Meet the Drummers

Our Drum Corps now boasts 3 bass drummers, 5 tenor drummers and over a dozen snare drummers, not to mention a beautiful set of drums. 
We’d like to introduce you to all our drummers – the real people who make up our band.


Gerry Graham
 Lead Drummer

Gerry, from Galashiels lives in the Scottish borders. He’s been playing with pipe bands since he was a boy (many moons ago).

He’s known as the bands joker and loves a good wind up. He also loves a dram (or 3). He is renowned for his hip flasks – now renamed Gerry Cans due to their size.

He wants to see Scotland free from Westminster rule.




Tammy Sinclair

Lead Tenor Drummer 

Tammy our lead tenor drummer is a very busy lady. She lives in Burntisland in Fife – married with two lovely children she works as a Lash Technician and barmaid.

She joined the pipe band world in 1998 at the tender age of 8 as a piper. She played the bagpipes for 8 years before moving onto drums. She’s been teaching kids and adults to play for many years.

When Tammy isnt playing the drums she spends her time fundraising for the Scottish Huntingtons Association



Tammy wins the award for most dedicated to the band … after our first band performance on Lewis she went home and had the band logo tattooed on her elbow. Now that’s commitment  !







 Dave Purves

Lead Bass Drummer

Dave was born and bred in the heart of our capital city Edinburgh but now lives in Glenrothes.
He first played the bass drum with the Edinburgh Scout Pipe Band way back in June 1969 aged 12 and never stopped. Some say he should be good at it by now !!
Dave is a Driving Instructor and an Examiner for the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Apart from his love of pipe bands he is a keen Freemason and along with his wife Margaret runs the Markinch Spiritualist Church
Although Dave has been a member of the SNP party since Feb 2004 he had never been an activist until the forming of Saor Alba
Pipes & Drums.

Pixie Murray

Snare drummer

Our youngest drummer Pixie is just 14 years old and sister to our youngest piper Daniel. Pixie lives way up in Sutherland on the family croft. She started playing the drums in February 2018 taking lessons with The Royal Burgh of Tain Pipeband, earning her place in that band in August. Pixie loves to collect drum sticks and now has them in most colours !

She hopes to study medicine, and is currently working really hard to get the grades for Edinburgh medical school. Free university tuition and freedom of movement are really important to her for her future plans.





Nick Dawson

Snare Drummer


Nick is the only member of the band who lives in England – he’s currently based in deepest Suffolk, so does a huge amount of travelling to join us at practices and marches !

After a military career in both the Royal Navy and Royal Airforce he is now semi- retired working in the NHS. Nick learned to drum in the Army and Sea Cadets as a boy. At home he also plays the Highland and Small pipes.

Nick has played a drum on some of the major battlefields of Europe and America as a Historical Reenactor in Jacobite, Napoleonic and American Civil War groups.




John Ritchie

Snare Drummer

John is from the Kingdom of Fife. He started learning to play 34 years ago.

His day job is as an NDT inspector offshore. When he’s not working he likes to keep fit, hill walking, spending quality time with his grandchildren and socialising.

John believes Scotland is more than capable of standing on it’s own as an independent country in Europe and Independence would benefit our future generation.




Alex Thomson
Bass Drummer
Alex lives in Coldstream, where he works full time with his wife Joy as a Company Director (he loves the challenge … and the money). In his spare time he is Vice Chairman of Coldstream Pipe Band which he joined about 15 years ago.
His ambition from a young age was to play the side drum but never took the opportunity until he came to live in the town 18 years ago. He went to practice for a few weeks and sadly found he had a lazy left hand – a legacy from his rugby days and couldn’t co-ordinate well enough.
Undaunted, he offered to be the bass drummer, one night In Bennecourt – (Coldstreams Twin Town near Paris). After an evening of champers, red wine and brandy He had enough Dutch courage to ask the Pipe Major, Robert Bell – and he accepted! The Band has travelled frequently to gigs in France and Spain over the years and He has have loved every minute of it.
He says playing with Saor Alba is a pleasure and privilege and the prize of Independence for Scotland is very exciting.
Susie Russell
Bass Drummer
Susie is from Burntisland, where she is currently training to be a driving instructor.
She joined her first Pipe Band nearly 4 years ago where she started off as a learner Tenor Drummer. She quickly moved to the Bass, just so I could get her kilt & help with parades etc for my hometown.
Susie loves following the band competitions, especially the beer tents!
She has been a member of the SNP for a few years now & can’t wait until we can finally say we are free from Westminster.
Andrew McNally
Tenor Drummer 
Originally from Glasgow, Andrew moved to Alness in Ross-shire in 1980. He has now been living in Inverness for over 20 years.
Andrew works Offshore as a Motorman in a drilling jackup engine room.In his time off he enjoys going to music festivals and Building, upgrading and repairing high end PC’s.
He learned to play the Tenor drum in QOH Army Cadets in the 1980’s, but he hadnt played in a pipe band since 1990. Then Saor Alba Pipes and Drums came along!
Andrew thinks playing in the band leading the Independence Movement is going to make a huge difference to us reaching our goal and he really wanted to be part of that !
Bruce Bell
Assistant Lead Drummer
When not working as a telecomms manager or strapped to a snare drum, Bruce might be found kayaking on river or sea, or perhaps on his mountain bike, enjoying some of the superb trails around his Hobbit hole in the Borders.
  1. I have really just started involving myself in the Independence movement and have really enjoyed listening to Saor Alba. Your contribution to the marches is nothing short of magical and makes me proud to be a Scot.

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The Pipe band of the Scottish Independence Yes Movement

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