A lively (but perfectly formed) ceilidh band for all sorts of occasions that play tunes...More Info
Merseyside based Barn Dance and Ceilidh band with vast experience as you can see...More Info
Traditional style 5 piece band based in Darwen, Lancashire who will travel to most...More Info
*BAND VIDEO* of concert performance (caller available for ceilidhs) – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI_gPi5STBk This is...More Info
Based in the Greater Manchester area, this authentic Scottish Ceilidh band (comprising fiddle, piano...More Info
Our agency, ‘Jigs ‘N’ Reels’, is a specialist agency because, over thirty years or so, that’s all we have ever provided – ceilidh bands, barn dance and hoedown bands (and NOT bands that can ‘do a bit of ceilidh music’). The simplest way to search for a ceilidh band in Cheshire is to use our search box on our HOME PAGE tab at the top, enter ‘North West England’ in the drop-down box to find band information, pics, music samples.
We’ve tried to cover the main points below but please do raise any questions either via
1 – our enquiry form at https://jigsnreels.com/contact/ or
2 – by text or telephone on 0788 788 7917 or landline 01905 424411 and leave a message. Or just give us a call because we actually prefer to talk to people on the phone. Five minutes’ chunter can give us a very good idea about your event and ceilidh bands suitable for your event and budget.
If you’re researching ‘ceilidh band Cheshire’ then we’re presuming that you already have an idea what a ceilidh is. Our ceilidh bands that we list for the Cheshire area are all based within very reasonable travelling distance if not already based in Cheshire itself.
Always first questions people ask is – how much does a ceilidh band in Cheshire charge? On this page, we cannot possibly cover the fee scale of every ceilidh band on our website (but please try the search box at the top of this page for more accurate pricing). As a rough guide, we would suggest that the majority of 3 performer line-ups including the caller runs between £450-£600, the larger ceilidh bands around £600-£900. Prices can vary from band to band for several reasons (numbers in the band, travel expenses, the standard of their equipment, the band’s reputation as in…you’d probably be hard put to get Coldplay to perform for £900, wouldn’t you?)
Within their ‘all-in’ fees, all our ceilidh bands would include all travel expenses to/from your venue, their own PA/amplification system, set up their gear during the hour before performing before performing two sets of ceilidh or barn dance during roughly a 3 hour or more period. Each set lasts around an hour and there is usually an extended break for buffet arrangements or similar between sets. None of this is set in stone. Each event will probably have its own specific requirements which we are happy to chat through before the event so that we get it right. There’s more about this at https://jigsnreels.com/have-a-great-night/
We have all heard about congestion and emission charges (or similar) in some of our cities particularly. At time of writing this, there are no such charges in the Cheshire area BUT who can say that this will always be the case? Environmental issues are huge concerns. Dare we say that the tide is turning (pun intended) and the introduction of these types of charges is fast approaching whereby a ‘where and when’ might affect even ceilidh band charges. Likewise, if a venue does not have its own dedicated parking area for performers and guests, ceilidh bands may have to use local pay-parking areas for the evening. For total clarity, all band prices quoted do NOT include these types of variable costs (though we are happy to check these costs for you , if applicable, once specific date, times and venue have been furnished). The last thing anybody wants is confusion over the cost of booking your band.
On a hospitality note, please remember that an army marches on its stomach! Usually, ceilidh band members will have foregone a traditional meal time whilst travelling, setting up their gear in readiness to perform at your event and will expect to be invited to partake, free of charge, in food and drink hospitality during the event.
Let’s start with the Caller. As far as we are concerned, any ceilidh band in Cheshire will always include a Caller and the caller’s fee is always included within any quotations. The caller might be one of the ceilidh bands’ musicians but usually he/she will be the person who concentrates solely on the dancers by explaining the moves of each dance initially and follows up by ‘calling’ reminders of these moves while each dance is in progress. Ceilidhs are not dance lessons, there’s no formal instructions for dance steps or techniques (quite frankly, there just isn’t the time for such a rigmarole). Simply, we just want people involved to have FUN by participating, giving it a go, getting the hang of the moves within the dance (or NOT as can often be the case!) and mixing with other dancers. Part of the caller’s role is to encourage a relaxed atmosphere and keep the dances to a level whereby just about anybody can join in. The caller is an important ‘bit of kit’ (but, as a caller myself, I am biased!). The FAQs tab at the top of this page leads to several questions asked about the Caller.
Then there’s the musicians
If you’re looking to keep within a fairly tight budget for a fundraiser or a ceilidh party for limited numbers, we can offer smaller ceilidh bands like a trio including caller or two musicians with a caller? These compact line-ups take up very little performance area. Also, some of the larger ceilidh bands are willing to downsize (especially during the less popular months) to suit those sorts of occasions.
But in the majority of cases, ceilidh bands run to larger outfits of three or four musicians which, of course, allows more musical variety by way of instruments. Ceilidh bands are very often led by either a ‘squeezebox’ player (accordion or melodeon) or a fiddle along with other instruments like guitar, banjo, woodwind, keyboards/piano or drums. For instance, if your venue has a stage, the larger bands give that greater ‘visible’ presence, a focal point for their entertainment. However, a stage is not an essential requirement for band performances. Lots of venues do not have a stage.
Ceilidh bands are, of course, very similar to barn dance bands and American style hoedown bands. In general terms, the different genres overlap and most people would not clock a noticeable difference – ‘it’s all diddly music, isn’t it?’ You can read far more on this matter in our FAQs page listed above. The real point is that we will be able to provide a ceilidh band in Cheshire as well as any of the other styles of traditional dance bands in the area.
But here’s a very quick rundown of what ceilidh bands or barn dance bands in Cheshire can offer.
English Ceilidh? What’s that, then? Most people haven’t heard the phrase before (unless you are a folk music devotee). Try to imagine a Thomas Hardy harvest-time barn dance knees-up with the music beefed up! The music can be from the British Isles, America, World music and include influences from Reggae or Ska music. The whole idea is that the dance music is lively, upbeat and very ‘danceable-to’! These ceilidh bands might explain the whole thing far better if you listen to their music and many of them are very popular at the major folk festivals in the UK (and abroad). Really, it’s a barn dance with loads of energy and musical ‘up-lift’.
Scottish Ceilidh bands and Irish Ceili bands – we have numerous bands in these traditions.
Scottish style ceilidh bands broadly fall into two levels. We can arrange the more specialist Scottish Ceilidh bands for your event if that’s your wish. These ceilidh bands will only perform the music and dances from within the Scottish tradition – what we call the ‘Strictly Scottish’ ceilidh bands. However, not everybody really needs a band that performs to those standards. Many of our ceilidh bands will also perform with a good repertoire of the popular Scottish dances/music which, when mixed with other ceilidh dances, still provide a real Scottish flavour without the need for the dancing to be too exacting. Traditional Scottish dances like ‘Gay Gordons’, ‘Dashing White Sergeant’, ‘Strip The Willow’ would form part of the evening’s repertoire. Just the ticket for Burns Night Suppers!
Then, there are also Irish ceilidh bands (or spelt ceili bands in the Irish tradition but the exact same pronunciation). Their music is generally from the Irish ceili traditional style for performing several of the popular Irish dances like ‘Siege of Ennis’ or ‘Walls of Limerick’. Often the Irish bands also include a vocalist for song entertainment as well. But let’s be clear – these bands perform for ceilidh dancing and NOT for Irish set-dances or ‘River Dance’ style Irish step dancing, both of which are a different matter altogether. Again, visit our FAQs page above for more detailed explanation.
Increasingly, there is the emergence of folk/rock ceilidh bands using electric guitars (as opposed to amplified acoustic guitars), bass instruments, keyboards and, of course, drums. Their music is still mainly traditional tunes but arranged with a harder, funkier sound and a lead electric guitar can be the lead instrument (though we haven’t heard that Clapton or Brian May have joined any ceilidh band…yet!) These bands often include a vocalist for some ‘covers’ song entertainment as part of your ceilidh party with backing track music to enhance the overall sound experience.
ALL our ceilidh bands in the Cheshire area provide their own PA/amplification systems. The venue just needs to provide electric standard domestic type square pin 13 amp sockets. Your ceilidh band can take it from there.
We also insist that all our ceilidh bands have the standard insurances and test certification for their electric equipment. Many venues also insist on bands providing Public Liability Insurance cover (minimum £250,000) and PAT certification for electric gear.
We also get questions about venues. Can we recommend somewhere in the area? What type of venue works best for your event? Cheshire has lots of top class venues from the exclusive to the local village hall. We cannot claim to know them all, naturally, and would hate to be accused of any particular bias either in favour or against (in public at least!).
Your choice of venue might also be influenced by a number of different factors. For local functions like fundraiser events, local social nights like harvest suppers, clubs, parent/teachers or private party (like a birthday) try checking out local school halls or village halls (and most local authorities can give you contact details for such places) or local sports club-houses/golf clubs.
And barns? Well, they can vary quite a lot, can’t they? Apart from the converted function barns, you might be considering a working barn. BE CAREFUL. These barns need to be clean, have electricity supply and some level flooring and probably need an amount of preparation by somebody prior to the event. So barns can have pros and cons. Lots more about venues and floors for dancing on our FAQs page, including using marquees.
Hotels? Oh yes, hotels!
There are some fabulous hotel venues in Cheshire, especially for those really special events like wedding celebrations. They often offer extensive grounds, good parking facilities, overnight accommodation obviously and many have very good dedicated function rooms. But if booking a hotel, the costs will rise and you need to be sure if it is what you really want when considering a ceilidh. For weddings, of course, a ceilidh is just a part of the overall day of celebration and you will have many other matters to take into consideration.
However, if you intend to book a hotel just for a ceilidh party, visit the premises and do let them know that your entertainment is to be ceilidh dancing rather than, say, a disco. That is important. In our experience, some hotels are not even sure what a ceilidh is! They might expect you to dance on thick carpeted flooring (bit of a no-no really) or they can offer to chuck in their slightly raised interlocking parquet squares. These are usually designed for disco dancing and cover hardly any area at all – not suitable at all for ceilidh dancing, AVOID! A cynic might say that they are more interested in protecting their carpet than ensuring that your party goes with a swing. They may also have a sound limiter installed…
You’ve guessed it – questions about sound limiters and loads more stuff are also on our FAQs page.
Don’t be shy about asking any questions and using our experience. We are looking forward to hearing from you.