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How squeezy is John Spiers?

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EmmaHartley 03 Aug 11 - 03:16 PM
Tootler 03 Aug 11 - 05:51 PM
Ross Campbell 03 Aug 11 - 08:30 PM
davyr 04 Aug 11 - 05:15 AM
EmmaHartley 04 Aug 11 - 07:21 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Aug 11 - 08:56 AM
Desert Dancer 04 Aug 11 - 12:29 PM
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Subject: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:16 PM

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-squeezy-is-john-spiers.html

Here's an interview with John Spiers done at the Warwick Folk Festival on Sunday. It's about squeeze boxes, which seemed the obvious thing...


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Subject: RE: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: Tootler
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 05:51 PM

Blue clicky.

http://theglamourcave.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-squeezy-is-john-spiers.html

Interesting article btw.


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Subject: RE: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 08:30 PM

Good stuff on squeezeboxes in general. Who is the mysterious concertina-hoarder - I think we should be told! OK, I do have more than one, but I'm sure it's not me.

Ross


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Subject: RE: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: davyr
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 05:15 AM

It's not clear from the comment whether it's vintage concertinas or new ones that are being "hoarded".

Most concertina players will be well aware of who is the major source of vintage instruments, but being the major source is quite a different thing from "hoarding".

The highest prices in any case appear only to be for anglos in C/G, and that (or so I've been told) is almost exclusively down to the demand from competitive Fleadh musicians who know that they need a top-of-the-range instrument in order to stand a chance of winning.

So maybe it's new instruments from the likes of Dipper that someone is hoarding?


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Subject: RE: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: EmmaHartley
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 07:21 AM

Yes. I might try looking into that a bit more... Sounds like a serious issue.


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Subject: RE: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 08:56 AM

Yes. I might try looking into that a bit more... Sounds like a serious issue.

(All the following is no knock on Emma personally or on her interesting blog BTW, or indeed on John Spiers ... or on anyone else (other than evil capitalist concertina hoarders obviously)) ..

I may be proved wrong, but I'm going to stick my neck out here - I suspect that what we have going on here is nothing but capitalism in action, rather than some nefarious conspiracy or immoral activity.

Concertinas have been expensive for a long time; I first came across them in the early 80s and would probably have started playing then if they'd not been way out of my price bracket then. (I did finally buy one years later and it was still a fair wodge of my money then) :)

Despite the excellent efforts of people like Wim Wakker and other manufacturers to make entry-level instruments, if you're going to play concertina there's nothing to beat a decent well-made vintage or modern instrument(*) - and they cost money, because demand outstrips supply.

Now if some evil person is found to be deliberately hoarding hundreds of top-quality concertinas to force the price high (presumably whilst stroking a white cat in their lair built into a dormant volcano) I'll be the first to join the lynch mob.

But I suspect that ain't gonna happen - because far too many vintage concertinas have just disappeared in the passage of time - they were discarded in house clearances, or fell to pieces, or got smashed up in the kids' version of piano-smashing contests, or just fell through the cracks of history.

Modern craft makers are just that - they make a certain number of instruments per year, and once they're sold, they're sold; and nobody to my knowledge has managed to come up with a way of factory-producing high-quality concertinas in the way that decent playable guitars are manufactured. And at the end of the day there's nothing like the economic imperative to do so, because there just isn't the same level of demand for concertinas.

I certainly haven't seen any concertina dealers or repairers driving around in Bentleys lighting their cigars with 50 pound notes ...


(*) I've said that before on Mudcat and been accused of cargo-cultism, but I'm saying it again here!


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Subject: RE: How squeezy is John Spiers?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 12:29 PM

I like this story -- the reverse of the usual one:

"I eventually sold that melodeon to my dad - the one Rob Molloch helped me buy. My dad was a morris dancer with The Ancient Men and he'd taken note of the fact that I was playing the squeeze box. I'd been doing lots of busking in the streets of Oxfordshire and playing for ceilidh bands, and I think he'd secretly always wanted to do it. He used to sneak into my bedroom when I wasn't there during university holidays and have a go. Then one day he took it up and I taught him."

~ Becky in Long Beach


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