BorderBox at the Alnwick International Music Festival, 7 Aug 2008

The Band

For the last seven years, BorderBox, from its base in Alnwick, has operated as a  band for young musicians from Northumberland and the Borders who like to play traditional music.   The basis of the band is the classic combination of fiddle and accordion, although we do include a small number of other instruments such as whistle or Northumbrian pipes (with a concert G chanter).   Whenever possible we also include rhythm instruments such as piano, bass and drums.

Over the last few years BorderBox have won the band competitions at all the local traditional music festivals in Alnwick, Morpeth and Rothbury.  We have played in concerts all over Northumberland, at the Sage Gateshead and even at the Royal Show in Warwickshire.

Having started in 2001, the summer of 2008 now marks the end of the band .   With more and more of the older members leaving for college or school elsewhere, this has been the right time to close down the band and to look back with satisfaction on seven great years of learning, of playing and of fun.   This summer is also the time when we have been able to release our CD, "Up The Berwick Road" which shows a good selection of the band's repertoire.

We hope that people enjoy the music and that it might help to encourage other young people to take up traditional music .

 

OUR CD

 

"Up The Berwick Road" QB0801

Our CD is now available from the Music Shop, Bridge Street, Berwick, from The Playhouse, Alnwick and from the Chantry Museum, Morpeth.   For postal sales contact Colin Bradford

The tracks

1 THE DURIESí VERDICT

  • The Duriesí Verdict *

  • The Banjo Breakdown (Trad.)

2 HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL

  • Highland Cathedral (M Korb & U Roever)

3 BLOW THE WIND SOUTHERLY

  • Blow The Wind Southerly (Trad.)

  • The Twempie Two-step *

  • The Lads of Lindisfarne *

4 RISTY GULLEY

  • Risty Gulley (Trad.)

  • The Lads of Alnwick (Trad.)

5 THE THREE VALLEYS SET

  • The Stars at Netherton *

  • Harbottle Crag *

  • Whittingham Tower *

6 HARVEST HOME

  • Harvest Home (Trad.)

  • The Trumpet Hornpipe (Trad.)

7 THE DARK ISLAND

  • The Dark Island (Iain MacLachlan)

  • Up The Berwick Road *

  • The Spittal March *

 

8 THE KING OF THE FAIRIES

  • Linhope House *

  • The King of The Fairies (Trad.)

9 GLENDALE

  • Glendale *

  • Seahouses Fret *

  • The Chantry Scholars *

10 BUTTERED PEAS

  • Buttered Peas (Trad.)

  • The Branton Rant *

  • Belford Lightning *

11 WHITTINGHAM GREEN LANE

  • Whittingham Green Lane (Trad.)

  • The Lads of North Tyne (Trad.)

  • The Old Duchessís School *

  • Hexham Races (Trad.)

12 THE ASHOKAN FAREWELL

  • The Ashokan Farewell (Jay Ungar)

  • Oliver Smith of Morpeth *

13 THE CLOGGING SET

  • The Banks of the Tyne (T Murray)

  • Sally Grahamís Clogs *

14 THE GAY GORDONS SET

  • Scotland the Brave (Trad.)

  • Teribus (Trad.)

  • The Cock of the North (Trad.)

* Except where noted otherwise, all tunes are (Colin Bradford - PRS/MCPS).

What people Say

Alistair Anderson
(Concertina and Northumbrian Smallpipes - Instigator-in-Chief for Folkworks, The Sage  Gateshead and the Newcastle University Folk Music degree)

  • "BorderBox are a  very skilled group of young musicians who obviously enjoy making music together."

Joey Oliver
(Whistle and caller - 422 stalwart)

  • "This is the tradition that the Shepherds (Will Atkinson, Joe Hutton and Willy Taylor ) came from."

 

David Oliver
(Accordion - Folk Music educator)

  • "When I was a young and inexperienced piano accordionist in the 1970s, Colin Bradford gave me generous helpings of support, advice, encouragement, opportunity and inspiration. Itís wonderful that he has been doing the same now with so many fine young players from Northumberland, carrying on the proud and beautiful tradition of playing the regionís music on the classic instrumental combination of box and fiddle, and Iím delighted to salute BorderBoxís CD, "Up The Berwick Road".

    As befits the ever-evolving tradition, this collection includes both established favourites and some brand new melodies, composed specifically to promote the progressive development of playing skill and a real feel for Northumbrian style. By giving young people both a sound instrumental technique and a firm grounding in the traditional repertoire, BorderBox has laid the foundations for a lifetimeís love of music making by a whole new generation of players. Warmest congratulations to everyone involved in the creation of this splendid album."

Stewart Hardy
(Fiddle - Virtuoso exponent and teacher)

  • "What a joyful experience it was to listen to this cracking CD.   The young performers play not only with the technical accomplishment that has come to be expected from the North East of England, but also with a seemingly effortless understanding of their musical tradition.   The material is very well chosen to show the band in the best possible light.   From Colin Bradford's beautiful and seemingly tailor-made melodies to the long established favourites, and including new classics absorbed into the tradition from further afield, the music is always arranged with sensitivity and played with a wonderful sense of fun."

rEPERTOIRE

Most of the arrangements we play are designed to accommodate a broad range of abilities.   The sheet music  for the latest versions of the sets and tunes we play can be downloaded from this website as pdf files.   Go to tunes.  

Companion tunes

To encourage the participation of young players at varying levels of experience and development, the band arrangements have always included the use of second or even third harmony lines. This eventually led to the concept of "companion tunes", i.e. different tunes which can be played either individually or in harmony with each other. Some examples of companion tunes on our CD include "Harbottle Crag" and "Whittingham Tower", "Linhope House" and "The King of The Fairies", "Up The Berwick Road" and "The Spittal March".

Pictures

 


BorderBox at the Alnwick Northumbrian Gathering, 11 Nov 2006

 

Support

The band is very grateful for financial support from:

More Information

For more information contact
Colin Bradford
Tel:        01 665 - 606 788
Mob:      07 710 - 305 407
Email:    to minimise spam we have had to remove email addresses from the website.   If you want to email the band, replace "AT" in the following with the @ symbol - borderboxATnorthumbrian.info.

Thanks to Gemma Telfer for this photograph.