Ceilidhs

Ceilidhs are simply fabulous fun. They're great for all ages, hugely sociable,  very interactive and good exercise! There’s nothing better than a sea of happy smiling faces on a dance floor and the caller's role is pivotal.

 

I’m known nationally as a caller for a whole range of events. I regularly do ceilidhs open to the public, private family celebrations - weddings, birthday celebrations or anniversaries. I'm lucky to get booked for specialist Ceilidh Clubs with top bands, Morris weekends and a plethora of Folk Festivals from small intimate gatherings to the most renowned and that’s from ’Flash ceilidhs’ to Late Night Extras on a main stage.

 

The last 10 years have even seen a few trips to Brittany calling English ceilidhs for enthusiastic French anglophiles. 


Open Ceilidhs

2020
Now for some good news ! Folk Weekend Oxford are promoting live, yes live, ceilidhs in the comfort of your own living room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen or garage ! and there's more, Chester FF will have a total virtual festival over the late May Bank Holiday and that includes dance workshops and 2 ceilidhs.

Friday 22nd - Monday 25th May Chester Virtual Folk Festival. 
                                                    Check the web site or Facebook for the                                                              virtual events. There are at least 2 ceilidhs 
                                                    and 2 dance workshops !   
                                                    Well that was very different and pretty  
                                                    exciting. Hats off, even mine, to all the 
                                                    Chester FF people who did an incredible                                                            job on putting together a truly excellent                                                              weekend. Full of first rate concerts, session, 
                                                    stories, dances, displays, workshops and all 
                                                    manner of other folk activities.
                                                    It was simply brilliant.      
Friday 29th May                          Promoted by Folk Weekend Oxford a virtual                                                      but live ceilidh with music from The Sarah 
                                                    Mathews & Doug Eunson Duo and I get to 
                                                    do the calling.
                                                   https://www.folkweekendoxford.co.uk/what-s-on.html 
                                                    Now there's just 2 1/2 hours to go and I'm 
                                                    stuck in traffic on the M5 around B'Ham.
                                                    I should just about make it ! 
                                                    Loads of practice completed, great tunes 
                                                    from The Duo, plenty of beer and I won't 
                                                    need to drive home it should be brilliant. 
                                                    I will admit to a little trepidation that it does 
                                                    go well. This is the future for ceilidh dancing 
                                                    for the next few months so take the plunge 
                                                    and be inventive it'll certainly be fun.
                                                    I'll post a report on the outcome sometime 
                                                    tomorrow.
Friday 13th !! November              Phoenix Ceilidhs. Adlington near Chorley.
                                                    Albireo. Cracking ceilidh sets - tick,                                                                    driving Contra music - tick, sublime Playford                                                     tunes - tick. This is a lucky opportunity so                                                        don't let the date worry you one jot !  
                                                               
Private Parties


A ceilidh is an excellent way of celebrating many events. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries all tend to have an audience with a broad range of ages who want to be able to fully enjoy the night. What is tremendous is that the people sitting and chatting get the pleasure of great music, a happy atmosphere and the chance to watch their friends and family having a hoot on the dance floor. Is there a better way of celebrating these events?                      

I don't think so.


Martyn Harvey calling for a wedding                             
            

Ceilidh Clubs

For dance enthusiasts there are clubs where the organisers book the very best bands and callers. It's where the dances on offer may challenge the dancer a little more than a wedding ceilidh. The skill comes from the caller who will choose a programme that gathers the newer dancers at the start of the night but then develops the night. This gradually builds the skill and ability of the dancers. The best callers are in demand because they have this skill. 

 

                            
       

Morris Weekends


Well I am a morris dancer and so I appreciate that after a hard day's dancing you want fun, plenty of laughs and nothing too taxing. Carlisle Sword & Clog, Flag Crackers Of Craven, Crook Morris (of course!), Shrewsbury Morris, Black Adder Clog Morris (B'Ham) and many others have happily given me that responsibility confident that they can relax in the knowledge that I'll deliver what they want.


Festivals


From small local events to the most major UK celebrations I'm known as a caller who has a massive repertoire, selects ideal programmes and from small 'Flash Ceilidhs' to Late Night Extras with hundreds of dancers I can pitch the style and the content to give the best atmosphere. Festivals I've done more than once include Upton, Shepley, Chester, Chippenham, Furness Tradition, Warwick, Sidmouth, Whitby, Shrewsbury, Towersey and Bromyard. 
   
                 
                                     

Abroad


I've made four visits to Brittany over the last dozen years to perform at 'The Big Ceilidh'. 2017 was the fifth ! At the end of March and in a different village, this time with the wondrous Hekety. The event is run by Rachel Goodwin and Herve Drean but the invitation to the caller comes from the booked band. It's great thanks from me to Florida and Trinculo that these opportunities came my way. A full on weekend where dancing starts about 11am and doesn't finish until 1am ! 

Walk throughs are explained in French and the calling is also in French. So it's definitely a challenge but they're lovely people, keen on English dances, love to dance well and ready to fall about laughing at the dance, themselves and certainly at the caller!