John Gibson: A bit of a squeeze with Robert Enzo

Roberto Enzo
Roberto Enzo
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Now he tells me. He’s the greatest accordionist I’ve heard, the more with Tito Burns no longer with us, but Roberto Enzo, below, had me believe his skill with the instrument was honed in East Kilbride, where he lives.

Little did I know, though it’s not beyond belief, that he was taught in Venice, his home town. He was world champion class by the time he emigrated to the UK and he, for a long time, had a Monday night residency at Giuliano’s in Leith, on the Shore.

Says the multi-talented Roberto: “I’ve been here some 20 years, virtually as long as Giuliano himself. My favourite gig, although I put myself about every night of the week, to Falkirk, Kirkintilloch and Bridge of Allan. I’ve a mortgage to pay and besides, I’m a carer since my wife became an invalid after a fall at home.”

Roberto was classically trained but he is, too, a swinger. His repertoire on Monday included The Way You Look Tonight, Isn’t She Lovely and For Once in My Life. It was Edinburgh College psychology student Sara Kechida’s 18th birthday at the next table. The striking brunette slipped me a piece of the cake. So it was a good night for me altogether.

The music, like the celebratory cake, was good enough to eat.

Giuliano Binanti has booked Roberto for Hogmanay. The accordion will be intoxicating. Guaranteed.

Afterwords...

. . . I’ve been trying to figure out where I’d seen Rowan Vine before. He wears a Hibernian jersey. And, yes, I’ve got it. Wasn’t he a bit player, an extra, in the memorable Alan Bates film Whistle Down the Wind? Vine’s beard, an entertainment in itself. A Fenlon signing, you’d readily believe.