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Concertina Supply For Ireland's New Wave Of Players


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One keeps encountering references here and there to growing interest in concertina among a new, burgeoning crop of young Irish traditional music players, Clare and elsewhere. This came up more than once in the last couple of years a propos of the Fleadh in Ennis, but I've seen/heard it elsewhere as well.

 

So the question comes to mind . . . Where are they getting their instruments? Surely there wouldn't be enough vintage examples out there, if it's really a growing trend. Are some playing quality hybrids? Are many ordering from modern makers?

Edited by ceemonster
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I understand it's not in the thousands. But I heard it from two separate sources, that it was astonishing the numbers of very adept young trad players in Ennis both years for Fleadh Cheol, burning it up on concertina. I've also heard it anecdotally outside the Fleadh context, that concertina is a hot choice at the moment for young trad tyros. Outside Ireland it's a different thing, and that's not what I'm wondering about---In Ireland, young trad players who become adept are not screwing around with Rochelles. Whether hybrid or not, they're using fast, responsive instruments. I'm fascinated to know if they're largely ordering from new makers nowadays, or what. Maybe you're right, Geoff, and there are still enough vintage examples around to supply them, but I'm skeptical about that when it comes to Anglos. Maybe they get going on those very responsive hybrids now made in Ireland, and then order from Suttner/Dipper/Carroll. Certainly in North America the Morses and Edgleys will take you anywhere you need to go technically.

Edited by ceemonster
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I think we should consider the youngest players get Lachenals, or Wheatstones, Jones, etc to start on. There are good new makes available. Suttner, 7 Mount, and Claro are very popular. Barleycorn and others trade in several high quality vintage every month for sure. The other thing to consider is that almost every teacher has a lead on new and quality vintage to put into young hands. Brokers in Ireland, both popular and cottage industries come up with the goods when asked.

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This came up more than once in the last couple of years a propos of the Fleadh in Ennis,

 

 

FWIW, I spent some time wandering around the Fleadh this year, I thought I might as well while it was near (I wouldn't travel to it). I walked around during the daytime and took snaps of musicians playing in the street. Spot the concertinas in this selection and see what's being played.. Pics will be up for a week.

 

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Ha, just caught up with seeing these marvellous photos---Thanks so much for posting them, Peter. The young'uns are super, and so are these shots. One of my informants was Monsignor Charlie Coen, who could not get over all the concertinas. Tickled, naturally.

 

Hmmmm, well, clearly not Stagis, though not sure of much beyond that. There do seem to be some vintage, though in many cases could be newer or vintage. Mind, I'm not taking a position about my OP question. It's an inquiring-minds-are-wondering question. It'd be fun to take a survey. Perhaps the Consairtin annual event would yield intel.

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...Maybe you're right, Geoff, and there are still enough vintage examples around to supply them, but I'm skeptical about that when it comes to Anglos....

 

This is hearsay, but I have been told that there is a small(ish) but constant 'flow' of vintage Anglos westwards across the Irish

Sea to satisfy the demand in Ireland. Apparently, the instruments are sometimes re-tuned to accommodate the 'requirements'

of ITM. This is fine, but it occurs to me that this effectively reduces the number of vintage Anglos available here in England. I

have had one conversation with a dealer which would tend to support this story.

 

Urban myth, or what?

 

Roger

Edited by lachenal74693
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...Maybe you're right, Geoff, and there are still enough vintage examples around to supply them, but I'm skeptical about that when it comes to Anglos....

 

This is hearsay, but I have been told that there is a small(ish) but constant 'flow' of vintage Anglos westwards across the Irish

Sea to satisfy the demand in Ireland. Apparently, the instruments are sometimes re-tuned to accommodate the 'requirements'

of ITM. This is fine, but it occurs to me that this effectively reduces the number of vintage Anglos available here in England. I

have had one conversation with a dealer which would tend to support this story.

 

Urban myth, or what?

 

Roger

 

No, probably not a myth Roger.

 

If you look at the difference in the current prices of a good Wheatstone English, say a metal ended 48key hex and a good Wheatstone 30key Anglo , I think this shows the effect of the Irish market. As the EC is not much used in ITM the values are more UK and 'rest of the world'... but the 'must have' effect of the Irish musician creates an inward flow of Anglos to Ireland ... It is market forces.

 

I make the Uilleann Pipes , and where is my main market ? Ireland !

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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This came up more than once in the last couple of years a propos of the Fleadh in Ennis,

 

 

FWIW, I spent some time wandering around the Fleadh this year, I thought I might as well while it was near (I wouldn't travel to it). I walked around during the daytime and took snaps of musicians playing in the street. Spot the concertinas in this selection and see what's being played.. Pics will be up for a week.

 

 

Can't get started early enough on the "concertina face," I guess... :D

 

Thanks, lovely pictures!

Edited by RAc
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I have been told that there is a small(ish) but constant 'flow' of vintage Anglos westwards across the Irish Sea to satisfy the demand in Ireland.

 

 

As Geoff says, market forces. Dealers come over to sell concertinas (flutes and fiddles as well and accordions, whatever is in demand). Even decades ago at festivals (vintage) instruments would be sold out of the back of a car, or from rooms/shops rented for the duration. It's nothing new and with so many aspiring players, it is not likely to stop any time soon.

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I remember witnessing examples of that phenom in the Miltown area during Clancy week in the early/mid oughts. I saw one of the recurring Willie Week dealer characters plying his trade in and around a couple of the trad pubs that since closed, and was astonished to see concertina mamas rendez-vousing with him and eager to plunk over the dosh--lots of it, too---without even trying to get a look inside the things, or have somebody knowledgeable do so.

Edited by ceemonster
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