Portland Duo is Brian Stone and Elaine Meechan. Master fiddler Brian Stone is justly famous for his exhilarating dance music. Whether or not you know him from Hoedown, Junction 24, Fiddlin’ Around or Fiddlegang, you’ll love his dynamic, uplifting, string rhythms. (He’s also the man who can cossack-dance while playing the fiddle!). Whilst still playing with Junction 24, in 1998 he developed the high energy contraceilidh band, Fiddlin’ Around, which gained a reputation for playing driving contra music. Now based in Shropshire, he continues to play for folk dances countrywide and is involved in many local musical activities, including playing electric violin, guitar and bass in the blues and folk outfit, The Almshouse Band. You may even have seen him in BBC TV’s popular Victorian Farm series with local musician John Kirkpatrick, or fiddling on Channel 5’s The Hotel Inspector. Brian and Elaine have been playing as a duo for the English social dance scene in recent years and we are delighted that Brian has returned to his roots by continuing to promote the more energetic side of contra dance with Portland Drive.
Elaine hails from Nuneaton in Warwickshire and has played piano as far back as she can remember! For folk dancing she started playing keyboard in local folk dance band, Glorishears, having to quickly learn accordion when the accordionist left the band, and she still leads Glorishears on accordion today. Elaine has worked as a musician with Folk Camps, has led musicians’ courses at Halsway Manor and was the pianist in Skylark. She not only loves playing for dancing but also loves to dance when the opportunity arises. In Portland Drive she provides the driving, dynamic and rhythmic harmonic structure for the band.