GT Music

Jimmy Hendrix picked up an accordion

Liam O’Connor is good for a squeeze

Liam O’ Connor is the Irish-born king of the accordion. ‘Accordion to who?’ you ask. Well, accordion to us, after listening to his new album, Tico Mystico (no idea what that means).

GT was kindly invited to the launch of his new album in Soho’s Ronnie Scott’s classic jazz club. Many of the greats have performed in there; it’s a pretty swanky place. So when we were told an Irish bloke with a bag of air was going to be on stage, we were glad the wine was free.

But, to our pleasure, it was more than the accordion’s buttons he ended up pushing.

Liam O’Connor has been playing the accordion since the age of 10, when he joined his family band, the inventively named ‘The O’Connor Family’. He has since worked with that other Irish fave, Michael Flatly, on Lord of Dance, released multiple albums and – wait for it - recorded the official anthem for the Gaelic Athletics Association. And we love a gay lick.

His current album is a mix of relaxing jazz and upbeat accordion tunes. Now, ‘accordion tunes’ isn’t a phrase we often use, but after hearing this album we’d gladly use it more often. This album is the ideal wind down music – the accordion is surprisingly soothing. If you had an image of an accordionist as an old, wizard-like man pumping out the same whiney sound at a village fete, then you need to listen to this album and have a re-think.

Laim O’Connor’s music is fresh and upbeat. And he’s very impressive to watch live – he holds the world record for the fastest fingers, don’t you know.

But don’t listen to us. Have a listen for yourself:

Tico Mystico is out now and, maybe you’ll think we’ve gone mad, but if you’re looking for the ideal wind-down music, we can’t recommend this guy’s accordion enough.

Words: Benjamin Butterworth

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