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Andy Turner

vocals, anglo‑concertina, one‑row melodeon

Andy Turner

vocals, anglo-concertina, one‑row melodeon

Andy Turner home page

vocals, anglo-concertina, one-row melodeon
traditional English music sung and played with conviction

Andy is a highly-regarded singer and anglo-concertina player.

He sings and plays with Oxfordshire group Magpie Lane, and is a member of dance bands including Oxford NAGS, GeckoesChameleons and New Modal Army.

He performs solo, and in a duo with fiddle-player Mat Green.

Andy Turner

Gigs

Sunday 21st April
Mat Green & Andy Turner
Oxford Folk Festival

'Three in One’ Concert with Ian Giles and Three Pressed Men
The Blue Room, St Aldate's Tavern, 108 St Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1BU
12:30 - 3:30pm
See the 'Three in One' concert flyer for details

3rd - 6th May
Magpie Lane
Upton upon Severn Folk Festival

Saturday 11th May
Magpie Lane
Whitchurch Folk Festival

Wednesday 12th June
Mat Green & Andy Turner

Faversham Folk Club

Monday 24th June
Mat Green & Andy Turner
Cheltenham Folk Club

Sandford Park Alehouse, 20 High Street, Cheltenham GL50 1DZ

Saturday 17th to Friday 23rd August
Mat Green & Andy Turner
Whitby Folk Week

Saturday 14th September
Mat Green & Andy Turner
Lewes Saturday Folk Club

Monday 7th October
Mat Green & Andy Turner
Cellar Upstairs Folk Club

The Alpaca, 84-86 Essex Road, London N1 8LU

Saturday 7th December
Magpie Lane
St Leonards Church, Bengeo, Hertford SG14 3JW
stleonards.parishofbengeo.com/events-and-concerts-at-st-leonards/

Saturday 14th December
Magpie Lane
Holywell Christmas concert, Oxford
Holywell Music Room, Holywell Street, Oxford OX1 3BN
Please note: Afternoon concert only

Sunday 15th December
Magpie Lane

Poppy Folk Club
The Poppy and Pint, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5DX

Thursday 19th December
Magpie Lane
The Barn in Baston

Main Street, Baston, Lincolnshire PE6 9PA

Biography

Andy Turner fell in love with traditional music in the late seventies, and has been performing it ever since. He is a fine singer of traditional songs, and a leading exponent of the anglo-concertina.

The quality of Andy's singing was recognised back in 1984, when he won the first ever Sidmouth Singer competition, judged by Shirley & Dolly Collins.

Andy's concertina playing was included on the 2005 CD set 'Anglo International', alongside top names such as John Kirkpatrick and Noel Hill. And he was one of the musicians featured in Gary Coover's book 'Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style' (2013).

In the early 1980's, having originally discovered the joy of folk dancing at local Oyster Ceilidh Band dances, Andy became an occasional member of the (drummerless) Oyster Band - mainly playing for dances, but also joining the band for concert dates in the UK and Japan.

Playing with Oyster Band in Japan, Tsukuba Expo 1985

Oyster Band, Tsukuba, Japan, 1985

At the same time Andy forged a musical partnership with fiddler and guitarist Chris Wood, with appearances at festivals including Sidmouth, Fylde and the National at Sutton Bonington.

Playing with Chris Wood, Fylde Folk Festival, 1986

Chris Wood & Andy Turner, Fylde Folk Festival, 1986

Andy and Chris stopped performing as a duo when Andy moved from Kent to Oxfordshire, but they continued to form one half of the dance band Polkabilly. Performances at Whitby, Bracknell and the major dance clubs won Polkabilly respect both from dancers and fellow musicians.

Andy is currently a member of various English Ceilidh bands:

Geckoes
described by Folk Roots as "brand leaders" in the 1990s, and veterans of many festivals and dance club bookings - Towersey, Sidmouth, Chippenham and Oxfolk, to name but a few.

Playing with Geckoes, Oxfolk, 2020

Geckoes, Oxfolk, 2020

"one of the more deceptive English Ceilidh bands, not loud and no drums but playing with a style that can leave you considerably exhausted after a handful of dances. They have a nice touch and play the tunes with a good lift tempting you to dance quite a bit more energetically than planned."
Martin Kiff, Webfeet

Chameleons
a smaller, more flexible off-shoot of Geckoes.

Oxford NAGS
"stonking English tunes for stonking English dances" - featuring members of PolkaWorks and The Bismarcks.

Oxford NAGS

Oxford NAGS

New Modal Army
a new band with members of Magpie Lane and the Old Swan Band.

 

Andy does not only play for dancing, however. He was a founder member of Oxford-based concert band Magpie Lane, who celebrated 30 years together in 2023. Originally formed as a studio band to record an album of songs and tunes from Oxfordshire, further recording work (10 critically-acclaimed albums to date) has gone hand-in-hand with live performance. The band has performed at festivals including Sidmouth, Towersey, Fylde and Chippenham, and for the past 30 years have played hugely successful seasonal concerts at the Holywell Music Rooms in Oxford.

Magpie Lane, April 2018

Magpie Lane, Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 2018

"quite the best offering of English traditional songs and dance tunes that has come this way in many a day... a well chosen and balanced programme, full of change of pace and variety"
Vic Smith, Sussex Folk Diary

"We have had some superb feedback from audience members. The fact that each member is not only a fine singer but also an instrumentalist in many ways makes the band quite unique. We have been scratching our heads trying to think of another English act which is able to offer the same standard of performance!"
Alan & Maggie, The Barn in Baston

"the anglo concertina playing throughout is fabulous - an object-lesson both in song accompaniment, and in leading dance tunes."
Barry Callaghan, English Dance & Song - review of Magpie Lane CD 'Six for Gold'

"represents the very best in the English country dance and song tradition… an accomplished and joyous album that’s the finest in its genre in many a moon."
Sing Out - review of Magpie Lane CD 'Six for Gold'

"Some perfect playing and the voices are just as good as good can be"
John Sims, Folk on Tap - review of Magpie Lane CD 'The Oxford Ramble'

Andy also performs at festivals and folk clubs as a duo with Magpie Lane fiddler Mat Green.

Mat Green & Andy Turner playing with Magpie Lane

Mat Green & Andy Turner, Leafield, 2014

Andy's solo performances concentrate on English songs and tunes from traditional sources, but also include self-penned dance tunes, and the occasional item by writers such as Billy Bragg, Bing Lyle, and even George Formby!

From 2011 to 2016 Andy posted a song (and sometimes more than one song) every week to his A Folk Song A Week blog. This is still updated with new songs on an occasional basis. He also posts dance tunes and other instrumental pieces to his Squeezed Out blog.

Andy was a founder member of West Gallery choir the Christminster Singers, directed by Dave Townsend, and has sung as a guest on three CDs by the Mellstock Band. In 2015, he took Tony Engle's place in a reformation of Oak (with Peta Webb, and Rod & Danny Stradling) for 'Ten thousand times adieu' - a celebration of the centenary of Bob Copper's birth.

Since 2022, Andy has been the musician for Headington Quarry Morris Dancers, attempting to live up to the high standards set for so many years by John Graham and, before that, by the legendary Bill Kimber.

Contact

Phone: 07850 283005

Email: andyturner.info@gmail.com