Meet the Band
Chris has been playing the accordion since the age of three! He formed the Red River Band which is still going strong in the London area and with Alan he founded both Contraband and the Scotch Mist Ceilidh Band in Kent.
He has played at the renowned festivals of Eastbourne and Broadstairs and called ceilidhs at Broadstairs. He has also played and called ceilidhs at the major venues of Cecil Sharp House, Battersea Town Hall and Hammersmith Town Hall, all of which were for the London Ceilidh Club.
He plays midi accordion, piano, banjo and bodhran. He both arranges and composes his own music in the Celtic style.
Alan started playing folk music at school under the guidance of music teacher John Brock, the highly acclaimed leader of The Weston Country Dance Band.
Alan played in various bands in the West Country prior to moving to Kent. Together with Chris he was a founding member of Contraband and the Scotch Mist Ceilidh Band and was also a member of The Heymakers. As well as playing with Rejigged he also plays in a duo with Sue.
His main instrument is the flute but the tenor sax does make the occasional guest appearance. Alan has played at a number of well-known festivals including Sidmouth, Eastbourne and Broadstairs.
Sue taught herself to play guitar in her twenties and has developed her own style of strumming and fingerpicking. To widen her knowledge of music she had piano and keyboard lessons for a few years.
Sue joined in with her brothers’ band, On the Brew, playing rhythm guitar. She later joined the Deal Hoodeners when she took up playing the mandolin. Sue was also a member of folk band Driftwood playing mandolin, guitar and stomp box. She has played with various other bands, including Spinning Jenny's who specialise in Victorian & Edwardian music halls songs and songs from the First World War. Sue plays in a duo with Alan, and also performs solo. Her main instruments are guitar and mandolin, but Sue also dabbles with a few other instruments.
Ellen has been calling barndances and ceilidhs for more than ten years. She likes to mix and match the dances depending on the crowd she is calling for and likes to throw in some simple square dances into the mix for the benefit of keen beginners.
She plays folk fiddle and as well as playing for barn dances and ceilidhs gets around quite a bit playing for local morris sides. Ellen was also a keen dancer herself until she developed morris dancer’s knee! Ellen also enjoys singing a capella and, together with a melodeon-playing friend, playing fiddle in local folk and acoustic sessions.
Melanie (Mel) is a classically trained violinist who passed grade 7 in her music exams whilst at school. She has played in orchestras as well as singing in a choir. Mel is now enjoying playing folk fiddle music and finds it refreshing and extreme therapeutic combatting the stresses and strains of modern day life.
Jim is a talented guitarist and singer. His origins are in Scotland which is obvious when you hear his rich, clear vocals. He has had a long and varied career in music, entertaining people as a solo artist and with various bands.
He has played at festivals and venues both at home and abroad. His roots are clearly in Folk Music but he enjoys all types of music from Blues to 60’s and of course playing music for Barn dances and Ceilidhs.
Philippa decided to learn the accordion while attending the Sidmouth Folk Festival in the 1980’s. She bought a small accordion with only a few keys and buttons. She used to sit on a bench by the sea and other musicians would join her to play easy tunes.
Soon she progressed to a larger accordion and formed a band called ‘Shepherds’ Needle’ in Bristol for Barn Dances. Now in Canterbury she leads ‘Meadow Folk Band’. She enjoys seeing the dancers having fun dancing to live music.