SqueezeEast 2005

Home ] Up ]

Sunday June 19th was a blazing hot day with temperatures heading for the 30 mark as we assembled the chairs into a big horseshoe layout in the ballroom and unpacked the music. Of the expected 24 players just 18 actually attended:  Chris Burdett, Pat Lynch, and Sandy Sharp from Kent; Catherine Cruise, Christian Emms, Maureen Emms and David Lee from East London Concertina Players; Steve Taggart from Stamford; Janet Thomas from Nottingham; Terry Hutson from Retford; plus from our own group, Paul and Sally Barrett, David and Elsie Nind, Sylvia Hughes, Alan Tong, Colin Sleath and Robin Tims. Sadly we missed Gill Noppen-Spacie, Jane Edwards, Helen Rowland, Jon McNamara, Paul McCann, and also from the USA, Don Nichols and Paul Hardy, all of whom contacted us to say they were unable to come. Our group also missed very much our own Kathleen Kessel, a wonderful Anglo baritone player unavoidably (but happily) detained by duties as a fairly new mum.

So many old friends to meet and greet, lots of banter, and much thirsty tea drinking before, in high good humour in front of our leader Paul (unforgettably resplendent in eyecatching shirt and shorts) and after listening to his words of welcome, we set about the first piece, ‘Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair’. We demolished this pretty quickly in fine form (we told Paul), so very soon we were battling with more demanding stuff and making that fine harmonious sound of a concertina band in full swing. ‘O Waly Waly’ was succeeded by ‘Loch Lomond’ and then ‘Liberty Bell’ was a huge success with basses harrumphing along while we navigated the repeats and tripped merrily (?!) through the accidentals, which come fast and furious, an enormously satisfying piece to play. We felt reluctant to move on, but our hard-working Paul busily conducting and instructing in the heat, pressed us, and himself, almost to exhaustion as we finished the morning with ‘Carolan’s Concerto’.

At lunchtime, a few of us sat with sandwiches, chatting and keeping an eye on the instruments while others sought refreshment and maybe air-conditioning elsewhere. After that some more work until we had again played all the previous pieces and thankfully it was time for afternoon tea. Then it was time for ‘party pieces’. The Kent trio gave us ‘William Giles Quadrille’ and ‘Dribbles of Brandy’ with great enthusiasm, then from East London very accomplished renderings of ‘Three Part Allemande’ (by Brade) plus ‘Overture’ (by Charpentier). Terry Hutson sang us a wonderful self-accompanied ‘The Bell Song’ before we did our own ‘Andante Tranquillo’, a favourite of ours.

Having successfully negotiated the Raffle it was time for some thankyou’s; to David Nind, together with his wife Elsie, for all his work on publicity and endless other aspects; their daughters Amanda Hoten, Jayne Palmer, and grandson Samuel Palmer in particular, for providing us with tea, coffee and soft drinks all day; Sylvia Hughes for organizing the Raffle; Sally Barrett for gathering in the cash; Robin Tims for copying-off the music; and finally of course, a very loudly applauded  thankyou, to Paul Barrett for such harmoniously arranged pieces meticulously presented and instructed, conducted with tremendous enthusiasm and good humour despite the heat.

The day ended, needless to say, with a resounding version of ‘Liberty Bell’, several times over even though by now Paul had barely enough energy to lift his arms to conduct, listened to as well by the uninvited but enthusiastic audience that had by now insinuated itself from the street.

Subsequently we had lots of feedback showing that everyone certainly enjoyed themselves enough to plead for a repeat next year. There are a number of photographs on David’s website. With a generous donation or two as well, we readily covered our direct costs. The Arts Centre has suggested that next time we include an afternoon concert performance, and young Sam Palmer has promised to keep us all supplied with tea again.  

*Piacevole = musical term meaning played in an ‘Agreeable’ manner

 Robin Tims – July 2005

Previous page 2 of 2
Squeeze Squeeze Squeeze
Squeeze Squeeze Squeeze
Squeeze Squeeze