Our April Concert

Our April Concert started with John Lennox playing Cabaret, The Green Glens of Antrim and Barry and Freda (By Victoria Wood). Our next player was John Robinson playing The Lass of Bon Accord, Daisy, Sweet Little Dicky Bird, Burning Bridges and Blaydon Races. Colin Ensor played What More Can I Say, Sailing By, Any Old Time, Jimmy Rogers, My Irish Molly, Conquest Of Paradise and Sweetheart Of All My Dreams. I then took to the stage and played Jesus joy Of Man’s Desiring, Cuckoo Waltz, Barcarolle and Magic Roundabout. It was now time for the break and the usual chat and socialising that normally goes on in the break. Gladys Rigby had kindly made some Cakes for the club and they were delicious, she made a lot of cakes but none were left at the end because they were so good. After the break we started the second half with David Rigby playing Loveliest Night Of The Year, Wild Rover, Spinning Wheel, Mountains Of Mourne, Snow Waltz and Highland Cathedral. Our next player Andrew Baker started with That’s Amore and continued with The Leaving Of Liverpool, Godfather Theme, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, Fields Of Athenry and The Can Can. Our next performer was Ann Parker played Yodelling Polka, Beer Barrel Polka, My Treasure and Blue Bell Polka. Sara Daly then gave us A Granddaughter’s Dream, All Of Me, Fathers Waltz and Brave New World. It was time for our second break of the evening which was just a short one. After the break we started with Bernard Bamber playing twelve tunes, these were I Love You Because, Paper Roses, Grandfathers Clock, He’ll Have to Go, You Are My Sunshine, John Browns Body, I’ll Be Your Sweetheart, Lassie From Lancashire, John Peel, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Wooden Heart and Show Me The Way To Go Home. It was getting close to the end of the night now and just time for Rebecca Parker to play Home On The Range, My Wild Irish Rose, Bianca Capanna and Moon River before leaving the stage to Andrew Baker, Andrew played Red Sails In The Sunset, La Paloma and Love Me Tender. It was time for our last act of the evening: Colin Ensor, who finished the night in great style playing Once In A While, Cruising Down The River, If I Had My Way, Shanty Town, Charmaine, Some Day, Greatest Mistake and Who’s Taking You Home Tonight.

David Batty


This Wednesday

This Wednesday is a Guest Artist Concert featuring The Lancashire Fettlers as mentioned earler in this newsletter. This will be a night of music, singing, comedy and general fun in a Lancashire style. Remember to bring any friends or family who might like a night out. The Fettlers are from accordion roots but feature well know songs and humour in their act. I am sure this is an entertaining evening you won’t want to miss. The doors are 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.


Stockport Accordion Club

Stockport Accordion Club have announced that they will not feature any guest artists until probably November due to low turnout at meetings, this makes good financial sense, a club can only survive if people support it. The White Horse club has recently shut its doors after being one of the longest running clubs in the country. Lets hope that people turn the TV off and support live entertainment while its available. I wish success to all clubs and may all concert nights return to being packed out.


Albert Draper

One of our most regular audience members (and a player too) Albert Draper died on the 16th April 2013. His funeral was held on the 26th April at the United Reformed Church in Leyland. Albert was buried with his wife in Leyland. Her grave was a place he walked to every day, making the two mile round trip on foot despite being 94 years old. Most people at the club knew Albert for his large repertoire of monologues such as Albert And The Lion and he was a well liked character who was always smiling. Occasionally he had to miss the club due to shrapnel moving inside him causing pain, but he was always back again smiling and enjoying our music. The church was packed for the funeral, there must have been 200 or more in attendance. I supplied some photographs to the family who did not have any good close up pictures of Albert, the one above was used on the Altar for the service. Alberts organ is now looking for a home and will shortly be going on Ebay free to anyone who wants to collect it from its current location at Burscough. I brought a large box with hundreds of pieces of his sheet music collection to the practice night. This free sheet music would be a good reminder of Albert for those in attendance because almost all the pieces had a sticker with his name and address on them. I look forward to hearing some of the pieces at the club in future.


Leyland Festival

Leyland Festival this year will be held on 15th—16th June and will be American themed, starting with the traditional vehicle parade through Leyland ending at Worden Park. The parade will feature the Festival Queen, business and local community floats, marching bands, dance troupes and heritage vehicles. There will be a wide range of stalls on Worden Park, ‘Paws in the Park’, vehicle displays and live music, with a range of American themed activities includes a Wild West Show, LASA Space Shuttle Launch, “Snakes from the USA”, Bucking Bronco and food and drink from across the pond. This year you can also take on the Man v Food and Children v Food challenges. You can watch American food demonstrations or enter the Cake Bake competition. For more information telephone 01772 625441 or send an email to festival@southribble.gov.uk


The Red Accordion

(and how it changed my life) by George Griffith. I had visited most of the Accordion Shops within reasonable cycling distance of home. Samuel’s; Hessy’s; Cranes; and Rushworth’s, all in the City of Liverpool and also a couple at Wigan and Preston. They all had an extensive selection of second-hand accordions. No new accordions of course as this was around the middle of World War 2 but in a seaport like Liverpool there was quite a thriving trade in second hand accordions which were popular with sailors. I was looking for a full size piano-accordion, four voices and tremolo tuning. I would know the right one when I found it! But despite an extensive search I did not find what I was looking for. Then one day:- RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT, went the sound of a knock on our back door. We all peered through the net curtains on the living room window to see who was calling. Standing by the back door was a man in airman’s uniform. Nothing strange about that really in wartime especially as we lived only a few miles from a Spitfire fighter base. My father went to answer the door and soon ushered an airman, carrying an accordion case, into our living room. From the case he produced a full size red piano-accordion. I was just a teenage boy in his final year at secondary school but with a marked enthusiasm for all things accordion and who happened to be looking for the right accordion and here I was looking at this beautiful red piano-accordion which had appeared as if by magic in our living room! The name was picked out in brilliants: ‘”Paolo Soprani–Castelfidardo Italia”. It had 140 bass buttons; 41 piano keys; 4 voices; 2 sliding treble couplers; 1 sliding bass coupler; and a shiny chromium plated grill. Marvellous! I could not wait to try it out. Is it for sale? It was. In fact the airman seemed anxious to sell it. I strapped it on and tried a tune. WOW! What a wonderful tremolo sound. I knew immediately that I had found the accordion of my dreams and I just had to have it. “Hold on” said my father, not unreasonably since he was the one holding the purse strings. “Just why do you want to sell this accordion?” he said, wondering why anyone would want to part with such a beautiful instrument. “Well” said the airman,” if I keep it at the camp, sooner or later some joker will poke a hole in the bellows and fill it with beer so I have decided to sell it” “O.K” said my father, ‘”how much?” Some money changed hands and the accordion was mine! The new accordion was a great success both at home and with my musical friends. The months went by. We moved house to the other side of town. Then one evening- RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT went the sound of someone knocking at our door. It was the front door this time. (we had moved to a better area !) My mother answered the door on this occasion. “Hello”” said a jolly looking lady with a strong Irish accent. “sorry to trouble you, begorrah, but I understand that your son plays the accordion.” (How did she know that ?)”could he come across the road to the Church hall to help us out? Our pianist has not turned up and we cannot run our Friday night dance with only drums and saxophone.” I took the red Paolo Soprani and we had a great night. The Red Accordion had been a great success! The saxophonist was happy. The drummer was happy. The dancers seemed to be happy. The jolly Irish lady, who turned out to be known as Ma Kelly, took the entrance money at the door and generally kept a motherly eye on everyone, was happy. “Can you come back each Friday evening?” she asked, “if we take enough on the door we can pay you a few shillings.” Well, why not? It was not far to travel, after all. Only just across the road. Easy-peasy! So I agreed. That could have been the end of this story, but fate was again to take a hand in shaping my life. Each Friday evening, as promised, the red accordion and myself appeared on stage alongside the saxophone and drums. More dancers (girls in particular) started to attend each Friday. Word of a new accordionist at the local dance had got about and the girls were curious to see what he was like! From the stage I had an excellent view of the dancers. Then it happened. The event that was to change my life forever! On the dance floor appeared a beautiful young girl. And what a mover! Dancing seemed to be second nature to her. Our eyes met across the crowded dance floor. That was it! Love at first sight for both of us! At the interval we were able to talk and I found to my surprise that she was the drummer’s “kid”_ sister! Well that was how he described her. The rest is history now. The drummer and myself started our own group, called, would you believe, the “Rialto Serena ders” (piano- accordion, piano, drums, and guitar ) I continued to date the drummer’s “kid” sister. We courted. (she came to every gig, there was no escape!) We got engaged to be married. We married. We started a family and eventually moved to London. We enlarged the family. But times were hard and money was in short supply. One summer I had to sell my beloved red accordion to pay for a much needed holiday. So you can see, dear reader, that the Paolo Soprani played a significant part in shaping my life. Without it I might not have played in public when I did; or been asked to help out at the local dance hall; or met my lovely wife to be; or formed the “Rialto Serenaders”; or married my wife; or moved to London; or raised a family; or had to sell the red accordion to raise money!! All that was a long time ago. I took up the accordion again when I retired. The enthusiasm is still there but the old skill, if it ever existed, has gone. I long for the old red Paolo Soprani still. I’m sure it would help my playing if only I could find it! It’s just nostalgia for the days of my youth really but even if the original instrument no longer exists perhaps someone somewhere has one very like it. So please, dear reader,if you should come across a full size pre-war Paolo Soprani accordion with four voices and tremolo tuning, do let me know. It could be just the one I am looking for. George Griffith


The Lancashire Fettlers

This Wednesday we are featuring a Lancashire Night with The Lancashire Fettlers. Some of you might remember Fivepenny Piece folk group. One of the members John Eatock spent 10 years playing in Fivepenny Piece prior to playing in The Lancashire Fettlers. The Fettlers normally play at Lancashire nights and provide comedy folk, barn dance and accordion entertainment. They will be using a Limex Desktop supplied by Birmingham Accordion Centre. Please bring your family and friends for what promises to be a very entertaining evening this Wednesday.