Concertina player Simon and guitarist Ian first met in 1988 in the inaugural BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award. Neither of them won it (Lynn Tocker did) but Simon returned in 1989 to take the prize. As part of the win they both ended up at Sidmouth Folk Festival and this is where they put their first set of reels together. Soon after this they made their first LP HOOTZ! On Black Crow Records in 1990.
After the release they performed at many folk clubs and festivals around the UK. In 1991 the performed on The Shetland Sessions tv programme that was broadcast on BBC 1 and around the world. Their 2 tv sets – Itchy Fingers and The Scones of Bochty were much aclcaimed and influenced many musicians.
Both musicians also continued to perform with other musicians. Ian has played with Karen Tweed, Swap, 2 Duos Quartet, Kate Rusby and many many more. Simon moved more into folk jazz fusion and formed the Simon Thoumire Three, Keep it Up and a duo with David Milligan. Both have played extensively all round the world and recorded many CDs.
They ceased performing in 1996 and reformed for the 30th Anniversary of Shetland Folk Festival to much acclaim. Sue Wilson wrote in the Scotsman newspaper that
“The brilliantly puckish pairing of concertina player Simon Thoumire and guitarist Ian Carr rendered even tunes as classic as The Mason’s Apron and Calliope House magically afresh, teeming with joyous virtuosity.”
This reception encouraged Simon and Ian to record ad new album in January 2013. It’s called He Thinks He’s Invisible and features all new material and arrangements. Read more about it here. Thanks to Creative Scotland for their support in recording the CD.