If you want a good old Yorkshire knees-up, Hessle Ceilidh Band are the go-to musicians!

Toe-tapping tunes to liven up any event!

Hessle ceilidh band journal article

This is a transcript of the article pictured above by Debbie Hall which featured in the Journal recently:

There is no sitting on the sidelines when Hessle Ceilidh Band strike up. The toe-tapping tunes have folk on their feet in seconds, with the feel-good strains of a fiddle or merry notes of a melodeon urging them on in a joyful selection of dances. “Our gigs are vibrant and fun –not for the faint of heart,” said Quentin Budworth, whose instrument of choice is the hurdy-gurdy. He also plays pipes, guitar and cajon (a type of drum).

When The Hessle Ceilidh  Band strike up. The toe-tapping tunes have folk on their feet in seconds, with the feel-good strains of a fiddle or merry notes of a  them on in a joyful selection of dances.“Our gigs are vibrant and fun –not for the faint of heart,” said Quentin Budworth,  of choice is the hurdy-gurdy. He also plays pipes, guitar and cajon (a type of drum). Hessle Ceilidh Band are all about dazzling music, created by top-class musicians playing an unusual array of musical and percussion instruments. “Some of the instruments are quite old, but most have pick-ups in them so they can be amplified,” said Quentin. “We are all multi-instrumentalists, so we might be playing the highland pipes (they are great for the Gay Gordons) or the penny whistle, only they don’t cost a penny now –a pretty penny would be a better title.” The other members of the band, Pippa King (keyboard, whistle/recorder), Jill Fisher (fiddle) and Liz Wainwright (whistle/recorder, bagpipes) invariably turn their hand to any of the instrument-playing that’s required of the occasion, while dance caller Oli Norman prompts all the moves by the participants in the dances. He shouts each move and guides everyone through, with an occasional story or a funny joke to relate while the dancers have a rest and catch their breath.

The talented musicians also write their own tunes – “some of them are real crackers”, according to Quentin –as well as playing a host of established folk melodies. With sounds ranging from Scottish to Irish to European, with some medieval and traditional music of England thrown into the mix, Hessle Ceilidh Band like to think they can create the feel-good factor for any party.

“Whatever the event, be it a ceilidh or barn dance, we have a vast amount of music that will create the right atmosphere,”said Quentin, who lives in Bridlington. Describing himself as “a creative”, ‘We kind of know where we are going with the music as it begins to unfold’ Quentin, who is also a photographer, filmmaker and artist, said: “With a ceilidh, there is an element of upholding tradition about it. There is so much energy to it and it’s great fun for everyone who takes part. “Unlike a concert, where there is a set programme, we kind of know where we are going with the music as it unfolds, particularly with the dances we have been playing for a reasonable length of time. “We can fully explore the tunes and play around with the music and the rhythms.” Quentin said: “Most of the music we play is traditional, including some famous tunes, but we also play some rather obscure English tunes, some French tunes and even a Bavarian hand-clapping dance. “Everyone can take part as the dances are very straightforward with lots of repeated moves.”

Hessle Ceilidh Band first sprang into life around a former member’s kitchen table. “It was about 2008 and we were a group of folk musicians who met socially to play. It was suggested that we form a band. “We started to do some small charity functions for Water Aid, things like that. The response from the audiences was so great, we began to be asked to play at other events.”

These days, Hessle Ceilidh Band are kept busy most weekends, entertaining at weddings, parties and charitable events. “We are regular players at a fantastic event in October, the Apple Cider Festival, at Long Riston. Here, apples are pressed, juices are drunk, hogs are roasted and ceilidh dancing takes place in a medieval barn. “Last year, the event raised more than £3,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.” Quentin said: “The band are staunch upholders of folk arts and traditions, such as wassailing and morris dancing.”

The musicians organise a monthly Hull community ceilidh, billed as a “great night out and a fantastic Yo rkshire knees-up”. The event is for any age group or ability, those completely new to dancing or those already familiar with social dancing. It is no problem if you do not have a dancing partner, as everyone can join in and enjoy the dances. “We enjoy these nights,” said Quentin, “because it is putting something back into Hull. “The community ceilidhs started last September and they are getting a good response.” Quentin said: “One of the loveliest things for us is where you get a whole family together, kids and adults, all joining in. There is a real joy and a timelessness to it.”

To book the band ring Quentin on 07877434739, email hessleceilidhband@yahoo.co.uk .