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Robin Madge

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Everything posted by Robin Madge

  1. Think if you can add to the meaning of the lyrics. Taking an example from one song we do as Caffrey/McGurk/Madge, "The Halton Mining Disaster"; where birds are described as singing I do a trill and rapid notes, where a warning siren blares I play a loud chord. it may sound a bit like musical jokes but it does add to the experience of the performance. There are other subtler bits as well! Robin Madge
  2. I'm not sure if my ebook tutor has been mentioned. Another approach to the Anglo concertina. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Approach-Anglo-Concertina-Robin-ebook/dp/B01MSKQ4WT Robin Madge
  3. Is it a scent of nutmeg by any chance? I was told that some concertina owners kept a nutmeg in their concertina cases in the belief that it would help the bellows remain supple. When I bought my 40 button wheatstone C/G it had a nutmeg in the case. Robin
  4. In a similar vein, one zoom session that I participate in had a "Secret Santa" event where various people's names were drawn out of a hat to suggest songs for other participants that they had been paired with. It gave an oportunity to try out a song (or tune) from an unfamiliar genre. Robin
  5. There are so many highlights. Until I think of another one, I would put playing improvisations in an instrumental section of a performance of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" with my old group Blind Panic back in the 90's. This was on D/G anglo with pickups and through a chorus pedal, digital delay pedal and graphic equaliser! We used to call it the welsh song...... "knocking on Evans' door". Recently with the current trio (Caffrey/McGurk/Madge) I would put playing my own tune "Coire Laggan" together with "Farewell to Tawathy", I really love the way they complement each other. Next album I think. Robin
  6. The last time I had an eye test my optician remarked that I must have a slight nickel allergy as the frames were reacting to my sweat. Apparently some people suffer from this condition, in varying degrees, that seems to act in a self destructive loop. The allergy causes sweat, which then attacks the metal more, releasing more ions to aggravate the allergy. i just try to keep the ends clean and wipe the finger tips to absorb sweat occasionally whilst playing a session. Robin
  7. This concertina has now been sold Robin
  8. Thank you for the comment. I have taught the tune to the concertina but cannot guarantee that the concertina will teach it to the new owner? Robin
  9. I am selling my D/G 30 button Norman/Gremlin anglo. It is on eBay at https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264555415337. Their are several photos there including one showing Andrew's signature and date. The instrument is in Wheatstone/Lachenal layout and has the Saxon design of end plate that Andrew still uses on his logo. Gremlin is stamped on both metal end plates, but only shows at one end as they are the same stamping flipped over for the two ends! Some of the sets of reeds for these concertinas were supplied by Hohner and some from Italy. As the instrument was sold to me by Oakwood as a "Romani" I suspect the latter could well be the case for this one. It has one different end bolt, which looks like a Lachenal original, for some reason. This is an accordion reeded instrument with the reeds in pairs in each chamber, see photos. I purchased this after my main instrument was stolen, happily recovered within a year. Since then it has seen occasional use when I wanted to use a lighter instrument, although I prefer the 40 button layout of my main instrument. There are velcro patches attached which are for use with Microvox microphones. I can report that the instrument works well with the sound channeled through guitar footpedals as well. A video of the concertina being played is viewable at , Liberty Bell by Sousa arranged and transposed for D/G Anglo by myself. There has been some discussion about these instruments here before that might give you more background to them. Robin Madge.
  10. I still quite often find myself remembering him and his cheerful modesty when I am amongst concertina players. Robin Madge
  11. Anne and I use those cheap cycle cape style coveralls that you tend to get at Blackpool and other seaside resorts. I call the look of them "boil in the bag Morris musician". Robin
  12. Might be an idea to enquire of Harry Lowery (of Yesterday's Men) what he thinks as I know that he does a fair amount of hymn playing on both English and Maccan systems. Robin Madge
  13. I seem to remember that Bob Bradbury had one in Somerset, back in the 1980s when I bought my 40 button C/G Wheatstone from him. He was in two minds which to sell. Robin
  14. There is going to be a large faction who want the person chosen to be female. I believe Ada Lovelace is leading the polls at the moment. Robin
  15. As an Anglo player married to an English player for over 25 years I would say it is just as difficult to try and learn the English when already an Anglo player. It beats me anyway! And as for a Duet... Robin
  16. For playing for morris I usually have to play standing holding the concertina because quite often we are processing and I use a light canvas case on these occasions. For performance with the trio I mainly stand holding the concertina(s), (we need to sing in several keys!) but have my custom built concertina case in front of me to put my foot on if I want to use my knee for support during instrumental sections where I might need better control of the bellows. My custom concertina case is in the form of four pigeonholes, two above two, with an additional centre section for odds and ends, with a vertically removed front face. It means I can quickly put a concertina away and extract another on stage. I can't fit the baritone in it though! If you look up Caffery/McGurk/Madge on youtube it can be seen in some of the videos. Robin Madge
  17. If I go for a long walk with arms hanging freely I find that my fingers eventually become swollen and movement in them is affected and slowed. I can feel the beginnings of this condition when holding the concertina too low, say and angle of greater than 120 degrees. Robin Madge
  18. Do you know if tickets are available in advance for the Settle gig, or is it turn up on the night? Trying to work out if I am free of other obligations. Robin
  19. I find that holding the instrument either too high or too low increases tension in the arms and results in reduction of fine motor control in the fingers. Could be due to slight changes in blood pressure in the arms or something to do with restriction on the tendons if the surrounding muscle is more or less tense. Alternatively gravity could be forcing the instrument towards or away from the wrists. Open to ideas about this. Robin Madge
  20. I don't have a problem with holding the concertina, my problem is to do with the fact that I have problems with working with my hands above my head, painting ceilings etc. although I can lift quite heavy weights so it is not pure arm strength. Once went to a Tai Chi class at Ely Folk festival where we were supposed to hold our arms out horizontally to the sides; after 30 seconds or so my arms were shaking. Lukily swinging the concertina does not mean holding it stationary! Robin Madge
  21. Doing the bells with my Lachenal Barritone Anglo (octave below normal C/G 36 buttons) can be good exercise. 4lb 13oz, or 1.852 kg. I do sing "Sweet Bells", one of the Sheffield "While Shepherds" while doing the bells on the chorus with my Lachenal Bb/F 32 button. 2lb 11oz, or 1.216 kg, now that can become exhausting if you do all the verses! Robin Madge
  22. People here in Lancashire were sceptical when I pointed out that Bristol was only half-way to Land's End. Robin Madge
  23. This was my brain on auto-correct. It should have been Rainford, near Wigan! More senior moments! Robin
  24. Just an annual update to say that we have had an interesting year of festival and folk club gigs and have really enjoyed the fun. One apology from me for not getting to Bedworth because of a failed alternator on the car (I don't recommend sitting in Knutsford services for 5 1/2 hours) but the other two managed without me. Last night at the Wooden Horse club at Rainham was the last gig of this year but the bookings are filling for 2017. Robin Madge
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