If you are searching for a Scottish ceilidh band, we’re pretty sure that we can help. Check out some of our Scottish style ceilidh bands below or head over to our Homepage and search ‘Scottish Ceilidhs’ or ‘Strictly Scottish’ in the drop boxes.
From time to time,we are asked to provide a really specialist band- and this...More Info
Vastly experienced ceilidh band,with flexible line-up – 4 musicians (from amongst accordion, fiddle, guitar,...More Info
A VERY exciting band – comprising Les – guitar / bass / bazouki Chris...More Info
Scottish Country Dance and Ceilidh band from Essex ……who have, over the years, built...More Info
A top-notch 4 piece Scottish Ceilidh band! Who actually played at the Film Premiere...More Info
FOR BAND VIDEO CLIP see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZzwFql31P0 This Scottish Ceilidh trio have played in every...More Info
Based in the Greater Manchester area, this authentic Scottish Ceilidh band (comprising fiddle, piano...More Info
Hands Up! Who remembers the film ‘Four Weddings and A Funeral’? Hugh Grant is,...More Info
Scottish Ceilidh band (SEE VIDEO LINK BELOW) based in/around Leeds, Yorkshire comprising accordion, fiddle,...More Info
Our agency, ‘Jigs ‘N’ Reels’ specialises in ceilidh bands nationwide, including Scottish ceilidh bands – in fact, that’s all we have done for around the last thirty years.
We’ll try to answer a few points below on this page but please do raise any questions either through
1 – our enquiry form at https://jigsnreels.com/contact/ or
We prefer to actually to talk to people on the phone for five minutes because that’s quicker in the long run.
You can see some of our Scottish ceilidh bands above. But we also represent several other Scottish ceilidh bands not even yet listed on our website.
FOR CEILIDHS GENERALLY (not just the Scottish ceilidhs), there are a number of factors to consider which would take ages to explain. You can read up much more if you go to our FAQs section (tab at top of this page). Briefly, most ceilidh bands arrive about an hour before performing to set up their gear. Every ceilidh band carries its own PA/amplification system – all the venue needs to provide are normal domestic style 13amp electric sockets. Once set up, the ceilidh band usually performs for two x one hour ‘sets’ of music/dance with each set being either side of an extended break (often a buffet or refreshment break). The whole night usually lasts about three hours. Of course, your plans may differ from that – just let us know your wishes, the ceilidh band can nearly always adapt the night to suit.
Charges can vary from band to band of course. Just as a guide, most of the Scottish style bands (including their caller) are circa £500-£800 though the ‘Strictly Scottish’ bands (see below) will often be more expensive than some of the other bands. We all know that some cities particularly operate congestion/emission charges these days and these can vary. Likewise, some venues do not provide free parking bays for vehicles and ceilidh band members may have to use pay-parking away from the venue. Just to be clear, then, NONE of these charges are included in any quoted band fees. However, we are very happy to check this out further once we know your date of event, timings and venue location.
Also, since an army marches on its stomach, ceilidh band members will require some food/drinks hospitality to be extended to them free of charge.
Let’s go into a bit more detail about Scottish ceilidhs, the bands AND your expectations and wishes to suit you and your guests. We mention this because Scottish ceilidh bands can perform at differing levels for different audiences which we will explain below.
At one level, we represent what we have termed as the ‘strictly’ Scottish ceilidh band whose music is played to fairly exacting standards of tempo, style and sound in a traditional Scottish style. Typically, such a ceilidh band would include an accordion and fiddle, accompanied by maybe piano/keyboard or drums and will usually dress in tartan attire. These ceilidh bands will be of interest to devotees of Scottish Country Dance (many of whom have their own dance clubs) or Reeling Clubs or Parties and these bands will often be booked for Caledonian societies or similar associations for special events or balls.
If the audience or your guests have a background in these traditions, they will expect the music to be suitable for stepping correctly, played at the right speed and some of these dances must be accompanied by specific music for a particular dance. Often, dancers at these levels have been brought up in the tradition through family connections, schools and dance clubs and they take their dancing seriously. By ‘serious’, we don’t mean glum faces! There is lots of fun to be had in dancing/stepping these dances as they were originally intended. This tradition has spread throughout the world.
And the dances?
People outside of these traditions probably won’t have heard of dances like ‘Duke of Perth’, ‘Hamilton House’, ‘Reel of the 51st’ or ‘Posties Jig’, all very popular at Reeling party dances. The range of dances for Scottish Country Dance is wide. Very often, a Caller is not even required because the dancers do not need any instruction or reminders and an MC hosts the evening by announcing the name of a dance…then away they go!
If such standards of dancing are required then your event definitely needs a ‘strictly’ Scottish ceilidh band. Whilst bands of this level are fairly numerous in Scotland, it’s a different matter in England or Wales. Such ceilidh bands are less common on the ground further south and are to be considered as somewhat ‘niche’. Their specialist expertise is sought after and they tend to be booked quite far in advance (because there are less of them). The fees are usually a little higher as well than most general ceilidh bands.
However, if you are reading this, it is unlikely that you require a ceilidh band that plays to such an exacting standard. Most followers of Scottish Country Dance or Reeling Clubs already have contacts within this particular field without resorting to using our services. Also, if the standards mentioned above are not really required, why try to book a sought-after, more expensive ceilidh band if it is not necessary for your event?
In England and Wales, a ceilidh band for your Scottish ceilidh style can fall into two different levels and, once more, your choice of ceilidh band may be influenced by your audience or guests attending.
Scenario No 1. Imagine an occasion where there may be a number of experienced Scottish dancers. But these dancers only make up a minority of the guests and are ‘out-numbered’ by many others who have little such experience. This can be a regular conundrum at wedding receptions. How can you please everyone? If your ceilidh band and caller just stick to the traditional Scottish dances, that could count out many of the other guests who find these dances confusing. If these guests are floundering that may well prevent them joining in, resulting in very few dancers on the dance floor.
Fortunately, the whole evening can still be given the full Scottish experience/flavour with a ceilidh band holding a range of Scottish ceilidh style music for six or seven of the popular Scottish ceilidh dances such as ‘Gay Gordons’, ‘Dashing White Sergeant’, ‘Canadian Barn Dance’, ‘St Bernard’s Waltz’, ‘Strip The Willow’ etc. Just those few dances, for example, would not fill a whole night’s repertoire. The ceilidh band, with their caller, would also introduce other similar ceilidh dances which, though not always strictly Scottish, would be far easier to understand that night by inexperienced dancers. For example, ‘Cumberland Square Eight’ dance – which includes the ‘basket’! – is from the North of England, but this pretty simple dance seems to have crept into ‘Scottish nights’ somewhere along the line! Quite a number of our ceilidh bands and callers will be able to meet these standards. Some of these ceilidh bands would also provide the music for the famous ‘Eightsome Reel’ – though we do not recommend this dance to beginners!
Scenario No 2 Maybe your particular event needs to be kept a bit simpler but still begs for a ‘twist’ of the Scottish favourites similar to above. Nearly every ceilidh band will be able to cater for such a night! A few of the Scottish tunes and dances, known and loved worldwide, mixed in with a wider range of music and dances. This still allows your guests do ‘Gay Gordons’, ‘Strip The Willow’ or ‘Circassian Circle’ and leave at the end thinking that Scottish Ceilidhs are really great fun’! In England, this style of Scottish ceilidh works well at Burns Night Suppers.
Of course, some of our bands are, in no way, Scottish and do not include any of the dances
Here’s another point to consider, also, for receptions or parties where you want to mix people up a lot! In most Scottish dances, dancers tend to keep their own partner throughout the dance (though, perhaps, stepping/dancing with others briefly). But there are many other ceilidh dances which are more ‘progressive’. This means starting the dance with your chosen partner but ‘progress’ after the first time through the dance to a new dance partner….and so on. These dances can be kept quite simple and the Caller will quickly explain what to do. All very tactile for those who have been nodding politely towards each other at a wedding earlier during the day!
Sometimes we get asked if a ceilidh band would also finish the night with their own disco service? In Scotland, this is fairly commonplace. If you live in Scotland and your event is in Scotland, then the answer is ‘probably, YES’. In England or Wales? ’Probably, NO’.
Just a final word or two about your choice of venue. You wouldn’t want to find that dancing is a problem after you have gone to all the trouble of sourcing a particular ceilidh band, would you? Choose your venue or function room carefully. A timber floor is the ideal surface. Solid finish floors are usually fine, even if they have a thin floor covering surface. BUT beware heavy carpet finishes like you might find in some hotels (they are very energy sapping!). If choosing a hotel as your venue, make it clear to the management that you are planning a ceilidh and that you do NOT want their raised parquet-floor style squares (they might be alright for a disco but nowhere near enough space for ceilidh dancing). Marquees can work well as long as you have some decent quality matting which is well secured at all the joints to avoid any trip hazards.
As mentioned earlier, take a look at our FAQs where venues are covered in more detail.
If you have any further questions, just fire them at us! We look forward to hearing from you.