Simon Thoumire | Concertina player and composer

Simon Thoumire


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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Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish Music Podcast No 254

Hi everyone, It’s great to be back with some more recent releases and one from 1984! All great music from Scotland I’m sure you will agree. Thanks again for listening to this podcast. We were looking at the stats the other day and you are truely listening worldwide! If you would like to support this podcast you can do so by going to

Live from the Storeroom by Kris Drever
Track – Harvest Gypsies

For The Night by Elephant Sessions
Track – After Hours

An t-Each Uisge (The Water Horse) by Hamish Napier
Track – The Power of the River

SULA by Dàimh
Track – Tha Ghaoth an Iar a’ Gobachadh

Land of Eden by Lucie Hendry
Track – Fractured

Unplugged No. 1 by GLIN
Track – Castlerock

Speak of the Devil by Dallahan
Track – The Picture On The Wall

Long Night to New Orleans by Face The West

Anthem for the Common Man by Battlefield Band
Track – I Am The Common Man

Bernadette by Orphean Sprig

Banjaxed by Ciaran Ryan Band
Track – Ode to Pecorino