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Peter Brook

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Everything posted by Peter Brook

  1. ay up mate as they say rahnd ah way So got a concertina? What is it? and what do you like to play?
  2. I don't know if we are going through a revival. A couple of years ago (2005 I think) Dave Townsend said that the Concertinas at Witney was the largest ever with over 100 players. I haven't been since due to work commitments so I don't know if it has maintained that level of interest. I was surprised the other night to see so many concertinas down in Hastings, I know that it had been publicised on this web site, but 9 or 10 concertinas is an excellent turnout for a session. The most I have ever seen before in a session before that is one or two other players, other than myself. I think there are lots of reasons for more visible activity - this wonderful website for one is a fantastic resource and an excellent way for the relative novice like me to learn, understand and make contact with more experienced players. There are lots of other factors too but I also think the ICA deserves at least some credit for promoting concertina playing over the years and sponsoring places on courses, alongside the stewardship of the music and sound archives. Let's not forget as well, all achieved on a shoestring and with the dedication of volunteers. In addition we have some wonderful professional musicians (and concertina tutors) who are very enthusiastic about the instrument and have been for 30 to 40 years I'm personally thinking about people I have met like Alistair Anderson and John Kirkpatrick in England, but there are many others across the Irish Sea as well such as Noel Hill and Mary MacNamara who take education of others very seriously. Barriers to learning concertina do exist, you can go into a high street music shop and buy a banjo, guitar, mandolin, violin etc for under a hundred quid to see how you get on with it. A little more expensive but thanks to the Jack, Jackie and Rochelle there is now at last a decent entry level concertina as well, with an upgrade promise built in if you like it. We've never had it so good
  3. Where were you sitting? I only saw the guy in the red polo shirt playing English to my left, he began seated and then was playing standing. There was a lady with her back to me with a yellow windsor morris t shirt on who just left hers on the table. Didn't see any other English's but I didn't move from my seat. I did though have a good view of several Jeffries from that position. My only issue with the session was two very drunk blokes one taking pictures and then banging a table, and the other one (his friend) who fell on me at one point but at least avoided the fiddle of the person sitting behind me. I thought it was a good session - great to see such a variety of instruments - we need more sessions. For the record I only had one pint of Dark Star and one pint of orange juice and lemonade - but the bubbles go to my head
  4. oh well - I still think it looked like a goose he was playing - especially through the bottom of a pint glass
  5. Not sure how long the OED can be relied on to be the arbiter of correct English, given that less than 20% of English speakers reside or have resided in the four “home” nations of England, Scotland, Wales and “Norn Iron”. By shear weight of numbers the language will change in a huge number of unpredictable ways. The English saying “that’s not English” will be as relevant as Canute to the tide… edited to add that I have spent several years as a sub-editor, to give one example "electronic mail" has gone to "e-mail" and now to "email" in a relatively short span, but the thing that has really got to me in recent times is stuff like "coming to visit with you November 4". It seems so much more polite to write (or speak) "coming to visit on November the 4th"
  6. I think 7 folds (peaks) would be an advantage. I have six on my Norman C/G and often play chords and tune which leads to a lot of air button use, particularly playing in G, D and A. BTW The depth of fold is not that big on my Norman - visually comparing to cplayer's Jefferies the other night his seemed about twice as deep.
  7. I think the concertina count was 2 english (although only one was played as the owner also had one of those stupid single reed lilly's ) and 7 Anglos (but only 5 players as two players had two Anglos). Oddly there were also three northumbrian pipers (who were in tune with themselves - part of the time ) and a man playing a goose (Breton pipes perhaps?) and then the more normal melodeons, piano accordians, whistles and fiddles. A great session and hopefully with everything crossed it may become a regular fixture.
  8. Apologies My reply wasn't all that helpful sorry . At least you know how Mark knows about it - probably We'll have to wait for Mark to come back to us. John Kirkpatrick isn't available this weekend as he is running a B/C/C# workshop and doing a concert on the 28th in St. Albans
  9. I don't think it is finished - I think it is just started It looks beautiful. Thank you for putting the link to the manufacturing pictures very interesting stuff!
  10. Ian Russell used to live in Sheffield and is still well known in the area due to his continued work on the "Sheffield Carols" and the annual festival. I would imagine that most people involved in the Carols or the Folkscene in Sheffield would know who Ian is. My parents know him personally as I assume Mark does.
  11. Don't get me wrong it is an excellent tutor, and I am still going back to it after 4 years. He gives you a thorough grounding in melody style in a range of useful keys, opens out what is possible, and he gives you the basics for Irish playing. One of the best things I bought to help me understand how the anglo works and what is possible. I found that the Nial Vallely (Mad for Trad) tutor was then useful for getting me further along in the Irish style, especially ornamentation, runs, rolls etc. I have also listened to a lot of music by Noel Hill, Tim Collins, Chris Sherburn, Mary McNamara, Nomos etc, and I think you need this kind of material in addition to start to understand Irish style. This is only my opinion, others might have had a different experience, unfortunately I don't know anyone in person that plays Irish style that I could play along with, although I have spoken to Chris Sherburn several times after gigs and asked him about technique.
  12. oh b*gg*r! I've signed up for the great south run the same weekend .
  13. "Irish Concertina" by Mick Bramich gives an good overview of what is possible on 30 key anglo and also includes about 50 mainly irish tunes. It does have an accompaning CD as well. Only issue I found is that the concertina he used for his recordings is not concert pitch (or not a C/G) so it is not easy to play along to the CD! In my opinion he doesn't really teach "irish style" but it is a very well written and easy to understand tutor, and helped me enormously at the beginning. I still dip in so I'm not in the market for selling but I would have thought you can get it from button box or hobgolin america or some such.
  14. What a lovely idea for a thread. Thanks to Father Ken for letting me play William Kimber's Concertina and lighting a spark in me (over 25 years ago). Thanks to Peter Bellamy for memorable performances and making the concertina seem "cool" to a teenager. Thanks to John Kirkpatrick for being such a generous teacher, a fantastic encourager, an inspirational player and even taking time to write down the notes of one of his tunes for me. Thanks to Will Duke for his wonderful playing and unbelievable modesty. Thanks to Valmai Goodyear (and Bryan Creer) for Concertinas Anonymous and for organising lovely workshops down in Lewes. Thanks to Dave Townsend for Hands on Music weekends and for also taking time to write down a tune for me. Thanks to all the "local" players, particularly Bryan Hawes (for goes on vintage concertinas and help with playing for Morris) and Mick Lynn for encouragement. Thanks to eveyone on c.net, the providers of the forum, and the collective goodwill, knowledge and experience that I have benefited from - so far
  15. Well what a fantastic May Day. Perfect weather, azure blue cloudless sky but a cooling breeze. Danced at sunrise at the church gates, then round the pond before finishing the first stint at our local pub. Then we danced at 3 different primary schools (ages 6 to 11) before finishing at Cranbrook school (ages 13 - 18). I was expecting the younger kids to be respectful but what I wasn't expecting was 300 or so 13 to 18 year olds giving up their lunch hour to watch us dance, cheer us on and clap enthusiasticaly. Literally amazing! My wife came to watch our first stand at 5:32 am and then went to work. She has a couple of new colleagues from south africa who have never heard of morris dancing or may day. So Alison showed them pictures of me playing concertina on our website! Oh Squashbox! says colleague 1, "My dad plays squashbox too!" Amazing!
  16. Many thanks for the support and kind words Tallship. I am really grateful that people on this site are so supportive and generous with their knowledge . Let's hope Keith and I are on fire tomorrow at 5:32 am
  17. The list I gave earlier wasn't my list I remembered it from a previous discussion. I have been playing music for 31 years on a variety of instruments. I love playing and I love music, but it doesn't come naturally to me - I certainly don't think I'm a "good" musician. But that's the beauty of music, you can have fun where you are, and it is fun challenging yourself to get better. Bizarre thinks happen as well. Last monday playing for morris my fingers just wouldn't work, I couldn't remember any tunes, it was just terrible. A week previoulsy we had been out and everything just seemed to "flow"....... it felt wonderful. The goatskin drum I've a friend Ciaran Boyle who is an all Ireland and British Champion on Bodhran. He is breathtaking and I have a huge amount of respect for the hours of dedication he has put into learning. It is a shame the bodhran seems to get singled out but I suppose they are relatively cheap and people can't see the skill involved. If I'm honest I have sat next to the inconsiderate bodhran player in sessions myself on occasion.
  18. Hi Alan, Forgive me but do you play dobro as well? I know Bryan quite well and hope to see you there :-) All the best, Peter
  19. this same question was on mudcat a few years ago. the answer was easiest to hardest something like this bodhran autoharp hammered dulcimer whistle melodeon concertina fiddle pipes
  20. I understand that it "held in trust" by the Headington Quarry Morris Men. Unfortunately their current musician plays a PA So unfortunately I don't think it gets played regularly That was the position up to a couple of years ago.
  21. British racing green is actually very dark in colour almost approaching black and it is a matt finish. I have seen a couple of Bentleys at Veteran Sports Car events at Brooklands that are the right colour. Steven although I like your car (I like Subaru's) and the colour it is too light to be "traditional" BRG But I would prefer green to the templar flag that we call the english flag.
  22. Was it before 9/11/2001? I'm not sure this would be taken as lightly now. Might wind up being more tedious. Absolutely - different times If he was with the security services he would have used the famous "Belfast broom cupboard". On arrival at Belfast Airport to avoid any "security" issues in the normal terminal, MOD personnel went through a door marked "cleaning". Of course this wasn't a cleaning cup board at all and led into their own security check area away from the public. Definitely very
  23. We had a great night dancing the morris and had a good sing afterwards in a pub that was serving 4 real ales and a "real" cider. The first ale I had was a Harvey's, after that the landlord filled my glass so I couldn't say what I was drinking but it tasted lovely. In the midst of the singing session one of the pub regulars said, "oh sing us that song you did last time you were here, (last June) the one about her eyes shining like diamonds" - We duly obliged with "the Black Velvet Band!" It made me chuckle but even more so when one of the lads started humming the Londonderry Air (ie Danny Boy) straight after! Makes you proud to be a true born English/Irish mongrel For what it's worth Caedmon, Hilda, Bede, Dunstan, Alfred and/or Edmund would be much more appropriate National Saints than 'ol Georgie.
  24. Happy St. Georges Day "all who love this earth, whatever the land that gave you birth"
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