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chas

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About chas

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    Chatty concertinist

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    Somerset
  1. Yes that does sound neat. I love the internal mics in my melodeon but didn't think it was practicable on a concertina. I have Myers concertina mics, which were a great replacement for the Microvox a few years ago. But, like microvox, they have these flimsy wires which always feel so vulnerable to accidental pulls. Does no one else use Myers? The saddle clips sit nicely on the thumbstraps of an EC and make swopping instruments quick and easy.
  2. Has anyone mentioned the Myers concertina mics? We changed from our ancient Microvox to Myers a couple of years ago and have been very happy. Their special saddle clips mean you can swop instruments pretty quickly. No velcro involved. The only thing I hate about these little mics attached to the box is that the leads always seem so thin and flimsy. But these seem trouble-free and they're cheaper than the big names.
  3. chas

    Gd Ac Norman 30 Key Anglo For Sale

    These are great boxes. I had one for a bit and loved it. The woman I sold it to in the US sold it on after a while but eventually missed it so much she found the buyer (through this site) and bought it back. Well worth considering if you're after a good instrument at a keen price.
  4. chas

    Irish Concertina Ensemble

    Thanks for the link Noel. Tim is teaching at Concertinas at Whitney (UK) next month and will be doing some concertina band sessions using the ICE arrangements. I'm looking forward to it even more now I've heard them.
  5. chas

    Wanted: 57 Key Maccann Duet

    Would this one appeal? It's in Leeds. Bigger than you want, of course, if they've counted right. https://www.hobgoblin.com/local/sales/products/SHCR04921/wheatstone-maccann-duet-67-keywith-raised-ebony-ends-8f-mb-cp-model-39-with-case/
  6. chas

    Mná An Ceoil On Tg 4

    Wonderful stuff. Came up fine for me. Subtitles were there without doing anything. Thanks for the link. Must listen to the others now.
  7. chas

    Modes And Keys

    Here's my quick way of doing it. 1) The tonic/home note is obviously A so it must be in A something. 2) It sounds minor and in fact has a minor third (ABC). 3) So it must be either aeolian or dorian. 4) Aeolian is A without sharps or flats - ABCDEFGA. One semitone between 5th and 6th notes (EF). A for aeolian. 5) Dorian is D without sharps and flats - DEFGABCD. Two semitones between 5th and 6th notes (AB). D for dorian. It's easy to hear the difference. Think "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", where you can really hear the one semitone interval in line 3. In your example, there's a 2 semitone gap (E-F#) so it's A dorian, as Don says. If you played it in D, there'd be no sharps or flats. Don't know if that makes sense but it works for me. You just need to focus on two intervals.
  8. Highly recommended. We enjoyed last year hugely - hard work but very rewarding. (Unfortunately, an inconsiderate family member has decided to get married that weekend so we can't go this year.) It's a great opportunity to hone your sight-reading skills and enjoy playing some really challenging music in a large ensemble. You get a chance to play baritones/basses. I even got to try a symphonium last year.
  9. I expect from my straps what I expect from my wife and from my underwear: a bit of support and a bit of freedom.
  10. chas

    Wanted Concertina Microphones

    We now use Myers microphones, which clip onto the thumbstrap of an English very easily.
  11. chas

    Oyster Heaven In Whitstable

    Not exactly, John, but there was a connection. Around 1974/5 there was a thriving folk club at The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable. I was in one of the resident groups. Another (rather better!) group was going by the name of Fiddler's Dram. They were Alan Prosser, Ian Telfer, Chris Taylor and singer Cathy Lesurf, all I believe students or former students of the University of Kent at Canterbury. They were encouraged by various folk worthies and in due course released a recording of a song written by another club regular called Debbie Cooke - Day Trip to Bangor. Oysters fans may find it salutory to see the original "Top of the Pops" broadcast. The club wanted to raise some funds to book bigger guests so they started organising ceilidhs. The music at the first one was provided by John Jones (another club regular) on melodeon with me hiding behind him with my Lachenal anglo! They got more organised after that and teamed John up with the Fiddler's Dram musicians. After a while, they realised the ceilidh band was getting more gigs than Fiddler's Dram. Then they dropped the word "ceilidh" and became just "Oyster Band". And the rest, as they say, is history. Ian, Alan and John, of course, remain with the band to this day and are now doing some gigs as a trio. Cathy went on to sing with the Albion Band and appeared as a guest vocalist on a Fairport album. Remarkably, other regulars at the club went on to Folk fame. There were evenings when us humbler musicians got to perform with the likes of Ian, Alan and co. That's how Chris Wood got started. Nick Passmore (who accompanied Andy Turner on one of the FolkSongaWeek things) was there too. As for the morris, I was dancing with Sandwich-based side Wantsum Morris at the time and was asked if I'd be interested in teaching a new side to be called Oyster Morris. I said no (they were initially a women's side and I still had reservations in those days!) so they turned to John Jones, who'd danced with Great Western in Devon. Good to see they're still going strong. Any ole how, that's more than enough folk history for one post! (edited to remove the definite article from the band name )
  12. chas

    Oyster Heaven In Whitstable

    Very nice, Jody. Took me back to my early concertina days in the 70s, playing at Duke's Folk in the Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable, (when and where the Oyster Band were just floor singers).
  13. A nice-looking Wheatstone is coming up for auction at George Kidner's in Wimborne, Dorset on Thursday 3rd March. Presumably a McCann. Fine metal ends and 8 fold bellows. Serial number 32064.
  14. chas

    Tune Of The Month Offspring

    Bit of a first take but heyho! The top two lines of a village band arrangement intended for a variety of instruments. It sort of works on two ECs. We follow New Anything with Italian Rant, another Playford tune, which coincidentally appears on the latest Leveret CD. Yes, they're wonderful. They rarely rehearse together - just send each other tunes on their phones - and there are no arrangements, just glorious sympathetic weaving in and out of each other's playing, fresh every time. We had two thirds of them as part of the Hurricane Party last night, accompanying Fay Hield. Great concert. And, as well as concertina and fiddle, Robert Harbron played the banjo once - who knew?
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