25 October 2011

Regatta Christmas Ceilidh

OK, it's still only October, but it's always a good thing to look ahead. Especially as the busy Christmas season marches inexorably towards us.

So here's advance notice of this year's Christmas Ceilidh at the MICA on Saturday 10th December, featuring The Regatta Ceilidh Band - aka Liz, Tom, Ian, Gary, Adrian, Barry and Greg, with John doing the honours as caller.

If you went along last year you'll know how much festive fun is on offer - not just the liveliest dancing and music on the island, but a fantastic hot supper and as many mince pies with cream as you can eat. This year's Christmas Ceilidh promises to be even bigger and better. So put the date in your diary NOW. Tickets will be on sale at the MICA soon.

21 October 2011

The Session's 2nd birthday - 20.10.11

Thanks to Chrissie for these pics from the Session's 2nd birthday celebrations. I've posted some others HERE .

19 October 2011

Obituary: Ian Seager, Musician, 1942-2011

As we approach the Mersea Session’s second birthday, it is sad to report the death of one of our few founder members, Ian Seager.

It was a near-empty Coast Inn that hosted our first session in October 2009, when Ian drove all the way from Chelmsford to attend, with Fred Field from Tollesbury. We had a pretty sparse evening until the doors burst open and in walked the Ragged String Band, and the party started.

Ian spent much of the winter months in Malta - he didn’t ‘do’ cold - but when he was at home, he was a regular at Fred’s United Brethren Tuesday evening session in Chelmsford. Before he retired, Ian ran a successful office cleaning business in Chelmsford, employing over 50 people at one point.

Ian said some very kind things to me about my playing and about our session. He declared one particular session, about a year ago as the best session he had ever been to, and I’m not aware that accolade was topped during his last year. He was very kind to Juliet and me in facilitating a short break in Malta last spring, where we stayed with his great friend Joe Grimshaw, but we were to be Joe's last visitors, as he died a short month later, which greatly saddened Ian.

Ian really loved his music-making and played his Polkawerk melodeon with great drive and enthusiasm. Although an infrequent visitor to the Coast session, he is greatly missed at the United Brethren, and it is the mark of the man that the fund that his friend Fred Field has set up in memoriam, which will go the stroke unit at Broomfield Hospital (which looked after Ian so well during his last hours), has topped £270 at last count. I have put in a contribution from his friends at the Coast Inn.



17 October 2011

Session's 2nd birthday - Thursday 20 October

Don't forget that the Session is 2 years old this Thursday!

Please come along and help us celebrate.

15 October 2011 - FWMPC fundraiser

Four members of the Session were invited to perform at a fundraising shanty evening in aid of Friends of West Mersea Parish Church , which opened with an entertaining talk on the history of sea shanties by Keith Lovell , continued with a delicious seafood supper, and ended with a good hour's-worth of shanties and sea-songs by our very own John, Bill, Barry and Greg - all on extremely fine form. The whole programme was enthusiastically received by the large (and keenly participatory) audience, and the evening's contribution to the restoration project was well into four figures.

6 October 2011

Announcing the forthcoming launch of Black Diamond Accordions

Shameless bit of commercial advertising follows:

If you've been to the Thursday Session since August, you may have seen Greg playing a Black Diamond Accordion.
Black Diamond Accordions is Greg and Juliet's new business venture, which will be officially launched on 11-14th November at the Accordions International Festival 2011, Seacroft Holiday Village, Hemsby, Norfolk.

Following a trip to China earlier this year, to visit one of the oldest-established accordion factories, Greg struck an exclusive deal to import and sell a range of accordions in the UK, under our own Black Diamond Accordions branding.

Using Italian reeds to produce an excellent tone, these are high-quality, well designed instruments at extremely affordable prices.

We're currently busy building our website and online shop, designing the catalogue, and organising photoshoots, videos and sound recordings. The website will be launched later this month.

Meanwhile, we are keeping everyone up to date with what's happening by posting news on the Black Diamond Accordions Blog .

There's also a Black Diamond Accordions Facebook Page and you can follow us on Twitter, too, @.BDAccordions.

We'll be selling Black Diamond Accordions via our online shop and at accordion festivals and other events, rather than in traditional high-street music shops, so the faster and louder we can get the new name out there in the big wide world, the better.

Simply by 'liking' our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and telling your friends about Black Diamond Accordions, you will be helping us to spread the word!

THANK YOU!  Juliet and Greg xx