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Everything posted by Lakeman

  1. Thanks for putting these up Daniel/Alan. Recordings a bit dated now, although I'm pleased enough with them. I'll try and post some of the more advanced stuff I'm doing in my new duo now with banjo virtuoso Rob Murch. We've managed three festivals since emerging from lockdown.On Weds, Sep 22 we are at Llantrissant Folk Club near Cardiff for anyone in South Wales who is interested.
  2. Why so many bellow folds? ( 11) You could use this one for skipping.
  3. PUSH BUTTONS - I play jazz .I find a 55 -button model - whatever the make - is needed to give the spread of notes you need on both sides.I have two Lachenal 55 Cranes...my better, 58 button Wheatstone , is my main performance instrument.Other instruments include a 48-button Wheatstone which has beautiful reeds v- but I sometimes pick it up, play something and realise halfway through the song/tune that I have run out of notes.I also have a metal-ended 55-button.... which has a different tone.You would think the metal ends would suit jazz and have more "edge." But it is a quietter instrument, so I will grab the Wheatstone and Lachenal wooden-ended models first.I love playing the 48 - which was recently overhauled by the "Concertina Doctor" , Nigel Sture. But I limit my playing on it and stick to the larger models so my wrist muscles etc are " up to speed."(Bit of arthritis etc) Another factor- not always considered by inexperienced players - is the number of bellows, which affects the dynamics of the way you play a tune. My main instrument has eight-fold, the two Lachenals are 7.
  4. David - oops, of course Cranes don't have thumb straps. Got carried away there.I meant the point at which the thumb is at the top "outside" the strap.Must be fiendish for people coming to all this for the first time..I have Jeffries-playing duet mates...now, they are brain-scrambling.
  5. Rob - For example, the Crane system (which I play and would commend) has five buttons in each row - from top (thumbstrap) to bottom (little finger.) Don't be confused by the " spare" right-hand air button, operated bu your thumb ,used to reverse direction of bellows travel.( Not used that often, because it is an unisonoric instrument i.e.: same note when bellows are pushed or drawn.Also, my " best" instrument has seven-fold bellows which allows for very long, drawn-=out chords or note progressions
  6. Geoff/Alan... I too met Tommy Williams at an ICA meeting in London...might have been the same one as you two.Early seventies... he was an old man then, and as you say a tiny chap. Not just short, but spindly... but massive hands which covered his huge " machine."Harry and Neville Crabb were there too.. Funny enough I was clearing out some stuff yesterday and found some letters/notes/valuations spares etc from both Harry and Neville ( after his dad had died.).I remember Tommy playing his " hit ", 'Springtime in Battersea" at that gathering.
  7. Cheers Kurt , hope you well. Yes....already properly explained better than I can already, but on the left hand it is better to play what I call " implied chords." That is to say, two of the three notes.... it fits with the "less is more" approach, especially with song accompaniment where you don't want to drown out what you are singing.I agree with everything Kurt says - When I learn a new song I usually sort out the chord progression on both sides simultaneously.. and sing along until I can do it effortlessly. Then - almost unconsciously - I add the "fills" and any decorative " fiddly" bits on. the right hand...or extend the left hand to a " walking" bass if appropriate ( and do-able !). If you want some ideas...just Google Youtube Geoff Lakeman... there are plenty of videos of myself on there. I think you might even be able to slow them down ( you can certainly do this on Facebook)
  8. Thanks for putting this up Alan.I recorded/filmed this in week four of Covid 19 lock-down at my Dartmoor cottage.I thought it an appropriate song- Jimmy Rodgers' "Nobody Knows", about being locked up between four walls, " ' specially if you 'aint been there before...." Written , I think, in 1926, the same year this very Wheatstone Crane duet concertina was made.It has 55 buttons, eight-fold bellows, steel reeds...and I bought it for £35 in about 1971.I now have others, but this is the trusty favourite I use on live gigs and recordings.
  9. Theo - I'm intrigued by this.My email is geoffreylakeman@btinternet.com GEOFF
  10. Re: Duet recordings. I recorded and submitted several songs/ tunes to Alan a few years ago.If I was to do it again I would probably choose different pieces, because my repertoire/ability etc has moved on. As many of you will know, I recorded my first solo CD, "After All These Years" a couple of years ago and I have been amazed at its success.To be fair, it was designed to demonstrate my general, all-round repertoire and "entertainment " in the folk idiom, rather than displaying what a Crane duet can do to concertina enthusiasts. There are tunes ( and songs) that I play mainly in session or in private that probably demonstrate this better. But I am not inclined to go to the trouble of recording again specifically for a duet CD. I do, however, applaud the idea, of bringing on board the new /young players- some of whom I know- like Matt Quinn and Jack Rutter,- who have made astonishing progress on the instrument in such a short span of years.(They both play McCanns, but , hey, it doesn't; make them bad people !) I still play self-written West Country songs, English and Irish folk, Americana and 1920/30's jazz.I am appearing regularly at folk clubs and arts centres/ theatre all over the UK and beyond. This year I am at eight different folk festivals ( Bude in Cornwall this weekend). One of the most exciting developments for me recently has been being part of Mick Ryan's folk opera "Here at the Fair - which we are performing at Bude, Shrewsbury, Warwick and Cornwall Folk festivals. In the show's " band" I sit alongside young Cohen Braithwaite-KIlcoyne ... probably the most talented young concertina player ( anglo) and melodeons since John Kirkpatrick still had spots.I have learned so much from him- and I am old enough to be his grandad.These are exciting times for folk music - and I have never known concertinas be so popular. keep squeezing folks.....
  11. I remember Nick so well as a young man. Joy and I took over from him as residents at the Herga Folk Club in Harrow, North London, in the early seventies when he loved to the USA.He was in incredible Jeffries duet player. I have since long-befriended another exceptional, jazz-playing Jeffries duetter, Greg Powlesland, who lives in west Cornwall. But Nick's playing made a powerful impression on me and probably comes out in my performance, although I play a Crane and don't visit the Morris-influenced tunes he belted out.I sure would have loved to hear him join me in some of the jazzier stuff that I belt out.
  12. Good to see you again Wes - incredible gig. Fantastic sound in that David Hall, good crowd and the backstage catering was yummy.Hope to bump into you again
  13. Yes Wes, that's when we lived in Wedmore for two or three years . We still visit that area alot 'cos Sam and Cara live in Frome. Be good to see you on Saturday.
  14. Thanks Jody - My version of "Taters" is among the tracks getting radio play over here........and it's still a favourite in the set. Gives me a chace to plug you !
  15. Agreed Robin - which underlines my point that you ARE " oop north." Be good if you could get to one of my gigs.
  16. It's bloody well north to me ........I'm only 90 miles from Land's End.I estimate about 350 mile drive to my first gig at York. But I DO realise there is alot of the UK north of Yorkshire etc. I played Orkney Folk Festival last year and chose to drive...marvellous journey. But..the biggest moan I get from people from " up -country' , especially London, is how long it takes them to get down here to Devon, never mind the west of Cornwall where I come from.I've played at St Just, near Land's End where the next " gig" west is in New York more than 3,000 miles away.
  17. Please can I alert concertina/net readers in the north of the UK to a short tour I shall be doing in a fortnight or so.It is part of a national launch tour of folk clubs, arts centre and folk festival gigs that I am doing this year to introduce my debut solo CD " After All These Years"...which i have made at the age of 69.It was produced by my eldest son Sean, a well-known producer and musician.In fact, for those of you who know the folk scene- both in the UK, America, Europe inc Ireland - the " solo" album is peppered with some of the biggest names: Sean on guitar and his Yorkshire-born wife Kathryn Roberts on vocals;middle son Sam on piano and his acclaimed Irish singer wife Cara Dillon also on vocals, plus my famous son Seth on violin and viola.The legendary Nic Jones- who is a neigbour in my Dartmoor village- even sings on the CD!Also helping out is fellow Dartmoor musician Jim Causley,Ben Nicholls,Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis,Dan Crimp and Gill Redmond.The album has had national radio plays on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radiio 2 Folk Show, plus BBC Radio 6 Tom Robinson show. Mike Harding has played several tracks on his popular worldwide podcast, and a dozen or more other BBC local radio and other indepedent radio stations have given airplay.You can buy it from amazon, iTunes, Proper or, best of all, via Paypal on my website www.geofflakeman.co.uk Better still come and hear the " stuff" live . On Thurs, Feb 16 I'll be playing at the renowned Black Swan Folk Club in York. On Fri, Feb 17 I'm supporting ace singer-songwriter Pete Morton at the Harlequin Theatre in Northwich, Cheshire. On Sat, Feb 18 Mike Harding has very kindly set up a solo gig for me at The Lion pub in Settle,Yorkshire On Sun, Feb 19 I play the Bothy Folk Club at Southport, Lancs. All concertina fans - especially duet players - will, hopefully, find something of interest in my shows.I use a Crane duet to perform self-written and west-country songs, English and Irish folk, Americana and even 19210's30's jazz. I would love to meet some concertina players from ' oop north.'Do come along . (While I'm here - for 'tinba players further south and west, I have solo gigs this Sat, Feb 4 at the David Hall, South Petherton,Somerset and on Sat, Feb 11 I'm at the Blazing Stump Folk Club, Carhampton Village Hall, near Minehead,Somerset.
  18. Any concertina fans near Dorking , Surrey - I play a solo gig TONIGHT , Weds, Nov 30 - at the opposite end of the country to my home - it is held at Dorking Golf Club.Come and enjoy English and Irish folk songs, Americana and 20's -style jazz, all on Crane duet concertina and myself singing.I'll also have pre-release copies of my debut solo album "After All These Years." Produced by award-winning eldest son Sean Lakeman, the CD has a dazzling array of guests who will be recognised internationally by folk fans.: Sean, Sam and Seth Lakeman,Kathryn Roberts and Cara Dillon,Nic Jones, Jim Causley, Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Ben Nicholls, Dan Crimp and Gill Redmond.
  19. Hi Susanne ...you need a duet ? Please visit my new website ( and perhaps even buy my debut solo concertina CD) www.geofflakeman.co.uk It includes a tune in Bb "The Road Together " written by irish button box virtuoso Mairtin O'Connor..it'll give you an idea of the notes/chord progression in this key
  20. Hi Squeezers -I have a new CD out soon , "After All These Years". It has only taken me about 50 years to record my debut solo album!It is available exclusively via my new website. Please visit and share - www.geofflakeman.co.ukFolk fans please note - guest performers on the CD include some of the finest folk artists from the British Isles, drawn from my family and friends: Sean,Sam and Seth Lakeman, their wives Kathryn Roberts and Cara Dillon, folk legend Nic Jones, Ben Nicholls,Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Dan Crimp and Gill Redmond .The album has been produced and recorded here on Dartmoor by my eldest son Sean, an award-winning producer who has gold and silver discs on his studio walls!Thanks to all who helped make this happen...please have a listen.My website also includes details of gigs where you can see me in the UK. Incidentally, I just did a great double-header gig in Cornwall with USA's Jody Kruskal who is on tour here at the moment. It was a blast and we played duets on everything from English hornpipes, to mock Baroque O'Carolan tunes to ragtime.
  21. Hi concertina fans within reach of the UK west-country. Tomorrow (Fri, Nov 11) Jody Kruskal and I play an exciting double-header, called " Duelling Concertinas- USA versus UK" at an amazing venue- the beautiful Old Chapel Arts Centre on the babnks of the River Tamar at Calstock, East Cornwall - near Tavistock,Callington etc.Jody is on a UK tour at the moment .. this is a one-off where you will be able to see/hear probably the best annglo player from the USA with his wide mix of folk song, contra dance tunes, comic American cariety songs etc AND my approach to folk, Americana and twenties jazz on the Crane duet concertina.We'll play-off against each other , and try a few things together.Even if you are not a concertina enthusiast, this will be an entertaining evening of songs and tunes covering a vast variety of material/genres.Tickets £8,get there early for a good seat, marvellous acoustics, good bar etc.You can even get there- cheaply-on the train from Plymouth, on one of the most beautiful lines in the country, and get the last train back to the city after the show
  22. TJ -I believe you are in Yorkshire- where's about ? I would love to have a tootle on that instrument, never played one by that maker. I am heading to Yorkshire to play the Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley on Friday. Depending on where you are I might be able to pop in on the way up on Fri, or on my return on Saturday. My email is geoffreylakeman@btinternet.com Home tel; is 01822 852274 and my mobile is 07710 613932 . Have a look at my new website which is only just becoming active- www.geofflakeman.co.uk
  23. Chris - this is a textbook, precise summary of the different systems and their suitability.Well done. I have just done a talk/presentation at Orkney Folk Festival on playing by ear etc and the audience brought up all the points you have mentioned.I am, of course, an advocate of the duet, especially for accompanying song and playing different genres of music in multiple keys.The one thing I emphasise, time and time again, is that the concertina is not a SIMPLE instrument.It is not just a matter of pressing the correct buttons.Like any other musical instrumemnt the dynamics and delivery of melody, rythmn, tempo,mood, volume ( soft or loud) takes dedicated, long and hard practice.There are no short cuts."Let the music keep your spirits high"
  24. Are you sorted yet? I have a Lachenal 55 button Crane that I could part with for the right price.At the moment I'm about to start four days of performing at the Orkney Folk Festival, but if you are interested, when I'm back in the west country I'll post more details, photos etc. We would be talking £2,000 sterling.
  25. I played the very good Nether Edge Folk Club only a few months ago to a good crowd, including a few concertina enthusiasts. (It is right opposite the uber-cool Cafe 9 where I play on Wed) Looking forward too to Crookes Folk Club 'cos locals tell me it is quite "intimate" but has exceptional acoustics.
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