Our February Concert

Our February concert was a local players concert which started with John Robinson playing a selection of tunes including Just Another Guy, Manchester Rambler, The Whistling Gypsy, Goodbye Murshin Durkin, Floral Dance and Blaydon Races. Our next player was Bernard Bamber playing The Green Glens of Antrim, Galway Shawl, Old Flames, Morning Town Ride, Island Of Dreams, Waltzing Matilda and John Browns Body. I then took to the stage for my spot which started with Spinning Wheel, then I played Cruising Down The River, Forever Blowing Bubbles, Old Bull and Bush, Lassie From Lancashire, My Girls A Yorkshire Girl, A Gordon For Me, I Belong To Glasgow and Keep Right On To The End Of The Road. It was now time for Ann Parker to play, she started with Wedding Tarantella and Romanze, she ended her spot with Chopsticks and Beautiful Days. Colin Ensor was our next player playing Alberta, The Misson, For Old Times Sake, Blue eyes Crying In The Rain, You’ll Never Know, May You Always, Who’s Sorry Now and We’ll Meet Again. Following Colin was Bill Agnew playing a medley of tunes which included Posthorn Gallop, Colonel Bogy, Buttons And Bows, Save The Last Dance For Me, My Blue Heaven, Down Mexico Way, Alexanders Rag Time Band, Come Home Bill Bailey, Down By The Riverside, Whispering, Mexican Rose, Blueberry Hill, The Lady Is a Tramp, Isle Of Innisfree, La Paloma, Play To Me Gypsy and Yellow Bird. Following Bill we heard from Bernard Belshaw, he started his spot playing Aint She Sweet and You Made Me Love You. Bernard then continued with Stranger In Paradise, Blaze Away, La Mer, If You Love Me, Spanish Gypsy Dance, This Is My Song, La Cumbanchero, Let’s Face The Music and Dance, Show Me The Way To Go Home, Moon River, Dambusters March, Ave Maria and Don’t Know Why. Rebecca had the unenviable job of Following Bernard but she ended the night well playing Home On The Range, My Wild Irish Rose, Waltz D’Amelie and Glamour Girl. We had a great night of music and thanks go to Bill Agnew for bringing a carrier bag of sheet music and music books to add to our community music pile. Many of our members were looking through the sheet music on the night, some of them excitedly holding pieces of music they had found which they had always wanted to play.

David Batty


This Wednesday

This Wednesday is a local players concert featuring performances from our own players supported by other players and people who just want to be ‘the audience’. If you are an audience then please support your local players, if you are a player then please come along and entertain the above audience. These nights are always a great night of entertainment and being social. Please try to say ‘Hello’ to anyone you have not chatted with before, you never know how much you have in common with them. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.


Change to March and April Nights

We have changed the March concert night so that it is a local players concert instead of a guest artist night. The reason for this is we have also changed the April Concert Night to a Guest Artist concert so that we could book John Romero as our guest artist. John organises the Eastbourne Accordion Festivals and the forthcoming Middlewich Accordion event. He has not played at the club before so I wanted to book him this year. This now means that we have two guest artist nights in a row in April with John Romero and in May we have Julie Best and Jean Corrighan.


Unwanted Sheet Music

If you have any unwanted sheet music you have no use for, or some pieces you have decided you will never play then please consider decluttering and adding it to the pile of free to give away music at the club. Other players appreciate it and make use of it.


Ribble Valley Music Festival

An array of stars with a wide range of music from classical to rock and roll will be playing on the 20th March from 7pm to 10pm. Tickets cost £10 including refreshment at Clitheroe Parish Church, Church Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2DD Tel: 01254 384893

Phil Cunningham Pipe Dreams

Accordionist Phil Cunningham has made a BBC Programme about the bag pipes, Phil goes on a journey investigating the history of the bag pipes, visiting players in Germany, Estonia, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and France. Surprisingly Phil reveals that England had a rich tradition of pipes 150 years before Scotland. This was a two part programme which was broadcast on BBC Scotland, but can be viewed on BBC IPlayer by searching for “Phil Cunningham’s Pipe Dream” The programmes are only available until 3rd April.

Leyland Live

Leyland Live 2015 is a community music festival, taking place on Friday 27, Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 March 2015 Performance, workshops, displays and Activities are taking place in a variety of venues including: Eagle and Child pub, the Fox and Lion pub, the Gables pub, Ice Dreams and Coffee Beans, Knights of St Columbus Club, Leyland Methodist Church, Market Ale House, Paces and Laces shoe shop, the Queens pub, the RAFA club, the Rose and Crown pub, Solicitor Direct, South Ribble Key, St Andrew’s Church Hall, St Mary’s Priory Social Club, United Reformed Church, the Withy Arms pub and the youth and community centre. Wristbands cost £5 and get you into all events over the weekend For more information and to buy wristbands telephone: 01772 625377 or email ssimpson@southribble.gov.uk


Middlewich Accordion Magic Festival

John Romero of Carillon Studios is organising a fund raising event for Winstons Wish. The Middlewich ‘Accordion Magic’ Festival on 19th – 21st June 2015 taking place in Middlewich, Cheshire. Current exhibitors and performers include: Harry Hussey and John Romero and Walter Perrie. Exhibitors in attendance will be The Accordion Shop, Birmingham Accordions, Harry Kipling’s and “Accordion Treasures”, with more to be announced. Entry to this event is free although donations will be requested on the gate. For more Information contact John on 01606 270148.


Ann Breen Concert

An Ann Breen concert is being held at Thwaites Empire Theatre on 10th April starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £14 for Adults and £12 for Concessions. The address is Thwaites Empire Theatre, Aqueduct Road, Ewood, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 4HT. To book tickets Telephone 01254 685500 or visit www.thwaitesempiretheatre.org/shop


How To Teach Your Arms – By David Batty

Inside your muscles you have fibres, these fibres have properties which help or hinder you in your practice sessions depending how you treat them. I can tell you from personal experience that when I have been carrying chairs and tables around the room prior to 8pm on our club nights I find that my fingers have forgotten all the tunes they knew earlier. This is simply over exertion which should be avoided before a performance. One solution to this is to get a rucksack type accordion case which eases the strain on your arms when you are on the way to a performance, the weight of the accordion is distributed evenly over your shoulders rather than all the weight being placed on four curved fingers. Accordion soft cases come in a variety of sizes for 120, 96, 48 bass models so you should be able to find a bag to suit any accordion. You can, however, use knowledge of muscle fibres to make up great excuses for making mistakes! All skeletal muscles contain types of fibre, in different proportions. There are actually three types, in order of increasing speed and increasing susceptibility to fatigue these are slow red fibres, fast red fibres and fast white fibres. Slow muscle fibres are for continuous-pull uses like maintaining posture, arm movement in piano playing, and fiddle bowing probably uses them for most of the action, as does bellows movement on an accordion. Fast fibres come into play when extra strength rather than extra speed is needed. It is good to practice tunes very slowly at first to implement good finger placement techniques which will allow the tune to be played with greater ease later. I would also recommended that you finally practice with the same amount of effort and speed as you will do when playing the piece in front of an audience to ensure you teach the correct muscle fibres what they should be able to do without much prompting from your brain. When you practice slowly your notes are longer and therefore use more air, this means that your bellows move further and as a consequence you have to change bellows direction more often than if you were playing the tune at the correct speed. The result for your learning is that if you always practice slowly then you start learning to change bellows direction at different places to where you will change when you are later playing the tune at the correct speed. This can impact on your playing when you remember to change bellows direction during a performance but forget that you only did that change when playing at slow speed. The result of making these kinds of mistakes is either the bellows slam shut and all noise stops for a moment, or your arm starts to make creaking noises as it approaches full stretch and you either have to snap something or change bellows direction in the middle of a note or passage. When starting to learn a tune make sure you start very slowly and find the easiest most comfortable fingering before getting the tune up to full speed. Good foundations in fingering will pay dividends later when all your fingers fall in to place with almost no effort on your brains part. If all this fails then start collecting excuses, they will come in handy later. If you think of any good ones let me know. – David Batty


Items For Sale

The following items are for sale by someone who contacted the club and asked if we could sell them for her. I have tested the accordion and checked that the electronics work ok. The accordion is heavy but it has some good reeds in it. Zero Sette electronic accordion complete with electronic pedalboard. Price £450. Technics KN6500 Keyboard. £350 Keyboard Stand with extension arms £20 Keyboard Carry case £40 Roland CR80 Human Rhythm Player £90 Yamaha EME-1 Digital Reverb, suitable for digital pianos etc. £20. Two microphones £20 These items will be at the club on Wednesday if you want to take a look at them, or you can call David on 01772 454328.


Skipton Accordion Festival March 2016

John Romero is organising an Accordion Festival in Skipton in March 2016. So far the Guest Artists confirmed for this festival are: Paul Chamberlain, Julie Best, Jean Corrighan, Harry Hussey, Gary Blair, and John Romero, Others are to be confirmed. Currently the confirmed exhibitors are: The Accordion Shop and Harry Kipling’s “Accordion Treasures”. More details about this festival are yet to be announced.


Air Travel with a Musical Instrument in the US

In the USA there has been a new ruling about the storage of musical Instruments on Airplanes, From 6th March 2015 it is no longer at the Discretion of the Airline, The Department of Transportation for the US say that musicians who board planes must be allowed to carry on their instruments, so long as they fit in the overhead compartment, If the compartment is not large enough the musician is allowed to purchase a second seat which their instrument can occupy. Airlines don’t have to prioritise boarding of musical instruments ahead of other carry on luggage meaning if the overhead compartment is full you will have to check your instrument in.