Our December Concert
Our December Concert started with Bernard Bamber playing Carolina Moon, Smile Awhile and You Are My Sunshine Bernard also played the mouth organ at the same time which was a surprise to many in the audience. He demonstrated that he could not only play the mouth organ and accordion at the same time, but he was also dressed to entertain with his Christmas hat (pictured). Bernard continued with If Those Lips Could Only Speak, By The light Of The Silvery Moon, Let Him Go Let Him Tarry, Walk Right Back, Have You Ever Been Lonely, Wooden Heart and Four Leaf Clover. Ann Parker was next to take to the stage, Ann started with Frosty The Snowman and then continued with Snow Waltz, Beautiful Days, My Florence, Isle Of Capri and Lady Of Spain. This was our Christmas Jacobs Join concert night and It was now time to let everyone tuck in to the feasts of food kindly brought by various members of the audience. Bernard Belshaw was the first player on the stage while everyone was starting to tuck in to their food, he played Sleigh Bell Ride, Jingle Bells, Blaze away, Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas and Don’t Know Why. Bernard was then joined by his Son Simon (Aka Hank Marvin) playing his guitar, they played Apache, The Rise and Fall Of Flingle Bunt, And I Love Her, they finished with Albatross. This a duet went down very well and it was great to have this kind of variety at the club. I played Cruising Down The River, Blowing bubbles, Old Bull and Bush, Lassie From Lancashire, My Girls A Yorkshire Girl, I Belong To Glasgow and Keep Right On. Our next player Sara Daly played Frosty The Snowman, Norwegian Waltz, Noel, Jingle Bells and A Merry Little Christmas. Nick Searle then gave us Alexanders Rag Time Band, Old Bull and Bush, Tavern In The Town, In The Mood. Among My Souvenirs and Now Is The Hour. To finish the night we had Rebecca playing Deck The Halls, Moon River, Bianca Capanna, Zingarella and My Wild Irish Rose.
This Wednesday is a guest artist night featuring a concert by a player who is not only making his debut at the club, but who is also not known on the UK Club scene, this player is Polish man George Zukowski. I know that George has a wide variety of music and styles to entertain you, so lets hope its a good turnout for his concert. I am sure you will enjoy this concert. Please Remember to bring any friends or family to this entertaining night. Doors open at 7.30 for an 8pm start. Make sure you get there early for a good seat. See you there.
St Audries Bay
St Audries Bay are taking bookings for the Accordion Week in July, If you are thinking about going, book now as the week is always a sell out. For more information Telephone 01984 632515 or visit www.staudriesbay.co.uk for booking forms and prices.
Steve Roxton Appears On The One Show
Steve will be a guest on The One Show, Friday 13th January on BBC1 at 7pm. If you receive this newsletter by Email then you may be reading this before the show goes out, If you get this Newsletter by post you will have missed seeing the programme live but you will be able to watch the show again on BBC IPlayer, a search for “The One Show” will bring up the past weeks programmes. Steve is being interviewed about his appearance on Opportunity Knocks 34 Years ago. The show which was presented by Hughie Green featured Steve as one of the acts on the second to last show of the series. There was no voting after the show Steve was on because the following week was the final show where they brought back acts such as Lena Zavaroni, Les Dawson, Little and Large etc. and they dismantled The Clapometer to signify the end of an era. Make sure you tune in BBC1 at 7pm on Friday 13th, If you do miss the show then there will be something about it in the next newsletter.
Italy’s Accordion Industry: Tiny and Thriving
(Article Written by Christopher Livesay for NPR) More than 70 percent of Italy’s gross domestic product comes from small businesses — and they’re not growing. Economists are worried this will make it impossible for Italy to climb out of its massive $2.6 trillion debt. Even in a global economy, something as small as Italy’s accordion industry can have an impact. The work of its craftsmen has reached millions of ears. For instance, the accordion you hear in The Decemberists’ “Mariner’s Revenge Song” was handmade in the central Italian town of Castelfidardo, where seaside workshops helped pioneer the modern squeezebox 150 years ago. Today, the likes of Bjork, Calexico and Gogol Bordello come to the town for what’s considered the Ferrari of accordions. “It’s a very special job,” says Genuino Baffetti, who runs the Dino Baffetti accordion company. “It takes passion to want to make the best accordions.” The air inside Baffetti’s workshop is thick with sawdust and glue. At one end of the shop, a worker adjusts some out-of-tune reeds. Italy’s accordion industry has attracted new customers, but most of its companies want to stay small. Baffetti says the instruments are made pretty much the same as when his father began making accordions 60 years ago. Back then, they were not novelties in popular music. Back then, business was booming in Castelfidardo. The town was home to some 3,000 accordion makers; it dominated the global market. But then, something happened: The electric guitar, and the rise of rock and roll, reshaped the accordion market in the 1950s and 60s. Before the electric guitar, the town sold around 200,000 accordions a year. Today, it’s just 20,000 — a 90 percent plunge. Beniamino Bugiolacchi directs Castelfidardo’s accordion museum. “The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley, perhaps for the better, changed musical tastes,” Bugiolacchi says. But you can’t blame it all on rock and roll, says Michel Martone, Italy’s newly appointed deputy labor minister. “We need to globalize more,” Martone says. “We need to open up our country. We need to face the globalization time.” Martone points out that the accordion didn’t disappear after the 1950s. Many people still play it. But there’s been a huge market shift. China now manufactures most of the world’s low-cost accordions. The businesses in Castelfidardo that used to make them are long gone. The companies that are left are mostly tiny firms that focus on high-end instruments. Some accordions made here go for as much as $50,000. That means small-business owners like Baffetti can make a pretty decent living. “It’s been our goal to grow, but slowly, in order to keep quality high. If quality drops, then we’ve missed the point,” he says. “Our company makes 180-200 accordions in one month. If for some reason we got 250 orders, that would be difficult, if not impossible to do. So sometimes, we turn down requests when business is too good.” That’s great for Baffetti, Martone says, but it’s a big problem for the economy as a whole. If small businesses don’t do more to grow, then it will be hard for the entire country to compete globally. “We have a problem in Italy. It’s the country of many, many little things, very well done. That’s the [greatness] of Italy. But that’s also our problem,” Martone says. “We don’t have the big stuff, the big things you need in a global time. That’s the big problem of Castelfidardo… if you are [excellent] in something, you need to sell it all over the world.” That doesn’t mean that quality has to suffer, he says. Martone wants niche manufacturers to band together the way Italy’s giant fashion industry did decades ago. Once-boutique companies like Prada and Ferragamo today bring in billions of euros for the Italian economy. But until more small companies do the same, economists worry that things in Castelfidardo — and the rest of Italy — will stay out of tune with the global economy.