I have had quite a wonderful week and a stunning weekend! Busy and not stressed, there has been teaching, workshops and a couple of concerts in two very fine venues (Cheltenham Everyman Theatre Studio and The Trinity Centre Shrewsbury).

Edging ever westwards, not only did it all coincide with St George’s Day but friends alerted me to the Much Wenlock Poetry Festival (where BBC Radio 3 presenter Fiona Talkington was hosting a Desert Island Poems!!. . .made me think of hosting a Desert Island Tea or Tree or Cartoon or Accordionist. . .tee hee)


and also the Wonderwool event at Builth Wells (a festival of Welsh Wool and Natural Fibres). . .all last weekend!!!


And then, thanks to the fabulous Carina Normansson, I have been reading about EARTH DAY!


. . .which ties in quite well with the mole hills on the last blog, eh?

(Photo : Norman Holmes)

Now these beautiful creatures wander about in the woods on the Isle of Man. As you may know, I love islands and this photo from Norman reminded me of a trip I made, some years ago now, to see Tweed relatives in Perth.. . . when Tapani Varis (an extraordinary musician from Finland) and I hopped over to the island of Rottnest.


and we went and sat on a beach (as you do). Tapani dived straight into the clear blue water, snorkelling. I sat and read for a bit, enjoying the sunshine and tranquil atmosphere. There were a few sunbathers, including a bronzed lady in a black bikini, lying with her legs up, bent at the knee. 

Suddenly I heard a quiet patter of feet on the sand. The next thing I knew, this rather large rodent was sitting next to me, facing the same way and snuggling his (or her?) hips next to mine.

It was a Quokka!!! 


Oddly, I wasn’t phased. I had no food and it seemed happy enough to snuggle next to me and enjoy the scenery. I said hello (as you do) and carried on reading. When Tapani came out of the water, he remarked, ‘So you have a new friend, I see,’ and at that point, the few sunbathers around us, noticed and started to talk and laugh.

Especially the lady in the black bikini. 

I wasn’t sure how my ‘friend’ would react next; Tapani and I were keen to explore more of the island and so we needed to leave. So I explained the situation to the quokka and slowly got to my feet.

It seemed a little put out, with no one to snuggle into anymore. 

Then, quick as a flash, it ran down the beach and dived for a snuggle, head first between the up-bent legs of the black-bikini lady.

Oh, how we laughed. . . .

Well, shiver me timbers and knock me, smiling sideways!

At last!!!

My first tunes book is out!

It has taken a while as I am a Gemini and fairly good at changing my mind, discussing endless ideas with myselves. . .such as whether to include the background stories, maybe a few recipes, a poem or a cartoon and of course, my favourite pastime (after splashing glitter on anything) . . .colouring in!

Even I got bored with the additions, deletions and procrastinations. . .and decided to put the lot in!

It also comes with a CD of the tunes, which I play once through, each to give you an idea what I was aiming at. musically.

So it is now on my website if you would like a copy


And massive thanks to Tom McElvogue and Eddy Mrugracz, without whose crescendos of nudging and help, I would never have put this out at all.

I am starting to plan some fun tunes book launch events over the next year. This tunes book brings together a few bees in my bonnet. Composing, cartoons and stories.

I used to be an teacher of art many years ago and it made me sad that cartoons were not seen as ‘art’, when in fact, most of the greats we learn about kept sketchbooks and preliminary drawings for bigger pieces which were actually cartoons.

So for me, a cartoon is a quick way to capture the essence of what you are planning to do.

Lizzie Passmore reminded me that Leonardo da Vinci’s preliminary drawings were known as cartoons and it is only relatively recently that cartoons have become associated with humour and satire.

Having said that, I love  humorous cartoons and the way in which artists can suggest the most subtle feeling or expression through just a few lines. . . . take minions, for example.

I love GILES and while some of the political messages were lost on me as a child, I pored over my brother’s collections of GILES books because I loved the family in them (many of them lived in our road!) and my maternal grandmother (bless her) both dressed and appeared to me, as grumpy as GILES’ one.

Ironically, I find I am turning into her myself, these days! I can be SO grumpy. . .

And then there is composing. When anyone, especially a child, does a piece of art, we often put it up and celebrate it and certainly encourage more.

I have never understood why we don‘t do that with music, encouraging and celebrating anyone to make up a tune or a little song. Children LOVE to do that and as we have the technology to record and edit them, imagine making the creation of a story into a song or a tune about a spider in the bath or your favourite tree. . .it seems to me that great creativity in any field starts with encouragement and celebration, which nudges us to do more.

By doing more, we progress. The fear and assumption of not being good enough, stops us from ever doing anything and actually, if a tune or song or story is good enough, it will get taken on and repeated by others. We soon get the message if they don‘t.

Perhaps if Mozart’s first tune was met with laughter or ignored, maybe the world might have never heard his music. . .

And perhaps starting to compose or write a story in words or music only needs to be as simple as ‘Three Blind Mice’?

So, at these tune books launches, I shall talk (no change there then!) about the stories and reasons and people behind the tunes; how I went about writing them and illustrating them; perform a few and then have a cartoon share time. . .where you can bring along either a cartoon of your own or one you love and we can have a laugh!

Tee hee!

And talking of tea, Lorraine Carpenter kindly sent me this great cartoon above!

OK, I need to get cracking! I am off over the Shropshire hills to see my Dad and, en route, call in to the inspiring David Whittle, Head of Music at Leicester Grammar School.

He has really got me interested in the arrangements of Nelson Riddle, who arranged for Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, amongst others. David’s own arrangements for his school orchestra and big band are fairly spectacular too and I do enjoy his sense of humour. . .more and more important, I find, as a quality in a teacher, as I get older.

Have a smashing day and if you are in Somerset this weekend, do pop along to the Roxy Cinema in Axbridge, where I will be playing a solo concert on Friday night.

Plus there’s quite a series of workshops and concerts coming up. . .  Sweden to Lancaster to Bangor to Norwich to York over the next few months (but possibly not in that order).

Dust off those instruments you have been meaning to revisit and come and have fun!

Expect anything. . .oh and don’t forget the Severn Suite 10th Anniversary in Llandinam in October with the marvellous John Kirkpatrick!


. . .and I also meant to talk a bit about dragons, which the Welsh flag and St George put me in mind of. . . another time, another natter.


Lastly, a funeral poem. Many thanks to Lizzie Passmore for introducing me to the Picador Book of Funeral Poems (ISBN 978-0-330-45687-6). . . beautiful.


‘from Sonnets to Orpheus’ by Rainer Maria Wilkie


Be ahead of all departure; learn to act

as if, like the last winter, it was all over.

For among the winters, one is so exact

that wintering it, your heart will last forever.


Die, die through Eurydice – that you might pass

into the pure accord, praising the more, singing

the more; amongst the waning, be the glass

that shudders in the sound of it‘s own ringing.


Be, and at the same time, know the state

of non-being, the boundless inner sky,

that this time you might fully honour it.


Take all of nature, it’s one vast aggregate

jubilantly multiply it by

the nothing of yourself, and clear the slate.


Ta da,



Fri 29th April : Karen Tweed: Solo SOMERSET
Venue : Roxy Cinema, 36 High Street, Axbridge, Somerset BS26 2AF Tickets : £10 / £7 unwaged

Info and tickets :
01749 870078



Sun 1st May : 
Karen Tweed SOMERSET Accordion Day : MUSIC from SCOTLAND, IRELAND and FRANCE
10am – 4.30pm
Venue : Priddy Village Hall, Somerset BA5 3BE
Tickets : £40 
Bring and share lunch
Info and contact :
01749 870078


Sat 7th May : Karen Tweed: Solo SWEDEN
Venue : Private House Concert, KARLSTAD

Info and tickets :

Tues 17th May : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Thurs 19th May : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Sat 21st  May : Karen Tweed: Solo YORK
Venue : The Wolfe Room, The Black Swan Inn, 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
Tickets : £10 advance / £12 on the door

Info and tickets :
07522 606871 / info@karentweed.com

Sun 22nd  May : 
Karen Tweed YORK Mixed Ensemble Day
10am – 5pm
Venue : The Wolfe Room, The Black Swan Inn, 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
Tickets : £25

Info and contact :
07522 606871 / info@karentweed.com

Mon 23rd  May : Karen Tweed: Solo CROYDON
Venue : Croydon Folk Club, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road
Croydon CR0 1BD
Tel: 020 8660 5919
Ticket URL: http://www.wegottickets.com/croydonfolkclub
Info :croydonfolkclub@aol.com
Tickets: £8 (£6 members)

Fri 27th May : Karen Tweed & Friends Birthday-Concert-Party, BRISTOL – free event
To commemorate my 27th year as a professional musician, I’m having a bit of a do. . .Guests include Roger Wilson, Karen Street, Richard Hughes, Kirsten Hellier, Ivan Miletitch, Johnny Coppin and Andy Tweed.
Venue : The Hen & Chicken, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1JF
Tickets : Free by reservation – email :
info@karentweed.com or tel / text : 07522 606871
Donations on the night welcomed towards Alzheimers UK and The Samaritans.

Mon 30th  May : Karen Tweed: Solo (& with Karen Street) The New Horrington Fair, WELLS
Venue : Wells Cricket Club, New Horrington, Wells, Someset BS26 2AF
12 noon – 4pm
FREE event

Residents of South Horrington are resurrecting the Family Fun Day that took place every summer on the old Mendip Hospital site.
Throughout the 1960s to 80s the Mendip Hospital Summer Fete, run by the League of Friends, evolved to become one of the biggest events of the summer, opened by a local celebrity and with attractions such as The Red Devils, police display teams, the Somerset Light Infantry, maypole dancing, an antiques market, a donkey derby, skittles, children’s fancy dress and a pig roast.
The new Horrington Fair will take place at South Horrington at Wells Cricket Club on Mayday Bank Holiday Monday, May 30, from noon to 4pm.
There is music all day with L’esprit du jazz and Karen Tweed and others tbc.
There will also be a dog training demonstration and games for children, and various stalls including a plant sale.
Refreshments will include BBQ, a licensed bar, tea and cakes and Mendip Moments ice cream.

Fri 17th June : Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis CONCERT
Venue: Kombüse 53° Nord
Address: Hauptstraße 28, 21787 Oberndorf
Time: 19:00
Tickets: 11€ adv./13€ on the door.
Tel: +49 4772 8608913
Website: www.die-oberndorfer.de

Mon 27th June – Fri 1st July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila teaching and in concert, FINLAND
Venue : Haapavesi Summer school 
Dates : 27th June – 1st July

Information : http://www.haapavesifolk.com/inenglish/

Saturday 2nd July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila in concert FINLAND
Venue : Haapavesi Festival

Info and tickets : http://www.haapavesifolk.com/inenglish/

Sat 9th July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila in concert FINLAND

Venue : Rääkkylä Kihaus Festival

Info and tickets : http://www.kihaus.fi/

Mon 11th – Tues 12th July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila at KAUSTINEN FESTIVAL, FINLAND

Tickets and info : http://kaustinen.net/?page_id=11890

Mon 8th – Fri 12th August : Karen Tweed teaching BATH
Venue : Bath Folk Festival Summer School, The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY 

Info : http://bathfolkfestival.org/traditional-music-summer-school/

SEPTEMBERSat 24th September : Karen Tweed Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis NORWICH in CONCERT

Venue: Silver Road Community Centre
Address: 34 Silver Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 4TB

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £10 adv./£12 on the door.

Info : info@karentweed.com or tel: +44 7522 606871

Website: www.karentweed.com


Sun 25th September : Karen Tweed Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis NORWICH WORKSHOP

Venue: Silver Road Community Centre
Address: 34 Silver Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 4TB

Time: 9.45am – 5pm

Tickets: £25

Bring and share lunch

Info : info@karentweed.com or tel: +44 7522 606871

Website: www.karentweed.com

Fri 14th  October : Karen Tweed : SOLO BANGOR
Cafe Caban Caffi, Brynrefall LL55 3NR
Tickets, Info and contact : 01286 685500

Sun 16TH  October : Karen Tweed BANGOR Accordion Day
10am – 4.30pm
Tickets : £40
 Bring and share lunch
Info and contact : Annie 01286 673696 / annie_adprin@hotmail.com

Sat 29th  Oct : Karen Tweed: LLANDINAM, MID-WALES The Severn Suite (with John Kirkpatrick) 10 Years On
Venue : Llandinam Vllage Hall, Llandinam


Round and about. . .


‘Eve’s Bonie Squad’ is the latest album from Tim Dalling, songwriter, performer and kilted fall-guy in the phenomenon that was The New Rope String Band. His songs are a rich mix ‘ full of vivid imagery made tangible through Tim’s whisky-warm vocals and joyous, dancing accordeon playing.’ (fRoots)

‘Walk Me Round’ is a debut album from Tim’s daughter, Rhona Dalling. Although a qualified textile artist, she is most inspired at the moment by music-making. Growing up playing fiddle at home and with Kathryn Tickell’s Folkestra, then singing close harmonies with Northumbrian quartet Beckleberry she became excited about American oldtime, grabbed a banjo and a bunch of her own ‘devastatingly effective’(fRoots) songs tumbled out.

For years, there’s been many a night in the Bonie Dalling Squad’s end terrace in Newcastle upon Tyne, when the kitchen has been glowing till dawn with tunes, songs and carry-on. The time has come to share the fun and joyful music. Come along to see and hear Tim and Rhona Dalling and prepare to laugh, cry, sing along and have a total out-of-body experience.

other Gigs at

29th April Caban Café, nr Llanberis, North Wales £10 Caban Cyf
Yr Hen Ysgol
nr Llanberis
LL55 3NR


Sat 7th May at The Friendship Inn. High Street, Borth. SY24 5JA
Entry free but donations encouraged

Tues 10th May Cellar bar, Cardigan 25/26 Quay St, Cardigan, Ceredigion SA43 1HU 7.30pm £5
Wed 11th Burnett’s Hill Chapel, Martletwy, Pembrokeshire SA67 8AXhttp://www.burnettshill.co.uk/

Fri 13th May House Concert nr Lutterworth, Leics. £6 enquiries Matt 07967506416

2. Ian Storror’s Jazz at the Albert
JAZZ at the Albert GIG-UPDATE
3. Ian Storror The Finest ‘LIVE ‘ ~ Jazz & Acoustic Music in
Bristol since 1989
The Hen & Chicken, 210 North St, Bristol, BS3 1JF

e-mail: storror.albertjazz@talk21.com

JAZZ at the Albert GIG-UPDATE
** *EBA*   = Early Booking Advised

Upcoming Events
Sunday 8 May
Sirkis-Bialas International Quartet

Friday 13 May
<Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet
feat; David Kikoski *EBA*
In association with The Be Bop Club & sponsored by Bath Ales

Full details at

3. The No 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra are out again. . . 

The No.1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra

will be performing at

The Old Church, Stoke Newington, N16 9ES


Saturday 7th May 8.00pm


Sunday May 8th 2.30pm

Tickets £10 on the door or in advance from the venue

Do come and join us for an eclectic evening (or afternoon) of music from all round the world; a chance to meet the Ladies and maybe even try out an accordion or two! And there will be cake in the interval at the Sunday afternoon concert! Hope to see you there.


4. Leighton House ‘Pre-Raphaelites on Paper’ Exhibition of Drawings by the PRB from the Lanigan collection

5. Johnny Coppin Tour dates!


Thu 28  EVESHAM Arts Centre  – “Folk in the Foyer”- with support from singer/songwriter Colin Pitts
Prince Henry’s School, Victoria Avenue  WR11 4QH  7.30pm

Tickets   Box office 01386 446944         www.eveshamartscentre.co.uk

6. Royal Portrait Society’s Annual Exhibition in the Mall Galleries, central London from May 5th to May 26th 2016. Includes a portrait by David Eyres. www.davideyres.co.uk

7. HARP ON WIGHT 2016 6TH – 10TH OCTOBER 2016

8. HIBERNIA – Irish Music Classes in BRISTOL
Venue : St Andrew’s Church Hall and Avonmouth Community Centre, Avonmouth Road, Avonmouth Village BS11 9EN


Karen Tweed is represented worldwide by

Lorraine Carpenter at Different Strings Agency

email: lorraine@differentstrings.co.uk

+44 117 904 1870 / +44 7929 135744

Copyright © 2016, Karen Tweed’s Mailing List, All rights reserved.