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All Hands Around

Four piece band playing lively music in an acoustic style for barn dances and ceilidhs for weddings, anniversary and birthday parties and any other social occasion.


All hands around is a four piece band based in West Hertfordshire with over twenty years of experience of playing for barn dances, or ceilidhs as some people call them. We work with a caller who explains the dances and acts as an MC for the evening. Unless you tell us otherwise, we assume that you and your guests have little or no previous experience and will want everything explained from scratch.

Most of the dances are simple English dances in square, circle or line formations. You may have learned some of them at school, but the music and atmosphere is very different at a barn dance. If you make mistakes, it doesn't matter. The main point is to enjoy yourselves.

A lot of the music we play while you catch your breath between dances is Irish and we can provide music for a few of the top favourite Irish ceili dances, such as the Siege of Ennis and the Bridge of Athlone. If you have Scottish guests, we can provide music for some Scottish standards, such as the Gay Gordons, the Dashing White Sergeant and the Eightsome Reel. If you have a special request, discuss it with us in advance and we will do our best to include it.

Our line-up is:

Alison Macfarlane Melodeon/concertina/whistle
Ellie Barnett Fiddle
Geoff Perrin Tenor banjo
Simon Barnett Whistle/bodhran

Although our music is basically acoustic, some amplification is needed as people tend to make a noise when they are enjoying themselves. We have our own pa, so you don't need to worry about providing it.

How far do you travel? Usually, we tend to play in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and North and West London, but we sometimes travel further afield, so don't hesitate to ask us.

Make an enquiry


Alison Macfarlane

40 Warwick Road
St Albans

Tel: 01727 852111
Mobile: 0770 801 2991
Email: [javascript protected email address]


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