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Gavin Atkin

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Posts posted by Gavin Atkin

  1. The classic 1950 hit for Edith Piaf, with lyrics by Piaf and the music by Marguerite Monnot, sung here by Julie Atkin with my Jeffries duet concertina.


    She is said to have written if for her lover, French boxer, Marcel Cerdan, who was killed in an air crash in October 1949. She recorded the song the following May.





    • Like 5

    The classic I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, composed by Fred E Ahlert with lyrics by Joe Young,  made popular by the wonderful Fats Waller, and of course sung here by Julie Atkin.


    Making this video was a really cheering thing to do on a rainy pandemic Saturday, so I hope you enjoy it!




    PS... We made an album some years ago. After being unobtainable for some years now downloadable from Bandcamp, and it's as cheap as chips...

    • Like 6
  3. As we say au revoir to our European chums, Julie sings the beloved 1945 Edith Piaf-Louiguy hit La Vie en Rose with my accompaniment on the rarely heard Jeffries duet concertina.
    (Fixed... I hope it works for everyone now.) 
    • Like 7
  4. We've re-released our 2013 album of Julie's mainly Tin Pan Alley songs mostly accompanied by Gavin's Jeffries duet concertina. It's been unavailable for a long time, but now on download from Bandcamp, priced at £5.
    • 'The voice of an angel' - local music enthusiast
    • 'Sweet and earthy! A warm nostalgic blend of Julie's songs from between the wars. Julie's fine, clear voice is shown off by Swing-style chords on the Jeffries' - Valmai Goodyear, folk club and festival organiser
    • 'I sang all the way home' - Dan Quinn, musician and singer
    • 'An evening unlike any other... Songs from the Twenties and Thirties beautifully sung with a backing of consummate artistry on concertina or melodeon' - Bob Kenward, noted singer-songwriter
    We hope you enjoy it!
    Julie and Gavin Atkin
  5. I posted a link to a YouTube of our recording of The Teddy Bears' Picnic last night - but this morning we've decided to re-record it as we think we can improve on it. Sorry for the messing about... I'll post a new YouTube soon.



    • Like 1
  6. Brigid MacCarthy's concertina - hexagonal Dipper Clare model concertina No 540 as it has been reported stolen in Peru.

    I'm told that in the way of these things it may well find it's way onto online auctions or to the UK (or Ireland, I guess) over the summer, and if so it would be great to reunite the instrument with its rightful owner.

    I'm posting this because I understand Brigid has had difficulties posting here.

    If anyone spots the box, Brigid can be contacted here via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/brigid.maccarthy.5


  7. I'm always delighted to hear of other Jeffries duet players - so it's good to hear from you Stuart. From your reply, I'd say you clearly have a typical duet-player's mind...


    Now, how many Jeffries duettists are there playing now? We should try to connect and meet as we travel about...


    I like to think that Frittenden's just about doable in an evening if you've got a car and live on the eastern or southern sides of London.



  8. We're delighted that entertaining Jeffries duet maestro Mike Hebbert has agreed to return to Frittenden to feature in the regular free end-of-the-month session on the 26th April - the last of the season.

    If you're interested in concertina playing, live in the south-east and haven't yet heard him play, this really should be an unmissable event. I don't think anyone forgets the first time they hear him - I certainly haven't as he inspired me to take up the instrument. Just think of it - TWO Jeffries duet players in ONE room! Is this breaking the laws of physics?

    The session starts at 8pm, and we'll ask Mike to chip in three short sets of three items, as usual. No doubt it will another night to remember, as Mike takes his little box through an astonishing range of musical forms - last time, in addition to his famous performance of the Dambusters March, I remember he also played material ranging from tango to slow Irish airs.

    In the usual Frittenden way, there will also be lots of time for tunes and songs (and anything else that's follows our usual agenda of trad, old fashioned and entertaining) from session attenders. Contact gmatkin@gmail for information.

    In the meantime, here's what Mike has to say:

    'Concertinas are uncommon enough instruments and Jeffries duets are the most uncommon type of concertina - but Gavin Atkin plays one of these oddities, and so does this evening's guest Michael Hebbert.

    'Michael was born in Glasgow, grew up in Blackburn Lancs and began his performing career in Wallingford Oxon as a pub musician and dance band leader, contributing to Ashley Hutchings's Kicking Up the Sawdust (Harvest SHSP4073) and releasing his own LP The Rampin' Cat (named after the pub, Free Reed FRR 009).

    'On the folk circuit he has a long-standing double act with singer Andrew Frank and his concertina classes and workshops have featured at Kilve, Witney, Swaledale, Bradfield and the English Country Music Weekend.

    'With a huge repertoire of tunes from many traditions, Michael shows the tremendous versatility of the instruments made by the Jeffries brothers. A triumph of late Victorian craftsmanship measuring only 6in across, the little squeezebox packs the essence of the music whether it's blazing away like a fairground organ, punching a tango rhythm, or unfurling the long melody of an Irish slow air fit to break your heart.'

  9. Almost at the last page of Roland Chambers' biography of Arthur Ransome, I discover that the old scholar, author, journalist, negotiator, spy and sailing enthusiast was also a concertina player.


    Two questions come to mind:

    • What kind of concertinist was he?
    • Which other celebrated old scholars, authors, journalists, international negotiators, spies and sailing enthusiasts were also little known for their concertina playing?


  10. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to lead the mixed systems duet concertina workshops at Kilve last month - it was intensive, tiring stuff as these things are, but I'm not sure it's possible to have more fun with buttons and bellows. And great too to spend a couple of days in the company of Harry Scurfield and Dave Townsend.


    I was delighted too to receive some very positive feedback from my tutor group, thank you gentlemen and scholars every one.




    *I've been asked to remove the MP3 links that were here previously - however, if new, cleaned up recordings become available later and I have permission to do so, I'll add them to this post.

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