An accordion isn’t exactly a piece of kitchen equipment

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Something like, but not actually my old accordion

Something like, but not actually my old accordion

OK an accordion isn’t traditionally considered a necessary item for the kitchen, but I just acquired one today and it most certainly is vintage.

I don’t really play accordion, but over the last few months I’ve taken to knocking out the chords to a couple of tunes that my current band (Rotten Hill Gang, since you ask) play live. One of them is a sort of dub/rap version of Pick a Pocket. But that needn’t concern us here.

The accordion I’ve been playing so far weighs a couple of pounds and stretches to about 1 1/2 octaves with only a few buttons for the left hand (I won’t bore you with the details). It’s been fine, but the bellows have perished and there are now so many layers of packing and gaffa tape over them that they barely move without unreasonable force and when they do, the wheezing sound (of the bellows, not me) overpowers the sound of the reeds. I also get a gust of musty air directly in my face.

Something like, but not actually my new accordion

Something like, but not actually my new accordion

I picked up this “new” one from a delightful chap in delightful Maldon, Essex (a 1 1/2 hour drive nearly to the coast). It was one of those wonderful 10 minute glimpses into someone else’s life you sometimes get during an eBay transaction. It’s a 120 bass behemoth with 41 treble keys (sorry, a bit techy) that weighs in at around 19 pounds and it requires the aid of two friends to climb into the straps. It needs a quick service, but there’s not much wrong with it except that it turns out that you need to be pretty in shape to fully extend the bellows on the beast. Now that puffing sound you hear really is me!

The unfortunately thing about it is that it’s VERY LOUD! There really is no way of playing it quietly and, frankly, while I’m learning the thing it’s not going to be pleasant for Ray or the neighbours.

Oh – and – er – I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to explain to Ray how this newest piece of retro equipment complements our retro kitchen.

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