Amy Thatcher is a professional accordionist based in the North East of England. Her reputation as one of the UK’s leading folk accordionists, both as a performer and composer, is garnered from working with luminaries such as Kathryn Tickell, Sting and The Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Shee and Monster Ceilidh Band.
“[Amy has become] my right hand woman” is how Tickell describes their working relationship over the last ten years.
Amy’s musical upbringing owes a lot to Stockport’s famous “Fosbrook’s Folk Education Trust” with whom she trained from the age of eight on accordion, fiddle, piano and clog dancing. Her education there concluded at age 18 but not before having been taught by, and recording with, accordion virtuoso Murray Grainger. That first now-infamous album, entitled “Paper Bird”, was recorded when she was just 16 years old.
From 18 onwards she continued her musical education in Newcastle on the prestigious Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University.
Her exceptional accordion playing has taken her across the world from The Royal Albert Hall to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, performing with small instrumental groups to full orchestras. She has a diverse range of musical influences and experiences, including contemporary avant-guard composer Terry Riley’s compositions to a hugely successful Leonard Cohen Tribute tour.
In 2009 Amy had the pleasure of collaborating with Sting on his Winter Song book and DVD, and contributed to his musical Broadway show “The Last Ship”.
2019 saw the release of her debut album “Solo”, a dynamic and expressive instrumental album exploring new textures and arrangements for solo accordion. Amy’s following EP ‘Let What’s In, Out’ is due for release in November 2021 and there’s more planned for 2022 with a brand new duo with drummer Fran Knowles.
Amy also appears on Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening’s first album. This exciting new ‘world music’ sextet brings ancient Northumberland into the 21st Century.
In addition to this, Amy works with electro-folk pioneers Monster Ceilidh Band and performs with renowned Scottish Traditional Music Award winners The Shee. Both bands have regularly appeared on national TV and radio in the UK, and have enjoyed sustained success on the UK and European folk and festival scenes.
Amy continues to live and work in Newcastle and build a career as a professional world travelling musician after graduating from the course.
Praise for The Shee
“The Shee have already made a considerable mark on the folk landscape, but this excellent album takes them to another level.” ★★★★★
“A sophisticated, unexpectedly emotional set.” ★★★★
“Continuum is a stunning piece of work on every level, finely expressing a mix of musical mood and character to create something individual and distinctive”
“a thoughtful and emotional collection of songs and instrumentals, showing off the exquisite musicianship and intuitive interplay gained from their 10-year collaboration”
Praise for Kathryn Tickell & The Side
“musical exuberance and regional rootedness… music with originality, power and joy.”
“organic, natural and utterly glorious.”
“blissfully intuitive… Magnificent.”