Concertina group based in Maidstone, Kent, UK
A contingent of Kettle Bridge Concertina members made their annual trek to SqueezEast at Stamford in Lincolnshire. This event is an opportunity to try out new music in a band setting under the expert leadership of Paul Barrett who also produced all the arrangements.
We all started congregating at the Stamford Arts Centre at about 09:30, with a fair few of us having travelled up the night before to make sure that we were on time and fully rested for the exertions of the day. Unfortunately Chris had suffered a trapped nerve that meant that he could not participate, so we wish him a speedy recovery.
After a welcoming coffee, the group tackled an arrangement of "I Will" by Lennon and McCartney, designed to ease everyone in gently. The other pieces of the day showed the versatility of the concertina as they ranged from classical ("Nimrod" from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar), through more Lennon and McCartney in the form of "Michelle" to a whimsical arrangement of nursery rhymes called "Mother Hubbard's Cupboard" specially produced for the occasion by Paul. There was certainly something to suit all musical tastes.
The day also featured the traditional raffle featuring some excellent prizes and an enjoyable performance from the newly-formed SqueezEast Concertinas led by Sally Barrett.
All too soon it was time to pack up and hit the road. Everyone agreed however that the day had been an unqualified success, playing excellent music in good company.
After many years of sterling work, Elsie and David Nind have decided to have a well-earned rest from organising the SqueezEast event so this was likely to be the last one. A tremendous "thank you" is due to them and all the back-room staff who have ensured a great day for everyone including copious refreshments provided at just the right times.
And we can't finish without also thanking Paul and Sally for all the hours they spent preparing for the event and for making it so successful and enjoyable.