Kingfisher Ceilidh Band

- playing and calling for barn dances and ceilidhs across Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey

Barn dance? Ceilidh? What's the difference?
The short answer is - not much.
A ceilidh was a Celtic social occasion, frequent in Scotland or Ireland. In the old days before electricity, MP3, CDs, discos and nightclubs ceilidhs were held in most towns and villages as the weekend entertainment. On the other hand, a barn dance was any kind of dance held in a small community, usually in a barn with traditional music and dances.
Nowadays a barn dance need not be in a barn and a ceilidh need not be strictly Scottish or Irish, but "Barn dance" is easier to spell and "Ceilidh" can imply a Scottish or Irish flavour.
Will a barn dance or ceilidh be suitable for my event?
It probably will be.
You have a caller, who explains each dance before it starts so that nobody is at a disadvantage. The caller chooses dances to fit the occasion and the dancing prowess of the audience and will keep a watchful eye on those with 2 left feet and no ability to differentiate between right and left.
You have a live band, so the music will always fit the dances and the sound can be turned down as well as up, so that those sitting out can still chat to friends.
It is an excellent way (especially at weddings) to mix groups and break ice. The young can dance with all the enthusiasm that they normally bring, while those with more decorum can enjoy the dance just as much.
Barn dances and ceilidhs are suitable for many types of events. Kingfisher have played at weddings and blessing ceremonies, birthday and anniversary parties (and can keep secrets if needed!), fund raising events, Burns Nights, "socials", and much much more. If you have a crowd of people and want to dance, consider a barn dance or ceilidh.
What happens during the event?
It's up to you.
A typical evening event would be to start at 8 p.m. and finish at 11:30 with a break somewhere in the middle for refreshments or a raffle if appropriate. Sometimes a daytime event is more suitable.
The band will expect to be able to set up their equipment 30 minutes before the start of the event. The caller will check with the organiser for any changes to timings or special requests and will make sure that the dancing works around the event programme.
When the music starts the caller will welcome everyone and encourage them to take to the floor, starting with easy dances clearly explained. As the event moves on, the caller and band will tailor the dances and the tempo to the dancers and take it slower or faster depending on the space, the numbers, the expertise, and the disposition of the dancers, who may become more "relaxed" as time passes.
During the break, Kingfisher normally set up some low-level background recorded music.
Is there a lot to do beforehand?
No - the aim is to have a good time and to let Kingfisher make sure that your guests are enjoying themselves.
For family gatherings such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries you will know how many people to expect. If your event depends on ticket sales you should aim to have the hall half-filled. Bear in mind that a normal "set" for a dance will have 3, 4, 5 or more couples and that the caller will hope to raise as many sets as can fit comfortably on the dance floor.
The best arrangement for all events is to have tables and seating round the perimeter with enough clear dance space in the centre.
Kingfisher bring their own equipment but need access to electricity points, a table and a few chairs. We will discuss arrangements well in advance so there are no surprises.
What does Kingfisher Ceilidh Band do?
It's very much up to you. Our line-up is melodeon (squeeze-box), fiddle and bass, with a caller who is happy to tailor dances on the night to suit the dancers and your schedule.
We have played at weddings, wakes, birthday parties, fund-raisers, community events and more. If you are organising a Burns Night we can add extras such as recitations - please ask.
We play in and around Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, in tents, draughty barns, big halls, small halls, schools and pubs. Anywhere, in fact, that is big enough for at least 8 people to dance, has an area at one end where we can set up our equipment, and an electic socket.
Still have question?
Please ask by emailing or calling 01264 889463