Simon Thoumire


Thoumire – Milligan: Ardkinglas, Loch Fyne 7.00 pm Saturday 20th April 2024

Simon Thoumire and Dave Milligan have each performed at Ardkinglas before in different duos but this is a welcome chance to hear them together. They have an intuitive musical understanding of each other’s great talents, having recorded three albums together. Since winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition award in 1989 Simon Thoumire has built a unique place for the English concertina in the world of Scottish
traditional music and beyond. His music has encompassed folk, jazz, improvisation and his own compositions, and he is also a tireless advocate for traditional music with the organisation Hands Up For Trad and the Scots Trad Music Awards. See

Dave Milligan is a musician of remarkable versatility. As well as his own bands and projects he has worked with a wide array of musicians including Art Farmer, Larry Carlton, Trilok Gurtu, Mark Knopfler and the McCrary Sisters to name just a few. See

Places (£15.00, students £7.50) must be booked in advance from Ardkinglas Estate Office
Tel. 01499 600261 email:

Please give a contact phone no. when booking.
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Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 256

Hi there! Ciamar a tha thu? What’s happening? Sorry for the long break between these podcasts. Sometimes life just gets in the way… Anyway we are back now with the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards Album of the Year Podcast 2023! Starting of with the winner Duncan Chisholm! If you would like to support this podcast please check out our Patreon

Black Cuillin by Duncan Chisholm
Track – On the winds of chaos born

Tempus by Skerryvore 
Track – Everything You Need

Dialogues by Su-a Lee 
Track – Stroma featuring James Ross

Awakening by Ìmar
Track – Bangers

Fàs by Breabach
Track – Eadar an Da Bhraigh

Dusk Moon by Rura
Track – Think of Today

DIAD by Tim Edey & Ross Ainslie
Track – LUNNY

I See A World by Peatbog Faeries
Track – The Sister of Moses

Decemberwell by Decade by Mike Vass
Track – Prisms on the dark sea

Haar by Lauren MacColl
Track – Haar

Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 255

Hi there, Ciamar a tha sibh? We are back after the summer. My youngest is now back at the school – in his last year! Where does the time go! Anyway loads of great music for you to listen toooo! See you in September!

Live Wire by Mec Lir
Track – Flashback

Dream Angus by Claire Hastings
Track – Dream Angus

Arche by Routes Quartet
Track – Astar

Popular Manx Tunes D♭ Edition by Tomas Callister & David Kilgallon
Track – Polkas

Dancing Feet by Blair Douglas
Track – Back to the Island

Fath mo mhulaid a bhith ann (Being here has caused my sorrow) by Maggie MacInnes

Road to Caolburns by Ian Stephenson

I See A World by Peatbog Faeries
Track – Clunie Road / The Winning Bid

Run by Man of the Minch

The Dawning by Graham Mackenzie
Track – Josh’s Jigs

Music Review: Ileach – The Independent Newspaper for Islay and Jura

Music review

Portraits – Simon Thoumire and Dave Milligan

In 2001, concertina player, Simon Thoumire and pianist, Dave Mil- ligan released their first album to- gether, entitled ‘The Big Day’, a title that reflected the music having been recorded in a single day, due to the sudden availability of a recording studio.

‘Portraits’, however, took considerably longer, despite not having been conceived as an album in the first place. As was the case for many musicians, the pandemic forced the opportunity to create new music un- interrupted by gigs or touring. Such was the case for Simon Thoumire.


And with no real opportunities to collaborate in person, ‘Portraits’ consists of music sent to and fro between himself and Dave Milligan, each track representing a different person in Thoumire’s life.

The results can be heard across the album’s eleven impressive tracks.

Simon Thoumire was once an integral part of John Rae’s Celtic Feet, a band that were stalwarts of those early Islay Jazz festivals. His concer- tina playing is every bit as identifable today as it was over quarter of a century past.

Dave Milligan has appeared at several Islay Festivals and whose own album, ‘Momento’ was reviewed in these pages a few years past.

The collaboration between the two musicians is, to confine it to a single word, ‘seamless’. Thoumire’s more folk-oriented approach is matched, note for note, by Milligan’s jazzier feel. If nothing else, this particular album underlines that the Scottish folk/jazz experiments from John Rae, Colin Steele, Fergus McCreadie and more recently, Fraser Fifield, have a value that highlights them as more than just a passing fad or notion.

The opening track, ‘Come on, let us sway together’ was written as a Valentine’s Day present for Simon’s wife and sways as the very waltz you might hear at a village hall ceilidh.

‘Anastasia McAroe’s Waltz’, howev- er is a smidgeon more emphatic in its 3/4 swing. And, as a nostalgic reminder of Thoumire’s time with Celtic Feet, ‘King Bill’s Hornpipe’, though a con- temporary composition, brings back memories of ‘Beware the Feet’.

While not wishing to descend into clichéd ‘toe-tapping’ references, I dare anyone to listen to the en- tire album, while keeping both feet firmly planted on the floor, partic- ularly during ‘Louis DeCarlo’s 70th Birthday Strathspey’, (where Dave Milligan’s piano-playing provides one of the album’s finest moments), or ‘Misha’, a track dedicated to the Ukrainian pianist, the late Misha Alpern.

A joyous album.


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