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This is a short review of the book 'There was None of this Lazy Dancing' by Bob Ellis. The book is about the music played at dances in the Yorkshire Dales. There are a lot of good (folk) tune books. There is a smaller but significant number of books dealing with the social history of (folk) music. There are very few books which deal with both the music and the social history of the music. This book is a significant addition to that small sub-genre. The book is a collection of tunes played at dances in the Yorkshire Dales. The tunes are presented in a way which describes and discusses their use by placing them in the context of the social events at which the tunes were played, and by using short biographies of some of the musicians who played the music. It is an absolutely splendid mix of academic rigour, relevance and readability. The tunes themselves are a mix of the familiar and the not-so-familiar. Where necessary, tunes in 'unfriendly' keys are also supplied in transpositions to a 'friendly' key (usually G, so the tunes should be easily accessible to G/D and C/G concertina players?). The book is also well-illustrated and well made (hard cover, stitched signatures, lay-flat binding). The fortunate purchaser of the book will also receive a password giving access to ABC transcriptions of all the tunes. The author asks, (very reasonably), that this password not be passed on to those who have not purchased the book. The ABC code appears to be of original transcriptions by the author. The style of coding is consistent, concise (minimalist, if you prefer), unambiguous and correct. As with the printed text, where the original of the tune was in an 'unfriendly' key, the author has provided a transcription into a 'friendly' key. In brief, this is a superb book! The only irritating thing about the book is that there is a picture of the author on page 5. I'm sure I know the man from somewhere, and can't for the life of me remember where or when I encountered him. Bloody infuriating!
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.