Smaller Ceilidh, Big Sound!
I have a full PA system set up and work closely with Oliver Simons - ceilidh caller, to produce high quality, toe-tapping music whilst Ollie skilfully guides the dancers through the dances with his energetic, engaging, and inclusive calling style.
If you have read the Ceilidh On page, you will already know that Ollie and I have been good friends for a number of years and that we founded Head In The Sand Ceilidh Band together. Since then, we have grown in confidence and our musical ability to know that we can offer fantastic folky entertainment to audiences of all sizes with just the two of us.
If you would love to have the full ceilidh / barn dance experience without paying the price of a full band, we will make the perfect team for your event. Available for weddings, birthday parties, community events, and anything else in between!
Find out more about Ollie's calling here:
Self-written songs and tunes
I play a selection of self-written material, and traditional tunes, largely from England and Scotland. As a prolific composer and song writer, I like to play tunes written with real emotions. As a result, the tunes I write often have unusual syncopated rhythms and interesting melodies... A bit of an enigma. I have a very creative personality and enjoy nothing more than experimenting with new ideas and new sounds and ways of playing my instruments.
I am often booked to play for a variety of events such as Christmas fairs, pub entertainment, care homes... in fact, anywhere that would love to have some folky music!
Arm Chair Ceilidhs
Following on from that last statement...
Arm Chair Ceilidhs are something that I have recently innovated out of the traditional ceilidh dance! This is a unique service that is specifically tailored for care homes looking to provide residents with a holiday from Scotland - from the armchair. This is perfect for all year round, although, it is particularly popular service around Burn's Night and St Andrews Day.
Arm chair ceilidhs are fun and exciting way to engage the residents, keeping them fit and healthy whilst simultaneously engaging staff members who will help lead the sessions as the "caller" whilst I provide upbeat and exciting music. I will explain the package below:
Sessions will last for 1 hour.
- I will be dressed as "The Fenland Piper" and start by playing a few tunes on the bagpipes. I can march along corridors so less-able residents can experience the powerful music. The march is usually fairly brief as the bagpipes can sometimes be a little overwhelming if played for too long.
- I will briefly explain what a ceilidh is and how it is a popular form or exercise and socialisation in Scotland.
- I will ask for a member of staff to be the "caller" for the day. A caller is the person that calls out the dance moves. Do not worry - these will be printed out! It is not as daunting as is sounds, and remember that the point of a ceilidh is to bring joy and have lots of fun together.
- Actions have been specially adapted so these can be done from the comfort of an armchair, such as clapping, hand jiving, and some gentle leg movements.
- I will play some lovely traditional Scottish and Scottish sounding self-penned tunes whilst the "caller" demonstrates and calls out the dance moves whilst engaging with the residents. It is a fantastic way for staff and residents to have fun and engage with each other.
- I will also include a few traditional Scottish songs and some waltzes during the experience. This gives time for residents to rest and relax, and also provides an opportunity for more able bodied residents to get up for a gentle dance.
During the rest of the day, the care home can also provide other activities to enhance the "Scotland from the armchair" experience such as trying haggis at meal time, providing colouring such as "design your own tartan kilt", or posters with Scottish words, places, and scenery. If you need any suggestions, I am more than happy to help.
If you are interested in booking this experience, please contact me for a quote and any further questions you may have.