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Baker's Dozen

Mercurial Rev: Richard Coles' Favourite Music
Alex Burrows , April 14th, 2021 08:57

Vicar, musician, broadcaster and ex-Communard, The Reverend Richard Coles tells Alex Burrows how music is still important to belief and why parish choirs are the new punk. Portrait by Tim Anderson.


Richard Galliano – ‘Libertango’
I love accordion music and I know it’s something which strikes fear into the heart of people. But my lockdown project has been to learn how to play it because a parishioner died and left me his accordion. I absolutely love it. ‘Libertango’ is one of the pieces I’m learning. I couldn’t dream of playing it like Richard Galliano who is an absolutely fantastic world-class virtuoso player.

I started off on ‘Amazing Grace’ and things like that, so ‘Libertango’ is a number to aspire to. It’s been really good to have one thing – during both lockdown and grief – to concentrate on and try to get a grip on. So it’s something that’s been good, although I know it’s not something that is everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a bit like when you’re learning to drive and you think, ‘I’m never going to get this gear thing right’ and then it just works. Lots of accordionists say that a button accordion is easier to play than a keyboard accordion, but I haven’t got a button accordion. I’m not good enough. Maybe one day.