Who are we?

Your foot-tapping guests will find themselves drawn into the pounding rhythms of the Burdock Band. The incredible variety of beautiful melodies in traditional music make wonderful listening. The band are professional musicians from classical, folk and rock backgrounds, and play a driving rendition of Celtic music from the British Isles, France and beyond.

If you’re planning a ceilidh or barn dance, our experienced caller will inspire your visitors onto the dance floor for fun and laughter as they learn the simple dance routines. Whatever your event – wedding, party, festival, corporate, school, fund-raiser – it’s the perfect way to get your people to mingle!

Meet The Band

Gerry Smith

Gerry has performed with numerous bands since the 80’s including World Service, The Nighthawks, Mack and the Boys, Last Orders, and is one half of The Whiskey Brothers. 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.

Ann Jones
Fiddle, viola

Ann 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.

Vicki Ayers
Bodhran, percussion, band manager

Vicki 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.

Mick Howson
Guitar, hurdy gurdy

Mick has been playing professionally since the 60’s and has supported Thin Lizzy, The Kinks, Dire Straits and the Pogues. With the cult skiffle cow-punk 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. He has recently toured again with Terry and Gerry.

Dan Longley
Resident caller, mandolin, admin

Dan’s specialises in gender-free calling and inclusion. Dan draws inspiration from the Celtic folk dance tradition and beyond including Klezmer, French, Dutch and American influences. He can design with you something special for the occasion: past examples include children’s dances, bottle and costumed dances, and dancing through candle-lit gardens. Dan currently runs barn dance fitness classes in South Birmingham

Sam Norman

Samantha played with the folk-orchestra Conservatoire Folk Ensemble before becoming a founding member of English folk band the Old Dance School, described as a “Cinematic Folk Septet”. Frequently featured on BBC Radio 2, they have toured extensively in the UK and Europe to much critical acclaim. Sam also performs with the RSC.

Aidan O'Brien
Singer, 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 & recently played with Celtic Clan.

Mike Finney
Guitar, vocals, djembe

Mike 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. More recently, Mike toured with Kopanang as a tenor and multi-instrumentalist.

Max Gittings
Pipes, flutes, whistles

A stalwart of Ceilidhs, Irish-sessions and folk gigs over the years, Max has a deep love and respect for traditional music. He has a full-time career as teacher and performer, playing at music festivals nationwide with The Destroyers, touring the UK and the world with the RSC, and appearing on numerous recordings, including the Burdock Band.

Lucy Hill

Lucy has been playing fiddle professionally for over 20 years, in ceilidh band A Band Called Frank, in punk folk band Johnny Was and touring the UK and Europe in folk rock band Eddy Morton and the Bushburys.

Emma Louis

Emma 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 the late Galway fiddler Pat Molloy. A founder of the band, Emma now does the occasional gig.

Reuben B. Penny
Percussion, caller

As a talented percussionist, Reuben has performed with the National Youth Wind Orchestra, The Skemptons and, is a founding member of The Newfangled Jesters. As a videographer and photographer, his work has been featured on NMC and the BBC.

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