Well, what can I say- I’m a fifty something chap currently living in Godmanchester, Cambridge with my wife Joy and several accordions. I work in a company based on Alconbury airfield, where I am a senior technician specialising in Volvo cars.
Way back in the 70’s I was fortunate enough to hear a guy called Charlie Bate playing the piano accordion, I fell in love with the sound he made and from that day I vowed I would learn how to play and that as they say – was that.
Since those early days I have played in various folk bands, learning my craft playing in a band called the Rangers. Under the leadership of Johnny Conquest, we played at many festivals including Whitby, Felixstowe, Eastbourne and Broadstairs, working with the many popular callers around at that time including Bernie Chalk, Dick Whitt, John Langdon and John Chapman to mention just a few.
Over the years I have also become involved with Morris and Sword dancing, playing and dancing with Offley Morris, Stevenage Sword and currently the Westminster Morris Men (yes it is a long way to go for flipping practice)!
Beside playing for Morris, these days I satisfy my appetite for music playing for ceilidhs, Barn dances and Folk dances with my band “The Flowers of the Thorn” or as a duo under the name “Mick & Rupert” and when I get the chance, I enjoy playing at the odd pub music session.
Finally, as an aid to avoid confusion maybe some clarification on my name is required? The proper name is Michael usually shortened to Mick or Mike except within Morris circles, where due to there being four Michael’s in the one group I became known as Mitch. Then just to add to the confusion – because I’m the old git at work – I’m sometimes referred to as Uncle Mick (among other things) so there it is, Clear as mud!