The musicians of the Burdock Band from Birmingham: Belinda Hutchings, Emma Louis, Gerry Smith, Mick Howson and Vicki Ayers

Meet the Burdocks

The Burdock Band is an extended family of musicians who have played together for many years in bands and sessions and this band was formed both out of friendship and a love for the music we play.  We enjoy playing for dances and ceilidhs and believe it is a great way to celebrate a special occasion.


Belinda Hutchings (flute and whistle) is a keen session player and has played flute and whistle with the Irish tradition in Birmingham for a long time. In recent years she has been playing with Cuckoos Nest Ceilidh band, Last Orders, Celtic Keys (Canadian dance) and mediaeval music with Tekaro.

Belinda Hutchings

Gerry Smith (accordion) has performed with numerous bands since the 80’s including World Service, The Nighthawks, Mack and the Boys, and Last Orders.  He was with the highly successful folk rock band The Bushbury’s for ten years producing many critically acclaimed albums and touring over 500 festivals and venues in the UK and Europe.  His compositions have been performed many times for radio and theatre.

Gerry Smith

Mick Howson (guitar, hurdy gurdy, mandolin and banjo) has been playing professionally since the 60’s and has supported many famous acts including Thin Lizzy, The Kinks, Dire Straits and the Pogues.  With the indie-folk band Terry and Gerry, he toured throughout the UK and Europe achieving chart success.  More recently he has played in the Kitchen Girls, Last Orders and the gypsy-klezma band, The Destroyers.

Mick Howson

Vicki Ayers (bodhran, percussion and recorder) was actually conceived at a folk festival and was raised on scrumpy and pounding Irish rhythms!  She has played the bodhran since childhood and has performed and recorded with many bands including Common Ground, Wet ya Whistle and Last Orders.  A keen dancer herself, her funky rhythms will get your feet moving.

Vicki Ayers

Ann Jones Ann Jones, (fiddle/viola), has been performing professionally for twenty five years, with bands from KLLB, Seby Ntege and Embaire strikes back, to The Bow Bells, Mama Matrix and Escalado. Since training at RCM she has defected from classical music to explore world folk, and her energetic musicianship and warm harmonies bring fresh ideas to the traditional dance tunes on which she was raised.

Ann Jones

Guest players


Mike Finney (guitar) graduated from 4 strings to 6 at the tender age of 12, cutting his teeth on the local folk circuit before an apprenticeship with the Irish pubs and clubs in the Birmingham area.

Mike Finney

Leighton Hargreaves (fiddle, banjo) has played with various groups and individuals such as The Toques, Mooncoin, Fola, Munchbreak, Jim Summerfield, Jo Hamilton, and of course the legendary Destroyers. His Klezmer influences and improvised virtuosity brings energy and rhythm to the dances.

Leighton Hargreaves

Aidan O'Brien (singer, uilleann pipes, guitar) From Birmingham to Dublin & back again, Aidan joins us on guitar & uilleann pipes. A renowned singer/songwriter in his own right he has also recorded with Andrew Strong (The Commitments), The Duggan Brothers (Clannad), & John Richardson. He has toured internationally with The Dublin Philharmonic & currently plays with Celtic Clan.


Emma Louis (fiddle) has been playing in folk and ceilidh bands for many years including Common Ground and the Village Wakes, as well as world music group Kopanang. She is a keen session player, having developed her knowledge of Irish fiddle music with Birmingham based Galway fiddler Pat Molloy. A founder of the band, Emma is currently taking time out to spend with her young daughter.

Emma Louis