Fiona discovered the piano accordion at the tender age of 16, it was definitely
love at first squeeze, and her portable “expanding chest” has
been close to her ever since! Several other instruments she’d played
as a kid suddenly took a back-seat to make way for the ol’ squeeze-box!
Playing regularly for the local Quorn Folk Dance Club taught her the essentials of playing for dancing and with considerable encouragement and support from the members of the Dance Club, it wasn’t long before a band of musicians formed and started playing for Barn Dances and Ceilidhs in the area.
Several different band line-ups were formed during the 4 years Fi spent doing a BA in art and music. At that time, however, the academic world didn’t really take the accordion too seriously, so she had to be an up-front serious student of classical flute and piano’, but was actually a closet semi-pro accordion player, doing folkie gigs to supplement the meagre grant!
Once the Degree was completed, she worked & played for a small travelling theatre company and went all over the place in a very tiny van with a very huge accordion and a million other props and cozzies. Her claim to fame at this time was an appearance on Blue Peter, where she stood on her head in a bucket and waved her legs around to music . . . !!!!
leaving the theatre company, Fi started to build up her own music business.
Going full-time professional in the early 1990s, her gig schedule doubled
and more recently she began running this Ceilidh and Barn Dance Band Agency.
She has over 30 years experience of gigging nationwide and abroad alongside many excellent musicians. “Dargason”, “Two’s Company” and “Big Bad Contra” have made many UK Folk Festival (Sidmouth, Whitby, Lichfield, Chippenham, Eastbourne, Broadstairs) and Dance Club appearances. “Two’s Company” recorded 3 successful albums. Several working trips abroad and playing for a cruise on P&O Canberra were the highlights of the 1990s.
Fi lives in Leicestershire with bass player Al Harris and lots of wonderful cats, cat fur and muddy paws and claws.
Photograph by David Walston - see www.pr-photography.org