Red Hot Chilli Pipers

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Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Red Hot Chilli Pipers Logo.jpg
Red Hot Chilli Pipers logo
Background information
GenresCeltic rock
Years active2002–present
LabelsREL Records Ltd

Red Hot Chilli Pipers are an ensemble consisting of pipers, guitarists, keyboards and drummers formed in Scotland in 2002. They entered and won the BBC talent show When Will I Be Famous?[1] in 2007.

In 2004, the group appeared on the main stage at T in the Park with the headline band, the rock group The Darkness. They appeared on BBC Radio 1 on the Greg James show in July 2013[2] and The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw in 2014.[3]

The band currently[when?] has Grant Cassidy – an 8 time world champion snare drummer.


Since their formation the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have combined guitars, keyboards, drums and their bagpipes to create 'bagrock' sound. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers perform a fusion of traditional pipe tunes and contemporary pieces. Notable covers performed have included "We Will Rock You" by Queen, "Clocks" by Coldplay and "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple as well as "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. Their biggest hit to date (2016) is the platinum selling and award winning Jazz Badger.

The band's first studio release The Red Hot Chilli Pipers (2005), was their least successful. Their 2007 album Bagrock to the Masses went platinum in Scotland and silver in the rest of the UK. Their third album and first live album, Blast Live (2008), went triple platinum in Scotland. Their fourth release Music for the Kilted Generation, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers' most successful International record to date, reached Number 2 on the US Amazon Chart.[4] behind Adele's record-breaking album, 21.

Their album titled Music for the Kilted Generation, is a parody of Music for the Jilted Generation by The Prodigy.

The band signed a contract in December 2012 for a new album to be released in 2013, including tracks from bands like Coldplay and Journey. Breathe was released in July 2013 on CD and iTunes.

The group appears on the soundtrack of How to Train Your Dragon 2.[5]


  • 2005 – The Red Hot Chilli Pipers
  • 2007 – Bagrock to the Masses
  • 2008 – Blast Live
  • 2010 – Music for the Kilted Generation
  • 2012 – Braveheart
  • 2013 – Breathe
  • 2014 – Live at the Lake 2014
  • 2016 – Octane[6]
  • 2019 - Fresh Air

Tours and performances[edit]

Red Hot Chilli Pipers in Koblenz 2011
Red Hot Chilli Pipers - Wacken Open Air 2016

The group's highest profile performance's have been on the Main Stage at T in the Park in 2004 where they performed alongside The Darkness, and in 2014 when they performed on the Main Stage again in their own right.

When Will I Be Famous[edit]

In 2007, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers appeared on the BBC show When Will I be Famous?[7] hosted by Graham Norton. The band were in the episode and competed against seven others. The eight contestants were paired into a head-to-head showdown in which the winner would be decided by 101 preregistered viewers who were dubbed the "Armchair Judges". The four winners of these head-to-heads would then compete against each other in the second show with the winner being decided by an open public phone vote. In their first head-to-head showdown, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers were pitted against the "Stringfever", a four-member string quartet. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers won the head-to-head 51-50 and went on to win the weekly prize of ten thousand pounds.

After TV appearance[edit]

In 2010, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers completed an 11-date sold-out tour of Scotland, as well as an 11-week tour of Germany and a 7-week tour of America. They also toured Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and most of Europe. They performed concerts in New York and Beijing as well as at the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway.


With a total of 4 degrees from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, many of the band members past & present have competed at the highest level of bagpiping and drumming for many years. Founder and Former Musical Director Cassells received 'BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year' in 2005 and became the first person ever to attain a degree in bagpipes[8] from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama). The snare drummer and percussionist, Grant Cassidy is an 8 time Juvenile Solo World Drumming Champion and in 2016 placed 7th in the adult section of the World Solo Drumming Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Former members[edit]

On 23 September 2011, founder and frontman Stuart Cassells, left the band. Stuart decided that, after almost ten years, it was time to pursue new goals and opportunities. Cassells said, "I have had some absolutely amazing times in the band and I would never have imagined the success we’ve had. I want to thank all the great musicians I’ve had the pleasure of performing with and I’m excited about the new chapter in my life". Prior to leaving, Stuart had been struggling with 'focal hand dystonia', more commonly known as writer's cramp since 2008. Speaking to The Daily Record on the subject, Cassells said, "My left hand refused to stay on the chanter. It was like my left hand wasn't my own, it wouldn't stay still, like someone else was controlling it. I knew in my head how I wanted to play but I couldn't because my hands would curl right up and tense up and move involuntarily. They weren't doing what they were supposed to do. The brain was sending far too many signals to my hands." Stuart tried various treatments throughout this period, including surgery to release a trapped nerve, physiotherapy and botox injections into his arm to relax the muscles. In efforts to help him play the bagpipes, he had McCallum Bagpipes manufacture him a custom chanter that uses flute keys to cover the holes instead of requiring the player to cover them. However, he was still unable to play them and left the band. It is hoped that he will recover and rejoin the band. A recent World Pipe Band Championship winner with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, Kyle Warren, replaced him.[9][10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Scottish Live Act of the Year[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 Red Hot Chilli Pipers Scottish Live Act of the Year Won
2010 Red Hot Chilli Pipers Scottish Live Act of the Year Won

BBC's 'When Will I Be Famous'[edit]

  • Winners 2007


  1. ^ Gavin Cumine (31 May 2008), "Bagrock with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers: it's a total blast", The Times
  2. ^ James, Greg (9 July 2013). "Here We Go Again..." BBC. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Red Hot Chilli Pipers cover Avicii's Wake Me Up". BBC. 1 February 2014.
  4. ^ Taylor, David (7 August 2012). "Red Hot Chilli Pipers No2 in US chart – Daily Record". Daily Record.
  5. ^ Composer John Powell talks How To Train Your Dragon 2
  6. ^ "Red Hot Chilli Pipers - Product Categories CDs". Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  7. ^ Anon (March 2007). "BBC – When Will I Be Famous? – Contestants". BBC. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  8. ^ Anon (2013). "Royal Conservatoire Graduates". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  9. ^ Anon (23 September 2011). "Stuart Cassells leaves Red Hot Chilli Pipers". The College of Piping. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  10. ^ Coventry, Laura (9 August 2010). "Medical condition almost cost me my career, says Red Hot Chilli Piper founder Stuart Cassells – Daily Record". Daily Record. Glasgow. ISSN 0956-8069. OCLC 500344244. Retrieved 20 July 2013.

External links[edit]