Hannah James and Tuulikki Bartosik

Venue: The Globe
Town: Glossop
Date: 16/01/16
Website: http://tuulikkibartosik.com

Playing the accordion in a band is enough to give you a complex as sooner or later the request comes "Can we just have the 'drone' on this one" or "Can you play a little quieter", at least according to Hannah James. This then is the refreshing answer, this is two virtuosos of their instruments pushing the limits and showing just how versatile the accordion can be.

From a hypnotic lullaby written for a seven year old girl called Josephine who wouldn't sleep on the big night before her birthday, Tuulikki brings her Estonian background to the fore. It's blended with the time spent in Finland, in Sweden, it mixes perfectly with Hannah's traditional English feel.

We are treated to mouth music. We are treated to yodelling, it's nothing like the "Sound Of Music" in an exceptionally good way.

Along the way we are regaled with stories. Tales about how the pair met at the Ethno Music Camp, of Hannah being almost dragged out of bed such was Tuulikki's insistence that the opportunity to make music wasn't lost.

Visions are created, two large accordions, one very small hole as the girls explain their climb down into a cave to atmospherically record songs for their album "Chatterbox", a record chosen by The Telegraph as one of their top 100 folk albums of the year.

Explanations of song meanings, translations, words of pure beauty - "Sisters that mill like ants and disperse like dandelion heads". You just have to listen.

Different textures and styles, a clog dance from Hannah, a Finnish - Swedish waltz, English tunes from Rob Harbron, Polska's, it's music that resonates within you, time flies by.

All too soon it's over, like a good meal, you lean back, sigh and wish you could do it all again.

Support on the night was local act "Nightshift" a male Mancunian duo whose close harmonies are impeccable as they work through a set of traditional songs and contemporary covers.

As we leave we are greeted by a smattering of snow, snow that soon settles on the motorway, it's a small price to pay for a cracking gig, the first of the new season at Jamie Knowles' welcoming Globe, a venue that deserves the Guardian's accolade as "best small venue".

Ian Cripps, Photocredit Harvey Gibbs

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