weeks ago when neighbours started up a Facebook page for street residents to help and encourage each other, said Briar.

That’s when Neil, a piper and music composer, came up with the idea of composing a tune especially for street residents. Briar posted a photo on the street Facebook page of Neil with the caption,

“Here’s Neil getting ready to entertain you and lift your spirits over the lockdown!”

People responded positively with comments like “great and we’ll look forward to it”. Then a few days later Neil and Briar took to the street with their bagpipe and drum and serenaded neighbours with Neil’s original composition.

Comments flew in, “Fantastic, morale-boosting duo,” “You guys rock, what a lovely way to lift everyone’s spirits,” “What a wonderful gift to share with others,” and “You guys are epic!! Love you!!”

Now there have been three videos and Briar says that people are enjoying it so much they are encouraged to keep going for the duration of the lockdown.

I have got to know my neighbours more in the last week than in the last 20 years.”


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