The Delta Police Pipe Band has a big name to add to its list of collaborators: Sir Paul McCartney.
The pipers and drummers took the stage with McCartney at BC Place on Sunday during the Beatle's second encore to perform Wings' 1977 smash hit "Mull of Kintyre." It was the 34th song in McCartney's 38-song set spanning nearly three hours, though the 70-year-old rocker kept pace with the band all the way through.
"It was probably fastest five minutes of my life," said pipe major John Ralston. "Just taking it all in, it was really something to have 50,000 people erupt when we hit the stage."
The pipe band got the opportunity to perform with McCartney when Live Nation, the concert's promoter, contacted them three weeks before the show and invited them to perform.
Ralston, who is a big Beatles fan, and his bandmates could hardly contain their excitement in the weeks leading up to the performance, but they managed to stay quiet about it until the day of the show.
"We did a rehearsal on Saturday evening with his band, and then we did another one yesterday afternoon with Sir Paul himself," said Ralston. "He was just as gracious as can be, very friendly, down to earth, just a real gentleman and a pleasure to work with."
The Delta Police Pipe Band is well-known around the world, having performed in such countries as Switzerland, Scotland and the Netherlands. They're even preparing for a tour of Germany in March.
But if Ralston had to rank the band's performances, McCartney would hold the top spot.
"You can't replicate that, 50,000 people and a living legend," said Ralston. "We consider ourselves very lucky."
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