Concert Review – Andy Cutting

Concert Review – Andy Cutting Lichfield Guildhall – 6th October 2013

Reviewed by: Ben Macnair

Andy Cutting, one of the country’s most in-demand accordion and melodeon players, performed for a select but enthusiastic audience at the Guildhall.

With an international recording and performing career, his technically accomplished and musical performing style has seen him work with stars as diverse as Sting, Chumbawamba and Kate Rusby, as well as developing a talent for composition on one of music’s most unforgiving instruments.

Fleet of finger and open-minded about what his chosen instrument can do, his set ranged from Morris tunes, reels and jigs, to music that incorporated sounds and styles from concrete music and classical idioms.

‘In the continental mood’ started of proceedings, a long form composition that was full of twists and drama. The more playful ‘Potato/Theatre’ was a pair of lighter tunes, and was a good example of Andy Cutting’s own admission that he could never properly name his compositions, as was the piece that followed, ‘I only wanted a snack’.

He mostly played a diatonic accordion that he made himself, but swapped to melodeon for a couple of step dances and ‘Homage to Dorothy’. The first half concluded with ‘The Grand Total’.

The second half contained a lot more moods and shifting timbres. ‘Annalise/There are Angels’ showed the darker tones the accordion can generate, and this theme was continued in ‘The Cuckoo’s nest’.

The traditional piece ‘Haste to the Wedding’ was a show-stopping display of both technique and musical flair. ‘The History Man/Waiting for Janet’ were both complicated tunes that showed the influence of Cajun and more modern music. The show closer was ‘Oliver/Two Beers’ whilst an encore of ‘The Old Light/Abbey’ was a more solemn arrangement and a fitting way to end the concert.

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