(photo : Clive Mead)

My word, it’s a blustery day today after such a glorious week!

Years ago, I performed at an amazing venue (as part of the Kathryn Tickell Band) on the Ile de Tatihou in France. The audience had to cross over the sea at low tide and the concert had to finish promptly so that the audience could walk back by torchlight and not get stranded at the venue. It was magical.

Last Tuesday I had the same experience but without the gig and it was more so. . . the ‘Fort Walk’ from St Helens Duver to the sea fort happens annually and it’s not advertised but people just know. . .

(photo : Clive Mead)

And I know it looks fairly unspectacular but believe me, it will be something I shall never forget and another of those Isle of Wight things that you can’t put into words.

(photo : Clive Mead)

All week the Ventnor Fringe has been swinging; very well attended concerts and ‘My First  Ceilidh’ was packed 10 minutes before we were due to start (so we did!) and was enormous fun.

John Goodwin’s ‘BREATH’ had me in tears, it was unbelievably moving and the ‘Undecided’ Art Collective exhibition was superb.


The two strands running throughout the collective is an unapologetically brilliant standard of draughtsmanship (my word, that’s poor English but you get my drift) and a wonderful lack of fear in tackling themes that can make you feel uncomfortable or are hilarious / cartoonesque.
Watch out for this very interesting group of artists.

Everyone has been talking about how captivating Rod Clements was and talking of which, James and Sally Halsey’s ‘cello & piano concert yesterday was both captivating, breath-taking and beautiful. The programme included Frescobaldi, Schumann, Faure, Martinu and Brahms – James gave some lovely technical and historical insights with a wonderful stage manner that drew the listener in more and more throughout the concert. The concert really touched me; while I felt that these were quite grounded, humble people, there wasn’t any hint of apology that I have found in many folk-orientated concerts down the years. They are performing again on Saturday 8th November performing for the West Wight Arts Association in Freshwater Memorial Hall. Their programme will include Bach, Prokofiev, Maconchy and Beethoven.

I do love the ‘cello and Tom McElvogue sent me this link – we were watching documentaries about Burt Bacharach when I was last in Ireland and this is so beautiful :

Mr Bacharach’s ‘South American Getaway’ (‘Cello ensemble)

Plus, on Friday, my dear friend Clive and I went over to Freshwater Bay. We loved both visiting their current exhibitions :

‘Country’ by Chris Jones An exhibition of stunning photographs evoking the beauty and mystery of landscape (5th July- 27th Aug)


‘Wildlife Photography’ by Chris Packham An exhibition of fantastic wildlife photography taken by the lifelong-naturalist and television presenter (5th July – 28th Sept)

They are very different exhibitions – the first being much more quietly thought-provoking on the surface (black and white) while Chris Packham knows how to present pictures that really grab you round the ankles.. . . and yet, his images of the stalking fox, the noble Siberian tigers and elephants glorious in their natural habitats haunt you and haunt you for days. They are very reasonably priced too.

Yesterday we met Peter Ellis and Elaine at Quarr Abbey; there is an amazing exhibition there at the moment of glass by Cowes-based artist Brian Marriott


Crikey. It’s only on until Tuesday, so if you are passing, do pop in. It’s quite unlike anything you will have seen before – stunning.

Peter had been busking with a skiffle group at the VFringe which I enjoyed immensely but they, like one of the main characters in the Hitchcock Film shown on Friday night in the field by DImbola ‘North by Northwest’ with Cary Grant, are an elusive ensemble or possibly also undecided as to whether they are a band as yet or, for that matter, who is a member. Either way, they have my vote. Great fun, great band. Songs, ukeles, washboards and banjos!

I enjoyed playing at Dimbola and in the field before the film  (there are many others around the island this month – google ‘travelling films’ – there’s ‘Madagascar’ . . .or is it ‘Ice Age’ at the IOW Zoo later this month) – Dimbola has beautiful acoustics throughout the house and I’ve always loved playing outside, especially in open spaces (I expect Norman Le Brecht would agree that’s the perfect place for an accordion – miles from anywhere. . . ;-). . .
– I wonder if we’ll be sitting on blankets with the meercats or monkeys and what they’ll make of the film?

Today I’m going back to Quarr Abbey where The Friends of Quarr are presenting Henry Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ with The Voices of The Isle of Wight.

I know I am perceived (sometimes) to think that everywhere and everything is marvellous, but actually, I don’t.

I try not to advertise what I feel isn’t great – there’s way too much of that in the general media as it is and it’s a waste of energy and my personal opinion; of all the places I have lived, this island takes the biscuit. I didn’t even make it to the Garlic Festival yesterday – and events around here aren’t in short supply in the next 6 months.
However, I may be spending more than a little time down on St Helens Duver this week – there’s plenty of spots where you can do very little except enjoy the air, the birds and the sea rolling in without much disturbance too.

(photo : Clive Mead)

Looking ahead to the autumn, I have the dates, venues, schedules and booking facilities up for the Creative Accordion Days in Bangor (5th October) and Norwich (with Nick Wiseman-Ellis 7th September) . See www.karentweed.com for details.


I’m also delighted to be part of a concert with superb accordionist / composer Nick Wiseman-Ellis and brilliant guitar / mandolin maestro Nic Zuppardi on Saturday 6th September in Norwich :



All the events have limited ticket availability; the Creative Accordion Days are limited so that people can hear what’s going on(!) and the concert will be acoustic and therefore quite intimate.

The Droitwich teaching dates start again in September – for dates and available slots see :


Finally, Garry Shannon has been doing some great editing of the ‘Caroline Suite’ to include some snippets of the hand drawn score / montage that I created for the piece. Here it is:


And here’s a quote from someone who attended that Meitheal concert and after seeing the Youtube clip below  (do watch it right to the end of the video. . . ) :

‘. . .this clip keeps reminding me that I started playing music when I was younger because it was fun! It doesn’t always have to be, but it can be. Kids are great as they haven’t quite learned all of the stuffiness and seriousness that adulthood brings and so often I find they reflect back on us adults and remind us what is beautiful in the world. My thought for today!
….and that’s also what I saw in Mietheal which was fantastic to witness too!’

Have a splendid Sunday.

Kt Dates:

Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman-Ellis and Nic Zuppardi triple concert! @ The Silver Rooms, Silver Road, Norwich
Saturday 6th September
Doors 7:30pm for an 8pm start
Tickets: £7 in advance and on the door.  For tickets in advance please contact: Nick Wiseman-Ellis – nickwisemanellis@gmail.com – 07920793770



And around and about!

1. From: Andrew Cronshaw <cloudval@aol.com>
Sent: 17 August 2014 10:04
Subject: SANS UK shows in London, Wales, Essex, Oct 2-4 (and videos from WOMAD and Flanders)

SANS (Andrew Cronshaw, Sanna Kurki-Suonio, Tigran Aleksanyan, Ian Blake) are in the UK at the beginning of October:

October 2nd: Cecil Sharp House, London
October 3rd: The Welfare, Ystradgynlais, Swansea, Wales, UK
October 4th: Colchester Arts Centre, Essex, UK