The Burdock Band

4 steps to booking the Burdocks

  1. Check our availability.
    Select your event date from the drop-down calendar and check if it is available.
  2. Submit the Request a quote form.
    We will then send you a quote with a link to the booking form.
  3. Submit the booking form.
    Submitting the booking form automatically reserves the date for your event. Admin will process your booking and confirm that the booking has been accepted – this process can take a couple of days.
  4. Pay the deposit.
    Once the booking has been accepted, an invoice is sent out to you: payment of the deposit then forms a contract between the Burdock Band and yourselves.

More info about our services

What area of the UK do you cover?

From our base in South Birmingham, we can cover most of the Midlands and beyond, up to 2 hours travel, thanks to the excellent transport network. You can see the area we cover on the map on our Enquire page. We’ll consider longer distances, so worth asking.

What size band do you recommend?

This depends very much on your budget and your venue. A full band can take quite a bit of space, whereas a 3-piece can be easily accommodated. With each band, we ensure an element of melody, harmony and rhythm, which can be achieved with a variety of combinations. If you want the band to entertain you outside the dance sets then a larger band is recommended.

What instrumentation do we get in a 3/4-piece band?

If you book the 4-piece then you’ll normally get fiddle, guitar, accordion & bodhran/hand percussion. If you book the 3-piece, then one of fiddle, guitar or accordion is omitted. The aim is to achieve a balance of strong melody supported by harmony and rhythm.  Our musicians do play other instruments, so you may get hurdy gurdy, mandolin, whistles, etc on certain tunes.

How long do you play for?

We usually do two sets between 45 and 90 minutes in length, 3 hours dancing/instrumentals is the absolute maximum. The break between depends on what activity you have planned: if you are serving a buffet, then we’d recommend a good 45 minutes break between sets.

Do we book you by the hour?

No, we don’t normally price by the hour except for schools and corporate workshops. The price we give you (weddings, events and parties) is for either a day or evening slot on your chosen day.

Can we book the band only?

Yes! When you submit the Enquiry Form, select ‘band only’ in the ‘Requirements’ box.

Is the caller available independently?

Yes. our callers work with other ceilidh bands; they also use playlists when a band is not required. When you fill in the Request a Quote form, select the ‘caller only’ option in the Requirements box.

Who are the dances suitable for?

Unless you ask for a challenge, we keep the dances very simple: we want all your guests to feel comfortable with joining in. Each dance is introduced with a short walk-through so your guests have a grasp of the basic moves. The dances don’t have any complicated footwork, the moves are very simple. After all, the dances are firstly about having fun together!

Of course, your more experienced guests will add fancy turns and impressive steps, so they’ll have fun too.

What is a Celtic band?

Well the definition on Wikipedia for Celtic music says it all really. Our music and instrumentation leans towards the Irish session tradition and the dances to the Scottish ceilidh. It’s probably right to say our sound is more Irish than English or Scottish. We’re also influenced by Klezmer and French/Breton traditions. For a barn dance, we look to the American repertoire for reels and jigs.

Do you play Scottish dances and tunes ?

Yes, many of the dances we use are from the Scottish ceilidh repertoire, for example, Strip the Willow, Gay Gordons, Circassian, Virginia Reel, Cumberland Sq 8, Canadian Barn Dance and Dashing White Sergeant to name a few. If you’re up for a real challenge, then we might have a go at the Eightsome Reel.

If you are doing a Scottish theme or Burns Night then we’ll use Scottish tunes too.

Are you available for special events, such as NYE?

Yes, we regularly do Hogmanay, Burns Night, St. Patrick’s, and perform at street parties and festivals. If you have a particular idea in mind, give us a call.

Can you provide a disco and lighting?

The simple answer is no, it’s not in our core skill set! However, with our larger bands, we can arrange, for an additional fee, for a band member to remain behind with our PA so you can do your own djing: some of our wedding clients (with the help of guests) prefer to DJ their own disco, and that works very well.

Can we see the Burdocks in action before we book?

That’s a difficult one! In theory, yes, if we have a public event available. Sometimes, it’s possible to get you into a private gig. Best to check our schedule and give us a call.

Do you offer a silent ceilidh?

Yes, we do. This is a fun way to dance without disturbing your neighbours! Check out our Getting the Most out of your Venue guide for more info.

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