Specialist organisers of barn dance bands, ceilidh bands and folk/dance/concert groups throughout the UK

© 2018 Jigs 'n' Reels

Jigs 'n' Reels, 'Homeleigh', Claphill Lane, Rushwick, Worcester WR2 5TP

Call or Text brief enquiry to 0788 788 7917

Irish Ceilis

Irish Ceilis

For Bands suitable for Irish Ceilis please use our ‘Search’ database. However, we also represent several other bands not yet currently listed - don't ever be afraid to ask via our ENQUIRY BOX or telephone 0788 788 7917 and just leave a message - we WILL call you back!
Irish bands tend to be 'string' instrument based - fiddle or mandolin (County Clare has a fiddle tradition going back years and years), banjo (Barney McKenna/Dubliners - remember him?), latterly guitar and woodwind/whistles, occasionally backed up by some of the finest exponents of light-fingered (in the strict sense of the phrase !) accordion/melodeon (squeezeboxes)

The phrase 'Irish Ceili' can conjure up different things to different people! So, let's try and define what we mean - the differences between Irish 'set' dancing, Irish display dance and Ceilis or Ceilidhs.

It's possibly fair to say that Irish 'set' dancing for couples is dancing of a similar standard to Scottish Country Dance. Its roots go back quite a long way and Irish set dancing is enjoyed throughout the world by those who have practised or trained in schools or clubs with the emphasis very much on the stepping - if the term '3's and 7's' means nothing to you, best that you don't ask ! The dances are generally for four couples in 'square set' or 'quadrille' formations and usually involve several sequences of 'moves'/patterns (not dissimilar to Scottish or English Country dance) where dancers follow definitive 'stepping' techniques. We do not represent Irish 'set dance' bands - and, to be perfectly honest, those who follow this tradition would already be familiar with such bands and would not need to resort to the services of our Irish bands. Those seeking an Irish set dance band can certainly call us and we can put you in contact with others who may be better suited to your needs. But this is a somewhat specialist field.

Irish display/performance teams are not really our bag either - think...........'Riverdance' and light footed girls with masses of ringlets/tall willowy youths whose backs never bend but whose legs seem to fly in all directions in time to lightning jigs or reels. Mesmerising stuff ! If this is what you're looking for, we do have connections in this particular sphere..........but the bands listed on our site are not suitable for this particular avenue.

Also......and this may surprise many English people........Ireland itself is 'very big' into Country & Western and 'Showbands'. Very few Irish people go around whistling 'Wild Rover' to themselves all day long !!

Our Irish bands are Irish within degrees...........and often include a vocalist (or two) familiar with the well-known favourite Irish songs. Let's try and elaborate.

Some of our bands are very Irish in background and style - meaning that all their musical repertoire will be Irish, their dance music and dances will suit for the 'Seige of Ennis', 'Walls of Limerick', 'Haymaker's Jig', Waves of Tory' and 'Bridge of Athlone’ and the like. The band may also perform several popular Irish songs (think.......Dubliners or Clancy Brothers). But at least one dance band springs to mind who, whilst being very traditional in dance music, would not perform the 'usual favourite songs', preferring to perform 'country' type songs.
Some of the bands will do the above along with Old Tyme Waltzes and Quicksteps (where no calling instructions would be required) which have always been (and still are) very popular at Irish Ceilis in Ireland.

However ,the majority of the bands listed as Irish bands will include one or two of the dances above during the evening, interspersed with other dances which, to most people, would appear to be Irish Ceili dances because the whole musical style/flavour would be Irish - and often there is a vocalist to entertain with the popular Irish songs whilst dancers give their feet a rest.

And talking of songs........the Irish bands nearly all include vocalists (as well as being dance musicians) which means that such bands can operate equally as well as 'concert' bands as well as 'dance' bands. Maybe this all says something about having the 'craic' !
Our advice would be to make sure that you talk to us about what you are looking to achieve on your particular night - and try to avoid dates close to St Patrick's Night (17th March) which is usually a VERY BUSY period. Many bands of a traditional style can become 'very Irish' at this particularly busy period!