So, you’ve typed in ‘ceilidh band midlands’ and we’ve popped up! For choices, just click on any band below or go to our Homepage where you will find a search facility – just click ‘West Midlands’ or ‘East Midlands’ in the drop boxes.
Vastly experienced ceilidh band, with flexible line-up – 3 musicians (from amongst accordion, fiddle,...More Info
Based in South Lincolnshire, this larger 5 piece Ceilidh / Barn Dance Band are...More Info
This ceilidh band can also be described as a folk-rock band, based in the...More Info
Here’s a trio of accomplished and highly experienced traditionally-rooted musicians who have been performing together for twelve...More Info
Here’s some extremely gifted musicians. First there’s Simon (melodeon) and Nina (piano)….Simon has been...More Info
Based in Yorkshire, this very versatile (in traditional style) band can offer a night...More Info
FOR BAND VIDEO CLIP see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZzwFql31P0 This Scottish Ceilidh trio have played in every...More Info
Dave and Dave Both of these musicians still play in two entirely different and...More Info
VIDEO OF BAND – Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-rq6l5ACWM Established Ceilidh band based in Gloucestershire with a...More Info
Well, you’re in capable (and specialist) hands because that’s all we provide – ceilidh bands, barn dance and hoedown bands (and NOT bands that can ‘do a bit of ceilidh music’). There are no discos, covers bands, classical quartets, jugglers, fire-eaters on our website! More to the point, we are based in the Midlands and, as a caller, Chris Mulvey (the proprietor) has called with so many of the ceilidh bands in the area and knows them personally, with links to many a ceilidh band in Midlands area and beyond!
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. We’re a bit old-fashioned because we actually prefer to talk to people on the phone whereby a five minutes chunter can give us a very good idea about your event and ceilidh bands (or barn dance or hoedown bands) which would be most suitable for your event and budget.
Also, please bear in mind that there are many other similar bands which we represent and several ceilidh bands not even yet listed on our website.
Okay, so you’re researching ‘ceilidh band Midlands’ and we’re presuming that you already have an idea what a ceilidh is. We think that it’s easier to explain what area/s are covered by referring you to BBC local TV news coverage areas. Most people watch those programmes at some time or another. If you watch BBC Midlands Today, then you probably live in the West Midlands. But if you watch BBC East Midlands Today, it’s likely that you live in that area. So do the ceilidh bands that we list for the Midlands area (or they are certainly happy to travel and perform in the region). And that’s all there is to say about it really!
One of the first questions people ask is – how much does a ceilidh band in Midlands area charge? On this page, we cannot possibly cover the fee scale of every band on our website (but please try the search box at the top of this page for more accurate pricing). For ballpark budgets, we would suggest that the majority of 3 performer line-ups including the caller runs between £400-£550, the larger ceilidh bands around £550-£800. These are not exact quotations and prices do vary from band to band for a variety of reasons (numbers in the band, travel expenses, the standard of their equipment, the band’s reputation……you’d probably be hard put to get Coldplay to perform for £800 wouldn’t you?)
For the guidance fees above, the 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, perform two sets of ceilidh or barn dance during roughly a 3 hour or more period (during which there is usually an extended break for buffet arrangements or similar) before packing down the gear for departure. Of course, none of this is set in stone and each event will probably have its own specifics which will be agreed before the event. There’s more about this at https://jigsnreels.com/have-a-great-night/
A factor becoming increasingly common in pricing band fees is the introduction of congestion and emission charges (or similar) in some of our cities particularly. These charges can vary depending on the ‘where and when’. Likewise, if a venue does not have its own dedicated parking area for performers and guests, bands may have to use local public or private pay-parking areas for the evening. To avoid any doubt, all band prices quoted will NOT include these types of variable costs (though we are happy to check these costs for you once specific date, times and venue have been furnished). The last thing anybody wants is confusion over the cost of booking your band.
Before we leave aside the actual cost of hiring a band, please remember as well that an army marches on its stomach! Usually, band members will have foregone a traditional meal time whilst travelling, setting up their gear in readiness to perform at your event. Though this is not a hard and fast obligation, band members would expect to be invited to partake free of charge in food and drink hospitality during the event.
We’ll start with the Caller. As far as we are concerned, any ceilidh band in Midlands area will always include a Caller and the caller’s fee is always included within any quotations. Sometimes the caller is one of the ceilidh bands’ musicians but more often than not he/she will be the person who concentrates solely on the dancers by explaining the moves of each dance initially and ‘calling’ reminders of these moves while each dance is in progress. That’s not to say that ceilidhs are dance lessons or formal instructions for dance steps or techniques (quite frankly, there just isn’t the time for such a rigmarole). The whole idea is for the people involved to have FUN by participating, 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 that type of atmosphere and keep the dances to a level whereby just about anybody can join in. The caller is an important ‘bit of kit’ (but I am biased!) A very good band can be let down by an unenthusiastic caller, making the night go, well, unenthusiastically! Our FAQs tab at the top of this page leads to several questions asked about the Caller.
What about the musicians, how many are there? Maybe you’re looking to keep within a fairly tight budget for a fundraiser or a ceilidh party for limited numbers – so how about the smaller ceilidh bands of two musicians with a caller? We cover that. 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 accompanied by other instruments like guitar, banjo, woodwind, keyboards/piano or drums. Another plus with the larger bands is that they also provide a greater ‘visible’ presence (which can be a bonus when performing on a stage at venues). By the way, a stage is not an essential requirement for band performances.
Ceilidh bands are, of course, very similar to barn dance bands and American style hoedown bands. Maybe you’re wondering what the difference is? 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 Midlands 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 the Midlands can offer.
English Ceilidh? What’s that, then? Most people haven’t heard the phrase before (unless you are a folk music devotee). Think to yourself – a Thomas Hardy harvest-time barn dance knees-up with the music beefed up! 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 cover the more specialist Scottish Ceilidh bands who will only perform the music and dances from within the Scottish tradition for ceilidhs – what we call the ‘Strictly Scottish’ ceilidh bands. However, not everybody really needs a band that performs to those standards. Many of our Midlands ceilidh bands also have a good repertoire of the popular Scottish dances/music which, when mixed with other ceilidh and barn dances, still provide a real Scottish flavour without the need for the dancing to be too exacting.
Then, there are also Irish ceilidh bands (or spelt ceili bands in the Irish tradition but the exact same pronunciation) in the Midlands area. 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 we need to make clear that 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’ style ceilidh bands using electric guitars (as opposed to amplified acoustic guitars), bass instruments, keyboards and, of course, drums. Though the music is still mainly traditional tunes, they are given a harder 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 bands…yet!) These bands often include a vocalist for some ‘covers’ song entertainment as part of your ceilidh party. Also, they may use backing track music to enhance the overall sound experience.
While mentioning the more technical stuff, it’s worth pointing out that ALL our ceilidh bands in the Midlands area provide their own PA/amplification systems. The only requirements that they expect the venue to provide would be electric standard domestic type square pin 13 amp sockets.
We insist that all our ceilidh bands also 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 your area? What type of venue works best for your event? Obviously, there are stacks of venues in the Midlands area and we probably know quite a few of them – and some are definitely better than others! But 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 fundraiser events, local social nights like harvest suppers, clubs, parent/teachers or private party (like a birthday) it’s probably worth 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? They need to be clean, have electricity supply and some level flooring. 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, 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, do let them know that your entertainment is to be ceilidh dancing rather than, say, a disco. In our experience, some hotels are not even sure what a ceilidh is, they expect you to dance on thick carpeted flooring (bit of a no-no really) or they chuck in their slightly raised interlocking parquet squares which 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. And then, of course, they may have a sound limiter installed.
Yep, you’ve guessed it – these types of questions are also on our FAQs page.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.