had the chance to meet Steven Kilbride, one of the minds behind the great performance of "Into The Groove" in Madonna's re-Invention Tour.
Stevie takes us into the exciting creative process of this performance and shares for the first time with our readers his fondest memories of the most talked about tour 2004.
While we hope you will enjoy this new interesting addition to MadonnaTribe's re-Invention Scrapbook we would like to thank Stevie for his kindness and his help.


Steven Kilbride
started playing as a snare and tenor drummer when he was only a nine years old boy in Glasgow. That was the start of a story that led him to play in a series of senior bands, winning every major championship both as band and drum corps, teaching pipe bands throughout Europe, until something unexpected happened... when Madonna called and he travelled back and forth from Scotland to Los Angeles to work on her Re-Invention Tour. Stevie is an incredible artist, a great professional and he was so friendly to let us ask him something about his tour experience. Here's what he shared with us.


MadonnaTribe: Last summer is probably filled by nice memories for you. What meant to you your experience on board of the Re-Invention tour?

Steve Kilbride: The tour was the experience of a lifetime, playing and working with some of the best musicians and dancers in the world not to mention working with Madonna herself.

MT: How have you been contacted to work on the Tour, and what was your first reaction when you were asked about it?

SK: I was contacted by Lorne Cousin. Lorne asked if I could accompany him to L.A. and do some work on Madonna's Re-Invention Tour. My first reaction was "very good Lorne, call me back in the morning when you are sober!" It wasn't until we were on the plane three days later that it all sank in.

MT: Can you explain to our readers how did you contribute to the show. Was it difficult to teach the dancers?

SK: I was asked if I could with Lorne, come up with a link from "Imagine" to "Into the Groove". Lorne and I had some ideas so Madonna had us go into the studio with Stuart and Steve that night. We laid down some backing tracks and thankfully she liked what she heard.
She then had us back at Culver Studios and asked if it was possible if I could choreograph the moves and to teach Stuart, Steve and the dancers how to play Pipe Band drumming for the tour, so I says I would give it a go!


Showing Stuart and Steve was easy, Steve is a fantastic drummer and Stuart is a natural musician. So I had them play the Snare Drums and Cloud played Bass drum, so the other dancers had to work very, very hard.


The tenor drums they played are as much a visual thing as a musical instrument as you have seen the tour. The boys worked harder than I could ever have asked them to and don't know how they did it in between learning their dance routines. They did me and Pipe Band drumming proud!

MT: Did you have a chance to spend some time with Madonna herself, can you tell us something about that?

SK: I was working with Madonna one-to-one on a daily basis during the rehearsals, so I spent a good bit of time with her.

During a break in rehearsals we were all invited to a pool party at Madonna's L.A. home, we were all working hard and it was good for us all to relax and get to know each other away from the pressures of rehearsals.


MT: How did you feel in Manchester when you had to perform yourself on stage for so many people?

SK: Manchester was crazy, it came right out of the blue. One minute I'm practising for the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow next I'm on a plane to London.
Madonna asked if I could help them out, Paul had been taken ill so she asked if I could play in his place, thankfully he is well now!

But I had a problem, I was competing in the biggest event of the year for my own band and didn't want to let them down.

She understood that so Madonna arranged for me to play in Glasgow in the afternoon and then take to the stage in Manchester that night, I got there just in time for 'prayers'.


Madonna and everyone gave me so much support that night. Another special thing about Manchester was that I had arranged tickets for my sisters, Jacqui and Linda to attend the show, they didn't actually know I was there until they saw me on stage, they thought I was still in Glasgow playing at the Championships.


MT: With this tour bagpiping reached a lot of people and a whole new audience.
The "bag and pipes" intro is definately one of those moments in which the crowd really went wild.
What do you think of the re-invention of classic bagpiping in this show?

SK: Lorne and myself knew this was a chance of a lifetime for us to put Pipe Band music on one of the biggest stages in the world.

We were determined not to compromise our traditional music although we didn't have to worry, Madonna wanted it as traditional as we could make it.

I have been lucky enough to have played on many international stages and have performed for the Pope and the Queen, but playing on the Madonna stage is probably the biggest stage possible to take Pipe Band music to an international audience, and I thank her for giving us that chance!

MT: What do the members of your band think of you going on tour with Madonna?

SK: I still take a bit of stick from them, they can't believe that Stevie the Glasgow boy is working for Madonna and they are still keeping my feet firmly on the ground.

One week I'm teaching in Knightswood, Glasgow and the next week I'm teaching in Hollywood, L.A. ......... Result!


: What are you currently working on, was it hard to get back to "traditional" bagpiping?
Do you miss the tour experience?

SK: It's been hell, nothing can ever live up to the tour. I am back teaching and working and have just finished recording my Pipe Band's lastest CD. I am also recording for a Blues band CD and just finished some work with Lorne and Stuart Price for the Pringle Fashion Show in Milan.

MT: Which is your fondest memory of this tour?

SK: Madonna's face when I walked in for 'prayers' at Manchester straight from Glasgow still wearing my band's own kilt, it was priceless!!!! It's cheesy but true, making good friends on the tour!


MT: Thank you Stevie, it was so great to get in touch with you.


Copyright 2005 MadonnaTribe

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