english concertina in scottish music

are there many players that use it ,for scottish music,is it as popular as the anglo . captain birdseye


  • are there many players that use it ,for scottish music,is it as popular as the anglo . captain birdseye
  • There are not many at all. Myself, Norman Chalmers, Stuart Eydeman and a few more in ceilidh bands. Can anyone provide a list of concertina players in Scotland?
  • Ah Simon, here we are back to compiling lists again. Did you collect stamps when you were a boy? :-))

    Anyway, the poster wished to know if the *English concertina* is used a lot in *Scottish* music and if it is more popular than The Anglo.

    Youll know more about this than me Simon but I believe that Anglo tends to be more popular in Irish music and, by all accounts(According to the English players), much easier to play. There have been several debates about this on The Session.org regarding the suitabilty of the respective instruments for this kind of music. Heres one http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/3295 but theres several more.

    Re English concertina players who play Scottish music, I can name three more. Theres David Corner who is a stalwart at traditional music festivals and the F & A scene. Also Ann Ward and Marta McGlynn..ex Sprangeen but still very active in the folk/ceilidh scene today.

  • Was this Photo Sprangeen?
  • Indeed.

    L to R

    Mary, Marta, Val, Rosa, Ann, Patsy, and Kathleen.

  • Thanks John J. Did Sprangeen morph into something called the Wimmens Ceilidh Band (?) or am I having yet another senior moment?
  • No, it was the other way around. :-)

    The Edinburgh Womens Ceilidh Band became Sprangeen. :-) I believe it sprung out of the Crown Folk Club or, at least, some of the members did.

  • Thanks again.
  • what has irish music got to do with it,
  • My wife was looking for a tutor for this last year and struggled to find one in Scotland. But amongst the few players I know of there is John Eaglesham, Geordie McIntyre (both of whom have been helping her out) and... er..thats about it. I dont know why it isnt as popular as it works well with voice and tunes...

  • As I am also interested in the use of the English Concertina & Scottish Music, I thought Id revive this old thread by adding a name to Simons list ... ;-)

    Nigel Jelks

    So is this the complete list of musicians who play Scottish Music on an English Concertina?

    ... or can anyone add any more names to this list?

    English Concertina players in Scotland: Simon Thoumire, Norman Chalmers, Stuart Eydeman, Ann Ward, Marta McGlynn, John Eaglesham, Geordie McIntyre David Corner Nigel Jelks

    Cheers Dick

  • Ptarmigan,

    I dont know your reason for referring to Nigel and David as English players. Do you mean that they are English, play mostly English trad music, or the English concertina?

    All the people listed play the English concertina which is what this thread is about. Therefore, you probably mean something else.

    To clarify......

    Nigel Jelks is English but has resided in Scotland for many years. He plays a variety of music but much of this is Scottish traditional .... and he has, in fact, played with Scottish dance bands and even appeared on Robbie Shepherds Take the Floor.

    Dave Corner is very Scottish. Hes from Caithness originally and also has quite a wide repertoire. However, he concentrates mainly on Scottish Traditional music.

  • Thanks for that JAJ.

    Sorry about that David! Please accept my humble apologies!

    Yes, I didnt know where David was from & I certainly didnt wish to insult the poor chap by calling him Scottish, if in fact he was English! :-) So once Id created the English element, I thought Id better add Nigel, although hes been up here so long, Im sure he & we all, probably think of him as Scottish!

    Anyway, Ive tidied up that list.

    Since I wrote, I have stumbled on Stuart Eydmanns brilliant work on the Concertina:

    The Life and Times of the Concertina: the adoption and usage of a novel musical instrument with particular reference to Scotland

    <>http://www.concertina.com/eydmann/life-and-times/index.htm >

    I notice he talks about a gathering back in 1993, in Glasgow, which attracted 30 Concertina players!

    I wonder where they all are now? Are they still playing? Has Concertina playing in Scotland gone underground? If so, why has that happened when it has become so popular & mainstream, in Trad circles, in Ireland?

  • Theres also Frances Wilkins, who started playing the concertina whilst living in Shetland, and recorded two CDs with a band called Solan. She now lives in Aberdeen and is currently studying at the Elphinstone Institute, Aberdeen University. Theres a wee biography about her on the Institute website. I think she also teaches with SC&T.
  • And of course Hamish Bayne, now resident in Stromness.
  • Brian McNeill

    Iain MacKintosh (the late)

  • Gordon Hotchkiss ? Erland Voy ?
  • Thanks guys. So the list looks like this now:

    English Concertina players in Scotland: {in alphabetical order}

    Hamish Bayne, Norman Chalmers, David Corner, John Eaglesham, Stuart Eydeman, George Haig, Peter Hall, Gordon Hotchkiss, Nigel Jelks, Tom McDermott, Iain MacDonald, Marta McGlynn, Geordie McIntyre, Iain MacKintosh, Brian McNeill, Dave Richardson, Simon Thoumire, Erland Voy, Ann Ward, Frances Wilkins.

    I must say, its looking a lot more healthy, now.

    I spotted SEVEN Concertina players in this photo, from last years Free Reed Convention in Aberdeen.

    <>http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~wap001/events/buttonboxes/gallery/images/IMG_0544.jpg >

    I wonder, did more turn up to this event?

    If your interested, theres loads more photos from that event here:

    <>http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~wap001/events/buttonboxes/gallery/ >

    Can anyone put names to those players? If so, perhaps we could add a name or two to our list.

    Cheers Dick

  • Ptarmigan - from the second set of photos. Column 1, 3rd photo down, that looks like Frances Wilkins, and column 1, 14th photo down is the Irish melodeon player, Tom... cant remember his second name off hand, but I think Donnely, used to live in Aberdeen, but last I heard had moved to Glasgow. I thought the guy in the Salmon Pink shirt is probably Professor Ian Russell, head of the Elphinstone institute, but Im not a 100% sure, the photo isnt too clear.
  • Thanks for that Rob.

    Incidentally, I came across this wonderful source of very interesting Concertina tracks, which includes a couple of brilliant sets from Norman Chalmers & The Bairns, recorded in a kitchen session in Perthshire:

    1 ~ The Grave of the Unknown Clansman; The Highlands of Banffshire; Trip to Skye; Logie Bridge

    <>http://www.archive.org/details/TheGraveOfTheUnknownClansmanTheHighlandsOfBanffshireTripToSkye >

    2 ~ Da Grocer-Pottingers Compliments to Ronnie Cooper-The Marquis of Huntlys Reel

    <>http://www.archive.org/details/DaGrocer-pottingersComplimentsToRonnieCooper-theMarquisOfHuntlysReel >

    3 ~ Baba Mo Leanabh:

    <>http://www.archive.org/details/BabaMoLeanabh >

    Theres also a beautiful Gaelic hymn played by Stuart Eydmann:

    <>http://www.archive.org/details/GaelicHymn >

    Sorry if you have heard all these before, but they were new to me ..... & I think theyre great!

    Check out the whole page of tracks at:

    <>http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22concertina%22 >

    Cheers Dick

  • There are three great photos of Concertina players at the foot of this page ~

    Chapter 7 of The Life and Times of The Concertina, highlights the Clyde Steamer Bands and Willie Smith who played the Vital Spark and The Maggie film music.

    <>http://www.scribd.com/doc/1414895/Concertina-Clyde-Steamers-Willie-Smith-Greenock-Photos-Music >

    One of Willie Smith of Greenock, taken in 1984 & another of Willie, back in 1964 with two other musicians, on the Clyde Steamer.

    Theres also an even earlier photo of three other musicians on the Clyde Steamer.

    P.S. Thanks Rob, I found that piece on Frances:

    <>http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~wap001/staff/details.php?id=epi038 >

    P.P.S. Does anyone know if those S¿lan CDs are still available ... & from where?

  • Dick, best bet for Solan CDs would be to e-mail Frances at the Elphinstone Institute. Shes a lovely woman and very approachable. If there are any still available, Im sure shed know where to get them.
  • Good idea Rob, I have done just that.

    I wonder if we might add a list here of CDs which actually have an element of Scottish Music on Concertina?

    Ill start the ball rolling with these:

    1 ~ Jock Tamsons Bairns ~ RARE: <>http://www.jtbairns.com/rare.htm > 2 ~ Jock Tamsons Bairns ~ MAY YOU NEVER LACK A SCONE: <>http://www.jtbairns.com/scone.htm > 3 ~ Jock Tamsons Bairns ~ A JOCK TAMSONS BAIRNS: <>http://www.jtbairns.com/ajtb.htm >

    Any more for any more?

    Of course, the best way to find most of them is by checking out THIS page:

    <>http://www.footstompin.com/searchresults?CurrentPath=%2Fcollections%2Fmusic&searchstring=concertina&CollectionID=17685&x=21&y=15 >

  • Check out any of The Gaugers CDs for the late Peter Hall playing concertina.
  • Theres a very good English Concertina player in the Garnock Valley Traditional Music Group and the Ayrshire ceilidh band Chanty Dyke. His name is Tom McDermott, and his concertina features in Wikipedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Wheatstone_English_Concertina_Dismantled.jpg
  • Thanks Frank.

    Yes, I actually added Peter Halls name to the list earlier this afternoon, when I remembered seeing Peter play with the Guagers at Aberdeen Folk Club, way back in the 70s.

    Thanks Bill, for Tom McDermotts name.

    Cheers Dick

  • Anyone recognise this Scottish concertinist?


    More to follow.....

  • Hmmmm thats interesting Stuart.

    I see this young chap ;-) is holding his E.C. all wrong!

    No doubt he gave it up as a bad job! :-)

    But seriously Stuart, that Rare Tunes is of course an excellent resource, yourself & Derek have put together ~ Congratulations.

    I particularly enjoyed the page of Concertina tracks:

    <>http://www.raretunes.org/tags/concertina/ >

    Cheers Dick

  • My goodness that was a while back! Where was it taken? Who is the man sitting at the table - I recognise him.

    Re the photo from Aberdeen I think that was my workshop (same room anyway) and the salmon shirt player is David Corner. There used to be a concertina player in Kilmarnock called Ian Wright (might be wrong) and there was another 2 concertina players who I met when I first started playing in The Oxford Bar. They both played in Hopscotch Ceilidh band. One was called Simon and there was another guy who I met recently in one of Dave Townsends workshops whose father was a judge... Also missing from the list (Im not doing well on names today) is Steve (Jo Millers husband) who originally played with Cloud Howe ceilidh band.

    I also recently received a letter telling me about a concertina weekend being started in Arran.

  • You just missed it Simon!

    The good news is that therell be another Arran Concertina Event from 2nd to 5th October 2009.

    <>http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=7937&pid=76343&mode=threaded&start=#entry76343 >

    Thanks for the names Simon.

    I guess the list looks like this now:

    Hamish Bayne, Norman Chalmers, David Corner, John Eaglesham, Stuart Eydeman, George Haig, Peter Hall, Gordon Hotchkiss, Nigel Jelks, Tom McDermott, Iain MacDonald, Iain MacKintosh, Marta McGlynn, Geordie McIntyre, Duncan McLennan, Brian McNeill, Dave Richardson, Simon Thoumire, Erland Voy, Ann Ward, Frances Wilkins, Ian Wright.

    + 2 mystery concertina players in The Oxford Bar ~ both played in Hopscotch Ceilidh band ??? + another, whose father was a judge ??? + Steve (Jo Millers husband) who originally played with Cloud Howe ceilidh band ???

    Can anyone complete these names for us?

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