Cheers Dick, thanks for the invite.... I'm based in Gourock, Scotland and in an acoustic band called Shinbone AL, playing Sea shantys, traditional Irish & Scots songs and a few of our own. I've recently bought a stephenelli 30 button concertina I spotted in cash generators in the hope of adding a new instrument to our set. I'm aware that the Stephenelli isn't ideal for beginners but the £80 pricetag was a deciding factor. I'm learning by ear and from youtube clips at the moment and hope to pick up some hints & tips from this site.
If I were you, I'd try & have a go on an English system Concertina, before splashing out on a more expensive Concertina.
I play both Anglo & English systems & although I just play tunes on my Anglo, I love using my English when playing with our Ballad singers. To my ear, the English sounds far better than an Anglo, for accompanying singers. Others probably don't agree with me, but if I were you, I'd at least have a go on an English, before committing to Anglos ... just in case.
It's worth remembering too that, top end English system instruments are always much cheaper than their Anglo counterparts.
Thanks Dick, will try and have a go at the English if I get an opportunity - at the moment I'm interested in learning to play basic Irish/Scots jigs and reels to add to the set. First one I'm working on is Maggie in the Woods. Cheers Louie