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Tony Elphick

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Posts posted by Tony Elphick

  1. I had the pleasure and privelege of sharing a few tunes with Packie on my first visit to Ireland back in 1976. We made our way to Doolin and found the pub, which was very crowded when we arrived. Packie was sitting there, together with his brother Miko. Packie saw my concertina and beckoned me over to sit with him. The reason the pub was so crowded was that there were a lot of students from Dublin camping nearby, and I think every one of them had a bodhran. So every time we started into a tune, 20 or so bodhrans joined in and it was very heard to hear what was being played. It seemed like the annual wildebeest migration was going through Doolin that evening. After 3 or 4 times of this, Packie lent over to me and said quietly "if there's a single bodhran in heaven, then I'm glad I'm going to hell."


    A lovely man and a terrific musician. And apologies to all you bodhran players out there!



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  2. My Jeffries with metal hand rests has the same arrangement i.e. a double screw plate on the ends of the rests and a knurled button screwing into the action box end. I've had it for over 40 years and was like it when I acquired it so I have no doubt it is original. 


    Tony Elphick

  3. I visited a preserved country mansion called Uppark which is here in West Sussex just before Christmas. In the basement in the servants kitchen was an exhibition about H G Wells as his mother was a servant there so he was a regular visitor. In an account of the servants' life there was a statement that said that the servants had regular dances "accompanied by fiddle and concertina." I've tried various ways to find out if there is anything more available about this but all to no avail. Who played it? What system? What sort of music did they play? Intriguing! Perhaps that is where he got the idea of the trousers looking like bellows on a concertina!

  4. For a while now a bunch of friends and I have been trying to create a website encompassing all matters traditional from this part of Southern England. At long last it has now gone live and quite a lot of material has been posted on it and much more is in the process of being added. What might be of particular interest to people here is that there are over 100 records in the database relating to Scan Tester including pictures and recordings of his playing. So please visit the website and hopefully you may find something of interest by browsing the database.



  5. It looks identical to a 26 key I have. The only maker name on mine is Ball Beavon & Co London stamped on the RH end side. Mine certainly sounds like my other Jeffries in terms of reed power etc. I think Crabb/Jeffries/Ball Beavon were all linked at the time.

  6. When I first went to Ireland in 1976 I sought out Packy Russell in the pub at Doolin. He saw my concertina and we started playing a tune together, but the pub was packed out with about 30 or 40 students from Dublin, every one of which had a bodhran. Whenever we started playing all the bodhrans started up too and it sounded like the annual wildebeest migration was going through the pub. After this had happened about 3 or 4 times Packie lent across to me at the end of our tunes and said "If there's a single bodhran in heaven, then I'm glad I'm going to Hell!"

  7. I'm very sad to have to announce the death of Harry Mousdell. He had been unwell for some time and died in a hospice in Crawley. Harry was a major figure on the folk scene in Sussex for many many years, and a founder of Horsham Folk Club as well as Chanctonbury and Broadwood Morris Men and also a popular and rumbustuous dance caller. He was a friend of the late Scan Tester and regularly drove Scan round to various sessions. Harry himself was no mean performer on the anglo, and played in the same "octave" style as Scan.


    He will be deeply missed by all on the Sussex folk scene.

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