Last week I wrote about two pianos. One cool and prestigious in the confines of a high street bank. The other one battered and bombastic, on the steps outside the art galley. The bank piano represented culture and the one on the steps was an active conduit of culture. The bank piano was austere and the street piano accepting. The bank piano was to draw people in. The street piano was to draw people out.

Well yesterday I saw an interesting meld of the two. A man playing an accordion in a bank. Unlike the distant piano this accordion was animated and inviting. Unlike the street piano it did not offer any ‘have a go heroes’ the opportunity to seize the limelight. What it did do was creatively and gently subvert expectations.

The lilting melancholy of an accordion jars with the the shiny commercial atmosphere of a busy bank. The anarchic and the folk in the midst of the corporate and the ordered. It was freeing and fun and haphazard. It was salt air, cruel winds and forgiving hearths. It was reminiscent of one to manys and more than enoughs. Chance encounters, fleeting exchanges and ferries home.

And there was cake!

I will keep you posted in case I see any other random in-breakings of music/culture in banks and other places. Yes the banks are desperately trying to get us on side and show us they care. But if we start to care, they might too.


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