20190222: Friday 22nd February: Karen Tweed


Support: Mike Nelson

Karen Tweed began playing piano accordion at the age of 11, and turned professional in 1989, working with singer-songwriter Roger Wilson and then became a founder member of The Poozies. Her playing is known for being mercurial, subtle, lyrical and expressive. This evening she will be playing solo.

She has played in The Kathryn Tickell Band, and her many collaborations include the Anglo-Swedish quartet SWAP, her duet with guitarist Ian Carr, and The Two Duos Quartet with Andy Cutting, Chris Wood and Ian Carr. These led her to her 2001 collaboration with Finnish pianist/composer Timo Alakotila and their ensemble, May Monday. She has also collaborated with Irish piper/singer Christy O’Leary and American guitarist / singer Bert Deivert; with Norweigan fiddler Sturla Eide and English songwriters Reg Meuross and Jackie Oates. Other collaborations have included Johnny Coppin, Paul Hutchinson, Thomas McElvogue. Nick Wiseman-Ellis, Karen Street, Naomi Frears (artist) and Paul Sivell (tree sculptor). She has toured village halls with Hell Said the Duchess (with Hannah James and Becky Price), The Chase, Nimbus and Beauty or the Beast? 

Occasionally, she embarks on large scale projects such as her 21-piece all female, all singing, playing and dancing ‘Circa Compania’ or the No 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra. She has also taught on BA and MA music courses in Ireland, on the BMus Degree at Newcastle, and at various summer schools and music weekends in the UK and beyond. 

“…a special talented jazzy funky performer,” (a fan).


Mike Nelson started making Northumbrian Small Pipes around 1980, after hearing them at the Cambridge Folk Festival. He intended only to make a set for his wife Shirley, but got hooked on the sound and beauty of the instrument. He has been playing since then, and has regularly taught on the Joe Hutton piping course at Rothbury. Kathryn Tickell "borrowed" one of Mike’s early sets when she was starting out; it is still her main set. The set of pipes Mike currently plays has the 11 key chanter that Kathryn originally borrowed, and she now has a 16 key chanter he made for her. He still makes traditional sets, and has also been involved in the design and making of sets for use in mainstream school music teaching in the North East -some 60 of these sets are in existence. An Honorary member of the Northumbrian Piping Society, Mike is still active on the technical side of pipe making. See Mike’s website for drawings and information on how to make sets.




8pm (Doors open 7:30pm)

Entry: £13(door), £12(advance), £11(members).