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A new viral sensation has seen accordion players all over the country undertake the daring challenge of attempting to make it through a set of tunes - whilst blindfolded!

The 'TradBox Challenge' has ignited the imagination of box players everywhere as they attempt to outdo each other by playing more and more complicated tunes but with the added difficulty of being blindfolded.

This new craze comes hot on the heels of the notorious 'BirdBox Challenge', where dim-witted members of the public blindfold themselves and try out dangerous stunts, referring to the Netflix horror film, 'BirdBox'.

The local accordion player explained: "Everyone knows us accordion players are the ultimate in traditional music. We fancy ourselves just a little bit so we thought, how can we really push the boat out? How can we show off our prowess?"

"That's when I thought of the blindfolds. I'd seen it on that film BirdBox and knew that was the answer. I blindfolded myself and then tried out a really hard tune on the box, recorded it and put it Facebook. I couldn't see my fingers or look at my reflection in the mirror, it was really hard. I was sweating by the end but I made it through! I challenge any other box player to do the same!"

Many of the country's best box player have followed suit, even TG4's Young Musicians of the Year, Conor Connolly, has taken part and vowed to go one step further by promising to play a set of tunes on stage at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil in Belfast blindfolded.

Accordion stalwart Joe Burke has also voiced his support for the challenge, calling it "the next great hurdle for the greatest instrument ever invented". Burke has even recorded himself conducting classes whilst blindfolded, but said that has come with some difficulties: "It's a tricky one ye know, sure one time I was trying a class and there was no-one even in the room!"

Sharon Shannon wowed audiences last night by performing an entire concert wearing a blindfold, proving that female box players aren't to be outshone. Reviewers called it, "...a daring feat of musicality. Shannon even walked around the stage, balanced on a wire and did backflip, all while blindfolded and playing 'The Blackbird'. It certainly made that tune more interesting!"

The challenge has even made its way to the far reaches of Sliabh Luachra, with box player Bryan O'Leary showing support for the challenge. He claims however there is a long history of blindfolded players in the region.

"Sure we always test each other with the blindfold down here. Its an old tradition we have going back years! It started when people in the local sessions got so sick of looking at each other that they started wearing blindfolds."

Other musicians are not so sure about the challenge however, pouring cold water over the delight of the accordionists:

"Sure don't people play with their eyes closed all the time?"


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