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Music in England? Visiting late July-early August

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Hello all,


Priscilla and I get to visit England the last week of July and first week of August this year. Naturally I wondered what musical events might be on. I thought of trying to see the first day of Sidmouth, but we fly out of London that Sunday so that may be too rushed. In 2018 we made it to Swaledale and mostly toured around Scotland, Wales, etc. This time we won't try to cover as much ground, sticking to southern England where it takes no effort to see the summer tourist crowds. Suggestions (musical and otherwise) are welcome. We have a full week in London, maybe we should try to get in to the Proms. 😎



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Hi, Ken (and Priscilla).


I will be in London the last few days of March and early April (in just a few weeks). I’ve done some snooping around already. This is what I’ve found:


There’s an English music session at 12 noon the 1st Sunday of every month at:


The King’s Arms
65 Newcomen Street


Full information here


The dates listed on that site only go through July 2nd. I don’t know if that’s because it doesn’t meet in August or they will add more dates as the year progresses. There’s a contact on the site you can email with questions.


I will be there on April 2nd.


There’s a session focusing on French tunes at 8PM the first Monday of the month at:


The George
77 Borough High Street
Southwark, London


I don’t know if it meets in August, but you might email Chris Shaw, who runs it: chris (at) gigcb (dot) com


I will be there April 3rd.


I’ve been to both of those sessions in the past (although the King’s Arms one was at the Horseshoe Inn when I was there).


Other sessions I have found out about but have’t been to (or plan to this time around) include (the following excerpted and edited from email from a contact in London):




A session at 8:30 every Tuesday at the River Ale House, Woolwich Road in East Greenwich.
Sessions at the Paternoster pub by Paternoster Square, near St Pauls Cathedral at 12 on 3rd Sundays.


“There are many other sessions where they just play fast Irish music.”



I’ll leave you to suss out any further details on those if you’re interested, as that’s all I know about them.


Outside of London, I was once at a fun session at The Bear in Bradford on Avon as a guest of Chris Timson and Anne Gregson. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be the same session in a different venue.


Enjoy your trip. I expect a full report.

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Thank you both. David, most of our dates are the fourth whatever (and even fifth) of July, but clearly it is worth researching. Chris T. and Anne G. kindly took us to their local session on our 2018 visit.


John, yes, such a listing is a great starting point, thank you. One would have to live in Britain a good number of years to see them all!



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Why not visit the north of England also?

There's lovely scenery, and Dales country; why not go to the eastern side also.. the lesser known,  more gentle scenery of the Yorkshire Wolds, with ancient abbey's, and spectacular Cliiffs down to the sea below.

That will inspire you to want to play some tunes, for certain.

You are welcome to visit me near York if you like,  in my natural habitat of creative bliss with all my art, at home. Only 2 miles outside York city centre.


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Wonderful suggestion Simon. We hit many of those places in 2018. I somehow drove many days in a manual transmission (Swaledale, Scotland, Lake District, around Liverpool on the expressway) on the side of the road I'm not accustomed too without hitting anything. We saw almost none of the south so will try that this time, since I need to be in London for the business part of the trip on two different evenings five days apart.


York was one of our favorites on that last trip; we'll get back some day.



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You can also look uo the various regional playing groups, as found on the clubs page of concertina.info

however, some of the contact details are not up to date, paricularly the Chiltinas, who meet in Maulden, Bedfordshire.

There is also a Midlands group and the West country Concertina players.

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