Our November Concert
Our November concert started with Colin Ensor playing Please What More Can I Say, Charmaine and The Maigret Theme. Our next player Rebecca Parker played Valse d’Amelie and Home On The Range. It was now time for our Guest Artist George Zuchowski to take to the stage. George played for us in January was making his return by popular demand. George started the first half off with the French piece Pigalle, then continued with Lara’s Theme, Besame Mucho, Return To Me, Perhaps and Clarinet Polka. We continued the music with some more French pieces – Red Rose Café and I Love Paris. Georges next piece was Bemir Bist Du Schon followed by The Little Bell. After playing a Tango he continued with Play Fiddler Play, Dona Clara, The Maigret Theme, Radio Waltz, Sway, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Kiss Me Honey Honey, Monsieur Firvol and to finish the first half he played Far away Places. After the break Ann Parker started the second half with a nice version of Chopsticks, this was followed by Finger Polka, Narcissus, La Paloma and Snow Waltz. It was my turn to play so I just played two pieces – Sally and Oslo Waltz. George then returned to the stage and started his second spot with Four Aces Polka. The music continued with Never On A Sunday, Isle Of Capri and Play To Me Gypsy. A couple of accordion standards were next on the list, these were Retour Des Hirondelles and Tico Tico. George then played a Polish Medley followed by All Of Me, Has Anybody Seen My Girl, All My Loving, Enjoy Yourself and True Love. The pace slowed down a bit with Edelweiss and He’ll Have To Go before we returned to accordion standards with Under Paris Skies, Bourrasque and Bel Viso. To finish the night we heard Drink Drink, Oh How We Danced, Maggie, Side By Side and finally as an encore George played You Are My Sunshine.
This Wednesday we have our Christmas Do. Please bring along a bit of food (see Jacobs Join article on page 2) and any talents you have. This is a great time to meet other club players before the end of the year. It’s the final event I have to organise this year so I don’t think about Christmas until this night is over and for me that’s when I realise its nearly Christmas. If you have been busy on other nights in the year then I hope you can get to this one. Remember to bring any friends or family who might like a night out. Doors open at 7.30 for an 8pm start. Make sure you get there early for a good seat and a good chat before the concert starts. See you there.
How Do They Do It?
Discovery Science (Sky:524) Friday 21st December 2012 19:30 to 20:00 How do they craft an accordion? How do they make the wasabi that puts the kick in Japan’s raw fish? And how can they produce a duck call that can trick birds?
On the Bio Channel (Sky:156 Virgin:242) on the 6th January at 15:00 to 15:30, then Repeated again on 17th January 2013 at 18:30 to 19:00. Home is Where the Barter is. The guys get one week to trade an accordion up to a dream holiday home.
The First LP in Ireland
On BBC Radio Ulster (Sky 0118) on Sunday 23rd December 2012 at16:03 to 17:00 Colum Sands presents the story of how classic Irish folk songs were saved from extinction. In 1947, the Irish Folklore Commission and the BBC established a scheme to seek out and record folk music and stories throughout Ireland. In early 1951, American folklorist and musicologist Alan Lomax travelled to Ireland on a similar mission. These two archives were combined on an album that would become a template for future musicians, introducing generations to songs that are now standards.
We are starting to collect Membership for 2013, We have kept it at the same price £5 as it was when we started the club in 1997. You can pay your membership on the door in December or January. The proceeds go towards the great artists we have lined up in the coming months, stamps and also an Internet service to send out the newsletters to those who choose to receive it by email (with colour pictures and working links).
See the History Channel (Sky:530 Virgin:234) on Sunday 30th December 2012 at 21:00 to 22:00. Paul takes a risky gamble in order to fulfil a £10,000 order. Dales scours an abandoned Art Deco cinema in Preston. Will he find anything worth salvaging?
On Dave Channel (Sky:111 Virgin:128 Freeview:12) on Saturday 22nd December 2012 at 10:00 to 11:00 The lads pay homage to British Leyland and put some vintage BL models to the test.
Accordionists Looking for Work
If you know of any retirement homes, care homes or other venues looking to employ accordionists for occasional or one off jobs then please ask them to ring 01772 454328. I take on some work myself and pass other work out to others looking for playing jobs.
Full Circle by Colin Ensor
Well it all started a long time ago doc. As a kid I wanted to move on from Lilli Marlene on the mouth organ so one day my dad, who was irresistibly drawn to second-hand shops (and pubs), brought home a bag with something inside which made a reedy squawk when moved. It turned out to be what I’ve always remembered as a green Mastertone 16 bass piano accordion. I’ve never seen a Mastertone since, nor a 16 bass layout (it was probably 12) but it was definitely green. It gave two octaves on which to pick out tunes but more important was the brilliant Stradella layout of the bass buttons which made the three chord trick and the following sequences so understandable – there just isn’t a better instrument for learning the basics. After the new improved Lilli Marlene I managed a few carols and, with a few mates, went carol singing (long before it became aggressive begging) with the box – with rewarding results. Although some just paid us to go away, others came out and listened, making us use up all four carols. A couple of years later when I was 17, big accordions were too expensive for us paupers (sad tale isn’t it?) but by throwing in every coin in the house, including the rent and the rates, an old upright piano with screw holes where the candlestick holders had been, was bought at the local auction room. The piano was really my choice because my mother had taught herself to play years earlier and for some unknown reason played most of her stuff in Eb. This not only sounded good but looked dead classy with her hands floating over then landing on all those mysterious black notes – great pose value – just had to have some of that. I’d got a handful of tunes hacked out by the time H.M.The Queen wrote to say that she was uneasy about the neighbours and would I mind helping the RAF out for a couple of years watching out for those Russians on some radar screens. So armed with mv dozen songs, I set off for foreign parts (East and North Yorkshire) to deter them – seems to have worked. These were the great days of live music, before juke boxes and tapes took over everywhere, and anyone who could play anything (even the spoons) was welcomed with open arms especially in the pubs (buskers ruled). The piano smoothed my path and opened a few doors along the way. l practiced new stuff in the NAAFI and used it in a few pubs later, peaking at half-a-crown an hour at the Hole In The Wall, Darlington, after which came a sad decline. After demob came the skiffle craze so I had a go at the guitar chord scrubbing thing for a bit and made a wire frame for holding the mouth organ, to play along with said scrubbed chords – how versatile can you get? Lilli Marlene never sounded so good. Then about 30 years ago 1 returned briefly to my first love – the accordion. I acquired a grey 48 bass Hohner but it was the 4 x 12 layout rather than the much better 6 x 8, which, whilst having that seemingly random and meaningless row of extra buttons and the necessary row of minors, didn’t have those delicious vital sevenths. Can’t play without sevenths and as it was in a poor state of tune anyway, it had to go. So that was the end of my accordion involvement – or so it seemed. Then a few years back, I was at a local car boot sale and there, on one of the flimsy trestle tables, was a large piano accordion to which I was immediately drawn. It was a plant because as I reached it, from nowhere, this keen, earnest young man suddenly appeared at my elbow and pitched straight in with “Interested in accordions are you? – I run Leyland Accordion Club – second Wednesday every month – Highfield 8pm.” and for good measure the WFADB gave a quick demo on the box. Although he didn’t secure a sale for the stallholder, his presentation had struck a chord, so to speak. Not long after, prodded by my daughter Gail, I tip-toed up the stairs of the Highfield expecting to see a furtive few plotting away in a dim corner, instead of which there was a whole roomful of buzzing enthusiasts with glamorous instruments making terrific music. I was hooked and a few months later a lucky first look in Loot unearthed a very reasonable 120 Hohner Verdi 5. Now what do you do? Unpaid plug coming up – I found the two Leyland club tapes invaluable for getting started – over 75 different tunes by 14 different players -loads of good ideas. See the lad ¬he’s got a few copies left – tell him I sent you. Next I wanted Italian reeds (everyone needs more than one accordion don’t they?) so bought a new 120 Serenellini from Rob Beecroft of Birmingham – sweet sounds at a very attractive price – check it out. I’ve recently indulged in an irresistible, vintage, straight-tuned, Cooperativa – lovely instrument – but still can’t find one that doesn’t play mistakes. So that’s it back where I started – three years of usually loud, sometimes tuneful and always enjoyable daily fixes whilst trying to get the hang of it. It’s all that kid’s fault at the car boot sale. Coming up to date; the following ten years have been largely more of the same. As the playlist got longer, the stock of accordions got bigger, all over the house. I got interested in repairing and restoring with a particular liking for the colourful attractive boxes of pre-war days. I was given several of these bin jobs, many of which are now playing somewhere. At one time I had a dozen or more, all over the place so I’ve had to thin them out somewhat. Nowadays I just use my Alessandrini (great musette box) for playing around here and there and also a 1940s Settimio Soprani (an ex Hal Mason box so it’s good) for a change. There are three pre-war boxes nearly finished so there’s room for more – if I can sneak them in! Still enjoying having a go. Colin Ensor