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Old Concertina Band Recording


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I was played an album (you know, one of those flat black vinyl things) about 20 years ago by a pipe maker in Victoria. It was taken from a wax recording made by the BBC, God knows when, of a concertina band made up of coal miners.

It had the usual Northumbrian rants and Irish ripoff tunes, but I can't remember the name of the thing. The pipe maker is now in Ireland & I can't contact the lad.

Anybody know about the recording?

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Hi, Ray,

Don't know about the recording, but I would guess the pipe maker concerned is Geoff Woolf (sp?). He is certainly known to several members of this community and I'm sure some one in Ireland will be able to pass on the request for information to him.

Have you Googled him, by the way? He's quite famous these days and you may be able to find contact details on the net.

Good luck,

Malcolm

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Hi, Ray,

Don't know about the recording, but I would guess the pipe maker concerned is Geoff Woolf (sp?). He is certainly known to several members of this community and I'm sure some one in Ireland will be able to pass on the request for information to him.

Have you Googled him, by the way? He's quite famous these days and you may be able to find contact details on the net.

Good luck,

Malcolm

 

Thanks Malcolm,

Aye, it was Geoff alright (and it's Wooff, like a dog with a throat infection). I don't have an email for him, & it's been so long since I phoned that it's a bit embarrassing to be honest. We'll catch up, when the time is right I have no doubt, & I don't want to start a Geoff Wooff thread. I'm just trying to track down a recording.

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I was played an album (you know, one of those flat black vinyl things) about 20 years ago by a pipe maker in Victoria. It was taken from a wax recording made by the BBC, God knows when, of a concertina band made up of coal miners.

It had the usual Northumbrian rants and Irish ripoff tunes, but I can't remember the name of the thing. The pipe maker is now in Ireland & I can't contact the lad.

Anybody know about the recording?

 

You could try searching the FARNE Archive

 

I have a friend who played in the Tyneside concertina band in the 1970s and 80s. I think the band may have played under more than one name over the years. I'll see what I can discover.

 

Theo

Edited by Theo
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You could try searching the  FARNE Archive

 

I have a friend who played in the Tyneside concertina band in the 1970s and 80s.  I think the band may have played under more than one name over the years.  I'll see what I can discover. 

 

Theo

 

Nothing on FARNE (well, actually there's heaps on FARNE but not about this recording!)

 

Maybe your friend can shed some light.

 

Thanks for your help Theo

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  • 4 years later...

Try contacting Al Day, who is researching recordings of concertina bands for another compilation CD in due course and may know something about it, or, if not, may wish to know something more about it (I'm sure he'll be along in due course!)

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Try contacting Al Day, who is researching recordings of concertina bands for another compilation CD in due course and may know something about it, or, if not, may wish to know something more about it (I'm sure he'll be along in due course!)

 

Thanks Irene.

I have no idea how to contact Al Day but hopefully he'll be along in due course! :)

 

Geoff played the album for me many years ago when I called in to see him in Victoria when I was taking a few days off from a tour and I meant to write all the details down but the poteen and the heavy Northumbrian tunes wouldn't let me!

I think my grandfather (Walter Byron) was part of the band but I don't really know.

The time, the place and the instrument are all right but I have no documentation to suggest that he was involved in the recording.

I talked to Geoff about it by 'phone a few years ago but he only spoke french in B flat with an irish accent at the time, so I can't remember what he said!

 

Ray

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I have no idea how to contact Al Day but hopefully he'll be along in due course! :)

 

Al's a member on here, so you could send him a PM (search for him in the members list) ... or wait!

 

The other thing which occurred to me is that if it is a BBC recording, they may well have a record of it (now you need to speak to Ralph Jordan ... ex BBC sound bod, who I suspect should be able to tell you who might be able to provide you with information ) OR it could be that a copy is held in the Sound Archives holdings of the British Library, since they have quite a number of BBC recordings in their collection. Should make a few interesting minutes for an archivist searching for an item amongst their collection ;)

Edited by Irene S
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Hallo Ray, Theo and Irene,

I have not heard this recording of the Tyneside Concertina Band and there was a similar programme by the BBC that featured The Bolton Concertina Band featuring John Nixon. John knows the time date the lot, but sadly many of these old recordings were dumped in skips or the tapes used to re record over to save money.

The good news is that I do have a contact Email address for Geoff Woolf. He used to play at the Blackhorse Nuthurst Folk Night I helped to run many years ago , emigrated to Australia, then moved to Ireland and is now living in France. Which shows you just a bit of the work that goes on behind the scenes of the Internationals. Sadly owing to his work on Northumberland Pipes etc he just did not have the time to do some recordings for the collection.(English System player).

I will Email Geoff within the next few days and report back here

Al

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Hallo Ray, Theo and Irene,

I have not heard this recording of the Tyneside Concertina Band and there was a similar programme by the BBC that featured The Bolton Concertina Band featuring John Nixon. John knows the time date the lot, but sadly many of these old recordings were dumped in skips or the tapes used to re record over to save money.

The good news is that I do have a contact Email address for Geoff Woolf. He used to play at the Blackhorse Nuthurst Folk Night I helped to run many years ago , emigrated to Australia, then moved to Ireland and is now living in France. Which shows you just a bit of the work that goes on behind the scenes of the Internationals. Sadly owing to his work on Northumberland Pipes etc he just did not have the time to do some recordings for the collection.(English System player).

I will Email Geoff within the next few days and report back here

Al

 

Thanks Alan.

No real need to bother the Wooff though as I'm still in contact with him myself.

 

I was trying to avoid a Geoff Wooff thread (back in 2005!) but seem to have failed miserably so I'll fill in the background of my association with Geoff.

 

We met many years ago in Adelaide at a reed making workshop. I was playing a set of Northumbrian Smallpipes that I'd made and Geoff helped me to reed them up properly.

During the few days that we were working together Geoff and I realised that we had many connections musically, spiritually and geographically and we became firm friends.

I bought my first concertina (a Lachenal tutor)from Geoff back then and he gave me a basket-case Wheatstone baritone that Peter (Stormy) Hyde (Hyde Accordions, South Australia) rebuilt for me.

Geoff made a set of Border Pipes or Reel Pipes for me the following year (currently being played by Peter Hewlitt in Paris) and then "the White Lady", a set of Northumbrian Pipes made from whale ivory and silver that I played on the Battlefield band's first Australian tour back in the '80s.

 

Geoff and I performed often over those years mainly at Folk Festivals in concerts and workshops but my favourite "gig" was around my kitchen table! We were sight reading and transposing some tunes from a book of Breton music that I'd found. Four of us jockeying for position to catch a glimpse of the score! Geoff on Hurdy Gurdy, Craig Fischer on viola, Linsey Pollak on taragato and me on concertina. The laughter was louder than the music!

We once ran a piping workshop at a South Australian Festival where we played uillean pipes (in C) and smallpipes (in F) together. We thought it best to only play scottish tunes!

 

Geoff would come over to my place in the Adelaide Hills every month or two from Victoria in his ancient Mercedes (playing the whistle all the way!)and stay for a week or two to play and talk and drink (with an occasional trip to town to busk!).

When his marriage dissolved he decided to move to Ireland to be nearer his customer base and on leaving my place for the last time handed me a set of lignum smallpipes made by Addison as a parting gift.

 

We still keep in touch but not so often these days.

 

Ray

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Hallo Ray, Theo and Irene,

I have not heard this recording of the Tyneside Concertina Band and there was a similar programme by the BBC that featured The Bolton Concertina Band featuring John Nixon. John knows the time date the lot, but sadly many of these old recordings were dumped in skips or the tapes used to re record over to save money.

The good news is that I do have a contact Email address for Geoff Woolf. He used to play at the Blackhorse Nuthurst Folk Night I helped to run many years ago , emigrated to Australia, then moved to Ireland and is now living in France. Which shows you just a bit of the work that goes on behind the scenes of the Internationals. Sadly owing to his work on Northumberland Pipes etc he just did not have the time to do some recordings for the collection.(English System player).

I will Email Geoff within the next few days and report back here

Al

 

Thanks Alan.

No real need to bother the Wooff though as I'm still in contact with him myself.

 

I was trying to avoid a Geoff Wooff thread (back in 2005!) but seem to have failed miserably so I'll fill in the background of my association with Geoff.

 

We met many years ago in Adelaide at a reed making workshop. I was playing a set of Northumbrian Smallpipes that I'd made and Geoff helped me to reed them up properly.

During the few days that we were working together Geoff and I realised that we had many connections musically, spiritually and geographically and we became firm friends.

I bought my first concertina (a Lachenal tutor)from Geoff back then and he gave me a basket-case Wheatstone baritone that Peter (Stormy) Hyde (Hyde Accordions, South Australia) rebuilt for me.

Geoff made a set of Border Pipes or Reel Pipes for me the following year (currently being played by Peter Hewlitt in Paris) and then "the White Lady", a set of Northumbrian Pipes made from whale ivory and silver that I played on the Battlefield band's first Australian tour back in the '80s.

 

Geoff and I performed often over those years mainly at Folk Festivals in concerts and workshops but my favourite "gig" was around my kitchen table! We were sight reading and transposing some tunes from a book of Breton music that I'd found. Four of us jockeying for position to catch a glimpse of the score! Geoff on Hurdy Gurdy, Craig Fischer on viola, Linsey Pollak on taragato and me on concertina. The laughter was louder than the music!

We once ran a piping workshop at a South Australian Festival where we played uillean pipes (in C) and smallpipes (in F) together. We thought it best to only play scottish tunes!

 

Geoff would come over to my place in the Adelaide Hills every month or two from Victoria in his ancient Mercedes (playing the whistle all the way!)and stay for a week or two to play and talk and drink (with an occasional trip to town to busk!).

When his marriage dissolved he decided to move to Ireland to be nearer his customer base and on leaving my place for the last time handed me a set of lignum smallpipes made by Addison as a parting gift.

 

We still keep in touch but not so often these days.

 

Ray

 

Hello Ray.

It was that bugger Wooffs fault that I took up the Duet! (we were in a band together in 1972 (Fingers Galore...Yes, I know!)

And he was flogging off instruments to pay for his first trip to Oz. (Why he didn't just steal a sheep and let the government send him, I don't know!).

And so I was committed to nearly 40 years of bloody concertina playing! If you are ever in touch with him. Give him a good kicking from me!

Now (putting on BBC hat). Your record...

The BBC didn't start until 1922 (ish), and I don't think they used wax cylinders much. (Stand to be corrected on that). More likely direct cut 78's. Acetates. But, really little survives from that period, as the Beeb thought it a bit of a con not to do everything live.

It wouldn't have been recorded on tape, until the 50's.

Not knowing a recording date doesn't help.

Was it a commercially released disc. (The Beeb didn't really do that until the late 50's. Mmmm Confusing.

There is an on-going archiving project at the BBC nowadays, and recordings that still exist are being meticulously saved. Whether your mysterious record is in there I know not.

 

Good luck with your quest. Very strange to see Geoffs name popping up on here.

Mind you, he was a brilliant English player.

 

Regards Ralphie

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Was it a commercially released disc.

Regards Ralphie

 

Yeah it was a commercial vinyl with a lot of hairy faced miners in their Sunday best on the cover.

 

Ray

Ray

Not much help! I've got lots of records with hairy faced blokes in their best on the front!!

Must have been "De Rigeur" at some point.

None of them have any trace of a concertina though.

Keep trying. Some sad person on here will have it!

Ralphie

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Ray,

 

I don't see him very often, so it may be a while before I rrespond.

 

theo

 

It's 5 years on Theo!

 

Heard from him yet?? :)

 

Ray

 

Funnily enough he phoned me a few days ago, and of course I'd forgotten all about this!

I've now written myself a reminder to ask!

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