Well now!

I’ve had such a lovely week and am now parked in Sandown, Isle of Wight. I may not live here (IOW) now, but my visits are becoming residential and I’ve already had a plodge on Sandown beach.

As Philip Hoare says. ‘…it is never not beautiful here’.

Earlier this week. I saw this at Ryde Pier Head:

What you can’t see on the above shot, is that a bevy of swans had gathered on the beach to the left. ‘A bevy’ seems rather heavy handed to describe a gathering of swans but perhaps the connotation these days of ‘bevy’ wasn’t the same when this term was invented.

I have always loved ‘a murder of crows’ and ‘a parliament of owls’ though!

A friend of mine told me once. that as a project she wanted to take photos of the inside of her friends’ fridges. The trouble was, it was supposed to be spontaneous and to say something about how you can tell a lot about the inside of peoples’ fridges. . .but they all cleaned them out before she arrived.

Being a bit of a gypsy, a bit of a musician and a bit of an artist (Kevin Dempsey introduced me to the term ‘. . .bit of a. . .’ as he also likes to dabble), I thought it may be interesting to present the floor I see this morning. . .

Obviously, I won’t be entering the Turner Prize next year. . .but you can see that I’ll be off to Ryde soon for the last day of Harp On Wight – it has been a wonderful event again.


Now i know it is hard to believe, but there are people who like to talk almost as much as I do. I’ve been having great discussions about teaching (generally) with Karen Street, Andy Tweed, Peter and Elaine Ellis and despite my PGCE, decades ago, in Art and Design (in Brighton) I didn’t know that apparently there are 3 types of people (and by that i mean how people learn or take in ideas / concepts) – visually, aurally or kinetically. This is the reason Harry Potter is a huge success because J.K.Rowling presents her stories using those 3 mechanisms.

Later, Peter and I were discussing the joys of life on the road and being in a band vs. leading a band and i loved his quote :

‘. . . the thing is that sometimes you need to drive a band or project forward, otherwise the others pull into the nearest lay-by!. . .’

I think I am enjoying a bit of lay-by time at the moment even though there is a fair bit happening. . . 

(Photo : Karen Grant) 

September was fab, I must say. I’ve been having fun at concerts with Colum Sands (see above) and recording with Johnny Coppin for his forthcoming Christmas CD and we had a wonderful night recently in Stroud (myself, Tom McElvogue and Ivan Miletitch). . . 

There’s some great new music about – the photo above was taken in Cootehill, Co Cavan where the Young Bucks (pictured with us) had recently released their first CD – lovely playing and beautiful repertoire and not at breakneck speed – hooray! I do go on about new compositions and writing new tunes – I think it is important that music is created (had you noticed?!)
. . .and having heard that one of my favourite Irish traditional music composers, Paddy Kelly, is alive, 100 years old and still tinkering with tractors, made my heart sing!

I wonder if he ever worried if his ‘sneaky’ tunes would be as famous and popular as they are now. . .or if he just wrote them and let them out there for the heck of it? We can all be so critical of our creativity and that is a good thing but we also need to keep putting music out there.

If our songs and tunes get played, we’ll get the message, just as we will if they don’t. Good creativity has a way of surviving the direst circumstances.

Coming up. . . As I said, I’ll be at Harp On Wight today (there’s still lots on and a ceilidh tonight of you fancy shaking a leg?!) – which is now in it’s 3rd year and thriving . . . and all because of the amazing work and music the Harp on Wight team bring. Great thanks are due to Anna Sacchini, Vic King and Tony O’Nions and to all of the volunteers.

Last Friday and Saturday I took a quick hop over to the traditional music festival in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland 


It was marvellous and I may be going for Sean Nos dancing lessons soon (uh oh). . .meantime, this week,I am playing in what promises to be a lovely evening of music and fun with Horizon Lights at their 10th Anniversary concert in Bromyard (details in the KT dates list below).

Skype lessons continue in Worcester (www.learningaccordion.com) and then a skoot up to Bangor for another Accordion weekend – the workshop is nearly sold out and tickets are going well for the Friday night concert. (details in the KT dates list below).

Now the thread that has been weaving in and out of all this is that I have been playing music and discussing all sorts of things with the fantastic accordionist, Karen Street (cor! Have you heard her latest CD??? It’s beautiful) and working on some new products with her; we hopped up to London and met up with Romano Viazzani (another super accordionist and teacher) and talked a lot about teaching and accordions. It is truly alarming how much accordion talk I can take these days. . .I may need to get it checked out!

On a non-accordion note, I was in Ealing and visited a brilliant Peter Blake exhibition – at ‘For Arts Sake’. 43-45 Bond Street, Ealing, Lonodn W5 5AS


. . .more inspiration for filling my sketchbooks. At least it keeps me quiet. . .

This was sketched while at Bath Summer School Sharing afternoon in August. What a great event that was.
Be sure to book your place next year :


Oh yes – and i received this request from Harvey Springfield :

From: Harvey Springfield <info@harveyspringfield.com>
Sent: 09 October 2016 16:38
Subject: looking for an accordionist into folk-punk for a new originals band in London

Dear Ms. Tweed,

I’ve found your ad and website while searching for accordion tuition on Google. I’m a London based guitarist/songwriter trying to start a folk-punk originals band. I wondered if some of your students might be keen to join us. We’ll soon schedule a pub session to have an initial meet-up and jam.

Some of the influences we are considering are Frank Turner, Skinny Lister, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, Billy Bragg, Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Sharon Shannon & The Cartoon Thieves and any folk songs from the UK, Ireland, America and any of the seven seas we can add to the mix.

I’d really appreciate if you could help us getting in touch with an accordionist.

Kind regards,

Harvey Springfield
Phone: 07776716420
Email: info@harveyspringfield.com

And that super accordionist, Nick Wiseman Ellis (currently on tour with Iontach in Germany) sent me his latest product (photo below).
Very impressive!
I tried it on when it only had one arm knitted! It is beautiful. . . makes me long to go back to Shetland and FairIsle (where I first met Kathryn Tickell, playing to a capacity crowd of 69. i think I also met Ian Carr at the same time and he was playing with ‘The Spectacle Cases’ or possibly, ‘The Rub’ along with Norman Holmes, a fine flautist and flute maker based in Durham!) :

(Jumper knitted by Nick Wiseman Ellis)

I have, thanks to tree carver, Paul Sivell, been rediscovering laburnocytisus adamii or Adam’s Laburnum because we had been discussing the idea of chimaera :


OK! That is quite enough for now. Maybe see you for a bit of a bum wiggle at the Harp On Wight Ceilidh where I’ll be playing with Mark Hickman (guitar) and the fine Ian Watterson will be calling and keeping you all having fun and frolics. Looks like another gorgeous and cloudless blue sky here. my dears. . .




Mon 10th October : Karen Tweed with the Dustbin Corner Ceilidh Band : ISLE OF WIGHT

Tues 11th October : Karen Tweed : TEACHING WORCESTER
See www.learningaccordion.com

Wed 12th  October : Karen Tweed guesting at HORIZON LIGHTS 10th Anniversary Concert BROMYARD
Falcon Mews, Falcon Hotel, Bromyard HR7 4BT
Doors : 7.00pm
Starts : 7.30pm

Tickets £7.50
More information at www.horizonlightsmusic.com/upcominggigs or text 07903 986856

Thurs 13th October : Karen Tweed : TEACHING WORCESTER
See www.learningaccordion.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 Village Hall, Llandinam

To buy the Severn Suite Book see



Tues 1st November : Karen Tweed : TEACHING WORCESTER
See www.learningaccordion.com

Thurs 3rd November : Karen Tweed : TEACHING WORCESTER
See www.learningaccordion.com

Fri 18th November : Karen Tweed & Friends : AVENING, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
The Avening Church Ceilidh, Avening Memorial Hall, Avening, Gloucestershire, GL

Tickets £15 / Children £8 (includes a delicious hot home-made supper)
More information : Piers Hansen 01453 836207 / 07770 745642


Tues 6th December : Karen Tweed : TEACHING WORCESTER
See www.learningaccordion.com

Thurs 8th December : Karen Tweed : TEACHING WORCESTER
See www.learningaccordion.com


Round and about. . .

1. Ian Storror’s Jazz at the Albert
JAZZ at the Albert GIG-UPDATE

Thurs 13 Oct: Jim Reynolds & John Paricelli (Acoustic/Folk)
Sun 18 Oct: Kristian Borring Quartet (Jazz)
Fri 21 Oct: Eric Taylor (USA) (Americana/Folk)

Sun Nov 6: Andrew Bain Project feat; Jon Irabagon & George Colligan (USA) (Jazz)
Sun 20 Nov: Damon Brown ‘Korean’ Trio (Jazz)
Sun 27 Nov: Domonic Howells Quintet (Jazz)

Sun 4 Dec: Bastian Stein Quartet (Ger & UK) (Jazz)
Sun 11 Dec: Andy Sheppard’s “Hotel Bristol” (Jazz)

2. Sessions in the Longford / Roscommon area of IRELAND :

1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month – Tallyho Pub, Longford town 10pm

Every Wednesday – Camlin Bar, Clondra, Co Longford 10pm

Every Thursday – Carthy’s, Roscommon town 10pm

1st Thursday of the month – Hanly’s, Strokestown, Co Roscommon 10pm? –

Every Friday – Longford Arms Hotel, Longford town 10pm

3rd Friday of the month – Shannon Bar, Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon 9.30pm

All are free admission. All welcome.

3. Johnny Coppin is performing. . .

Solo concerts at Lingfield, near East Grinstead on Friday 14th Oct, 
and Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wed 19th October.