The Midsummer Music Blog
This page features news, reviews, ramblings and information on a selection of our ceilidh bands, barn dances bands, jazz bands, string quartets, function bands and harpists!
If you would like a quotation for your wedding or event then search for musicians in your area here.
New Videos - SW Trio
We've just added some new videos for the SW Woodwind Trio. They are a flute, clarinet and basson trio based in Norfolk.
They can play music covering classical, popular and jazz styles, including music by Bach, Brahms, Mozart, Gershwin, The Beatles, Adele and many more!
Perfect for your dinner party, drinks reception, ceremony or stand-alone concert!
Review - The OM Irish Band
Here's a review for the OM Band for a gig they played a couple of weeks ago;
"Apologies that this has taken me a wee while! It has been a full on week. Many many thanks for playing at our wedding- everyone loved it. We are used to Scottish dancing but many present had not done anything other than disco dance and now thanks to you are utter converts! It was exactly what we wanted and everyone loved it!"
The band are based in Devon, please get in touch if you'd like more info or to book them!
The MW Ceilidh Band - new audio
We've got new audio samples for the MW Barn Dance/Ceilidh band, including Major Mackie's Jig, Oyster Girl and Walter Bulwer's No 2 Polka.
The band are from Leicestershire and they can play English, Irish, Scottish and American music.
The WT Ceilidh Band - new review
We've had a recent review in for the WT Ceilidh Band
They are based in London so are available for bookings in the south east!
"We both wanted to thank you most sincerely for your performance at our delayed Wedding celebration at the Coltsfoot Country Retreat. Everyone enjoyed the music and dancing and you helped to make our day perfect. We have both had many positive comments about the whole evening."
Th CB Ceilidh Band - new video
Two new videos have been added for the CB Ceilidh/Barn Dance band.
They are based in Kent and happy to play throughout the south east of England and even across the Channel in Europe!
Check out her new video samples by clicking the link below...
Caroline (pianist) - New audio samples
A professional and experienced events pianist based in Somerset, Caroline's repertoire covers classical, light classical, jazz, pop, film songs and much more!
A recent review says "You did a great job and loads of guests commented on how well you played!"
Check out her new audio samples by clicking the link below...
Cornwall Ceilidh Band - the RV Band
The RV Band are a ceilidh band with tons of experience - they are fun, friendly and reliable!
Music can include a mixture of tunes, or a fully Scottish or Irish evening, and three of the members of the band sing so you can have songs while your guests get their breath back from dancing!.
They are based in Cornwall so if you're planning a ceilidh, party or wedding in Cornwall or Devon please do get in touch!
New videos - The RR Ceilidh Band
The RR Band are a lively folk-rock ceilidh band from Warwickshire. They have played gigs for Midsummer Music for years but have some new videos to share!
If you're looking for a band in Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire or surrounding counties please do get in touch.
A review - The FW Ceilidh Band
The FW Band are a 3 piece band based in Norfolk. They include a caller and instruments played include percussion, whistle, melodeon and fiddle.
We've just had a review of a recent gig they played - "a great night had by all!!!"
If you're looking for a band for your wedding, summer party or fundraiser then the FW Band might be the group for you!
Guitarist Joe - London-based but will travel!
Joe is an acoustic guitarist who plays steel string and classical guitar. His pop repertoire is the perfect background music to your drinks reception or dinner party.
Check out his audio tracks!
His songs cover Elton John, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys and many more.
New Review - SL Ceilidh Duo
Another lovely review for one of our bands, this time a Burns night gig. This band offer a 3 piece or 2 piece line up, plus caller.
"Thanks so much for Saturday! Me and the guests had an amazing time! Please also thank the rest of the band."
The band are based in London but can travel to counties to the east and south of the city.
New Review - SP Ceilidh Band
"I just wanted to let you know how fantastic the SP Band were last night.
We had a fabulous time. The band were great and the music toe-tappingly wonderful.
Even my partners very elderly mother managed to join in."
New Review - BA Ceilidh Band
"I just wanted to drop you a text to say a massive thank you for playing at our wedding. You are a true entertainer and the band were amazing.
You made our wedding! It was so much fun, everybody has said it was one of the best weddings they've been to as the ceilidh was so much fun and got everybody involved, even those that wouldn't usually be on the dance floor.
You have the patience of a saint trying to organise a group of drunken people in to some semblance of a dance but it was such a good laugh and exactly what we were hoping for so again, a really huge thank you for all you did in making our day so memorable."
New Review - SL Ceilidh Band
Here is another band who can play in all band sizes from 1 musician + caller up to 4 musicians + caller.
"They were the perfect band for our event. The different band sizes on offer meant that we were able to choose the amount of instruments that suited our size and budget. I had never been to a ceilidh before but they clearly explained how it worked and what they needed to set up. The caller was great and guided the group of mostly beginner's through progressively more and more complex dances.
We had a mix of ages and the dancing got everyone mixing and having fun. The band had a good sense of when to let people rest and played traditional music. Everyone had a great time and I would highly recommend the band to anyone considering a ceilidh."
A 'micro ceilidh band' for smaller spaces or budgets!
Sarah and the AQ Ceilidh Band have been playing gigs for Midsummer Music for years, but always as a 4 piece including caller band. As well as their larger band they now offer a 'micro' ceilidh band for parties, events and fundraisers where space or budget is a concern.
Their basic line up is box/bass drum and caller/whistles/flutes but they also play more unusual instruments such as the cornamuse, and can sing songs between dances! Here's a review of the band;
"Great little band who engage with the audience and entertain. Excellent music and songs to join in with - some very curious instruments too."
A Review - Ringerike Ceilidh Band
Ringerike ceilidh band are a talented, experienced band with a huge range of music. They can play Irish, Scottish, English or American music, or a mixture of all of them and are available for bookings in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties.
We've had this review for a birthday party that they played earlier in 2021.
"I would like to say that this band are FANTASTIC. We have a fabulous barn dance at St Arvans in October. Caller and musicians were wonderful and very easy to have around. Everyone said what a fabulous band they were. HUGE THANK YOU to you all."
They have availability for Burns Night and dates in Summer 2022, Click here to enquire about booking them!
A Review - Llywelyn
Llywelyn is a talented Welsh harpist, based in the west of Wales but happy to travel throughout Wales and parts of England. His repertoire covers folk, classical, jazz and pop, and he can also offer a harp/flute or a harp/voice duo.
We've just received this review for a wedding that he played at in October!
"I just wanted to pass on our thanks to Llywelyn for the harp music at our wedding on 15th October. He fulfilled our brief brilliantly, was unobtrusive, amiable and well presented and our guests were very appreciative of his talent. He helped make our day very special. Many thanks Llywelyn."
A Review - Alan
Alan is a guitarist based in London but happy to travel to surrounding counties. He has a huge repertoire of pieces spanning classical, jazz, pop, Spanish and much more.
Check out his website page for more pictures, videos and loads of client reviews including this one!
"I just wanted to say thank you so much for playing at our wedding. Walking down the aisle, while you were playing our favourite song was beautiful and made the day so special. During reception drinks, we had so many compliments on how talented you were and what a lovely addition to our day it was. Your communication throughout the whole process was outstanding and we thoroughly enjoyed working with you. Your song selection is amazing and very hard to chose from as there are so many great songs that you play! I would highly recommend you for the future."
A Review - the MH Jazz Trio
We've just received this review about one of our jazz bands, available as a duo, trio or quartet in the Norfolk area.
"We would like to thank you again for you and your fellow musicians playing at our wedding reception last week. We really enjoyed your sets, as did our guests."
We had a lot of feedback on how much people enjoyed the music - including one guest who said they didn't think they liked jazz, until listening to you. It was also commented that you added an "ambience of sophistication" to the evening."
A Review - the LCS American Band
We've just received this review about one of our specialist American bands, great to see repeat bookings for events like this after the past 18 months!
"Another excellent performance by the LCS band at the Tollerton Village hall Hoedown. Post covid fear meant that ticket sales were slightly down but that didnt stop folks from filling the floor the minute the music started - old and young they line danced their socks off. Brilliant band very professional but within moments you feel like you've known them for years. We couldnt sit still!"
The band are based in Halifax but can travel so if you're planning a 'cowboy ceilidh' in the north of England please get in touch!
Lewis - a guitarist in Gloucestershire
Lewis is a guitarist who has been gigging for Midsummer Music for years in duos and larger groups, but he is now taking bookings as a solo guitarist too.
He's based in Gloucestershire but is happy to play nationwide, please ask for travel prices!
Lewis can play solo acoustic guitar or can use a loop pedal to make a fuller sound. He has a battery powered amp if there is no access to a power supply and his repertoire covers folk, jazz, pop, classical and much more!
Ceilidh, Disco... or both??
We are seeing an increasing number of requests for ceilidh bands followed by a disco afterwards. It saves space, time and often money as well, especially if you can provide your own playlist!
The RR Ceilidh Band are one who can offer this service - they are an upbeat folk rock band based in the West Midlands but willing to travel to surrounding counties too.
They can provide some lighting and their PA system after the ceilidh and although they don't have a DJ, they can provide the recorded music or you can plug in your own phone, tablet or mp3 player for your own choice of songs.
Amie - West Midlands Harpist
Amie is a verstile harpist based in the West Midlands.
Her repertoire covers classical music, folk music, ballet, Broadway, pop and much more! Check out her video samples; they include music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Led Zepplin and Marcel Grandjany.
If needed, Amie can bring a contact mic and anplifier so she is suited to different sizes of event, perfect for your ceremony, drinks reception or dinner party.
Review - The TN Ceilidh Band
We've just had this lovely review in for the TN Ceilidh Band, based in Cornwall.
They are a 3 piece + caller band with a wide repertoire of music to listen to and music to dance to, and their caller will make sure that there are dances for everyone!
"Just to let you know we had a wonderful time with the ceilidh band last night. There were lots of kids and Heather was brilliant at choosing dances for them and making everyone very relaxed and welcomed. The band members were so nice and excellent musicians. it was an absolute pleasure having them."
The EX Jazz Trio
Are you looking for a trio of experienced musicians to provide a smooth, sophisticated accompaniment to your drinks reception, dinner or corporate event? The EX Jazz Trio are the group for you! They're based in Derbyshire but can travel as far north as York and south to Gloucestershire.
Described as "a hugely talented trio of professional musicians", they comprise a guitarist, a sax/flute player and a singer with "a great voice with a lovely mellow tone".
With a repertoire covering The Great American Songbook, ballads, blues, swing and pop they can play something to suit every ear.
A lockdown video - KF Ceilidh Band
The lockdowns over the past 18 months have pretty much reduced in-person performance to zero, but you've probably seen that multitrack recording and editing has allowed groups to still perform 'together'.
The KF Band are a group from London who have played gigs for Midsummer Music for many years, they have tons of experience and can provide groups from 3 piece + caller up to 5 piece + caller.
Their repertoire covers English, Irish and Scottish music, and they can tailor their tunes and dances for specialist Irish or Scottish evenings.
A review - JF Jazz Quartet
This is another booking which was postponed a number of times due to the pandemic - thank you to the band and the client for their patience and understanding.
"Thank you and the band so much for the fantastic playing on Sunday. So many people have said how great you all were and it really added some fizz to the somewhat underwhelming summer weather!"
Jo is a fantastic saxophonist who is available as a solo musician with backing tracks, or as a duo, trio or quartet. She can even provide a quartet of four saxophone!
A full stadium rock experience
If you are looking for a covers band who can provide your party with the full stadium rock experience then this may be the band for you!
Their six piece line up includes male and female vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums and keyboard and their repertoire covers rock classics from Bon Jovi, Status Quo, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Queen and many more!
They're based in the Midlands but happy to travel, get in touch if you'd like a quote.
Jazz singer - solo to sextet
Anna is a fantastic jazz singer with a repertoire covering early jazz and swing, folk, pop, soul, Motown, French songs and rock 'n' roll.
She can be booked as a solo singer/guitarist, as a duo with electric guitar and any other band size up to a sextet.
If you're looking for chilled out music for an afternoon party or something more upbeat for an evening celebration, Anna and her band could be the group for you!
It is great to see live events starting to happen again, and we really do feel sorry for the people who have had to push their events back and back as the pandemic has continued.
The CC Trio played for a wedding a couple of weeks ago which had originally been planned for June 2020, and the band have just received this lovely review;
"We wanted to say thank you so much again for playing at our wedding. We and the guests all really enjoyed the music. It was great that you could either just sit down and listen or get up and have a dance!"
If you're looking for swinging jazz for your drinks reception, corporate event or meal Click here to enquire about booking the CC Trio
Ceilidh dances plus songs
All of our ceilidh bands can provide instrumental folk music to allow your guests to have a breather, but some offer songs too! These can range from well known Scottish, Irish or English songs to music from other countries and sometimes original songs too.
Do you have a favourite folk song? The TL Band are one who provide songs, including some of the their own original material. They are also great for Irish and Scottish events, and have lots of American music in their repertoire. They are based in Bedfordshire but can also travel to the surrounding counties.
Check out their audio samples and repertoire list!
Swing, Blues and Motown!
The FS Swing and Blues Band have featured on the Midsummer Music website for some time but have relocated from north of London to beautiful Bournemouth!
Their music covers classic Swing, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman as well as Motown and music from Blues Brothers. They are available in any size band from a duo to a seventeen-piece big band, and can even offer a 1940s themed band in uniforms.
Check out their audio and video samples!
A smooth, relaxed jazz duo
The SJ Duo are based in Nottinghamshire but are willing to travel nationwide. They consist of Susie (vocals) and Andy (keyboard, saxophone, harmonica, bongos) and they use a piano track to provide a full, but not loud, sound.
With a repertoire covering jazz standards by Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole as well as some more modern pieces, they are the perfect act for your drinks reception, cocktail hour or during dinner.
Check out their audio and video samples!
Jazz pianist/vocalist in Leeds
George is a talented jazz pianist and vocalist, who studied at the Leeds Conservatoire. He has a passion for jazz music but is also classically trained, with an Associate Diploma from Trinity College London.
As well as playing solo piano he is a founder member of a piano, bass and drums trio, who are also available to hire.
His repertoire specialises in music from the Great American Songbook, influenced by Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Dean Martin and Jamie Cullum.
The SS Flute and Harp duo offer a wide ranging repertoire suitable for weddings, events, birthday parties and recitals! Their range includes classical pieces, folk music and lighter pieces such as Fly me to the moon.
This review is from a lady who booked the duo for a very special birthday party;
"Thank you so much for playing yesterday at my aunt's birthday party. We all agreed that it was a perfect accompaniment to the afternoon and I know she enjoyed watching you both play."
Nigel - a Bedfordshire pianist
Nigel is a pianist who has played many gigs for Midsummer Music as part of a ceilidh band, but he is avaiable for solo piano bookings too! He is based in Bedfordshire but is happy to travel.
His repertoire spans traditional classical music, pop and Disney themes, seasonal favourites and many more, so he'd be pefect for a wedding, drinks reception, garden party or festive dinner night.
Check out his audio page for sample tracks including Don't cry for me Argentina, Pachelbel's Canon in D, Game of Thrones, White Christmas and Beauty and the Beast.
Sunny summer days!
It feels like summer has arrived, and just in time for half term!
This beautiful weather conjures up images of afternoons on the beach, village fetes and garden parties with barbecues, and jazz would be the perfect accompaniment.
Jazz music spans a wide range of styles and genres - Dixieland, blues, Trad jazz, swing, The Great American Songbook and Latin to name a few, so there's something for everyone's ears!
The vast range of choice for wedding music
What do you think of when you hear the phrase 'wedding music'? Do you think of a classical string quartet, playing as the guests gather in the church, a traditional jazz band accompanying your drinks reception, or an upbeat function band playing the lastest chart hits late into the evening?
Here at Midsummer Music we have all these and more, from solo saxophonists to harpists playing Disney music, from folk duos perfect for an outdoor gathering to brass bands and rock ceilidh bands. Not only that, we have many many years experience both of being musicians and providing the perfect musicians for your event.
Options for smaller classical groups!
Did you know that many of our string quartets can provide smaller groups; maybe your venue is a little tight for space, or you are planning and small intimate wedding and only want a couple of musicians?
We recently had an enquiry from a client who loves Pachelbel's Canon in D, and although it was originally written for four musicians, we were able to offer a range of groups from duos to quartets with this in their repertoire.
Click here to search for string quartets in your area , and if you can't see exactly what you're looking for then drop us a line through our contact form and we would be delighted to liaise with musicians on your behalf!
What do musicians do in lockdown?
Many of our bands and musicians are using this quiet lockdown time to work on new pieces of music!
Alan is a guitarist who is based in London but covers a radius of over 100 miles. He has a huge repertoire of pieces from Bach and Rodrigo to Elton John and Coldplay, including new additions by Dire Straits, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Guns n Roses.
Is space or budget a consideration for your wedding? Have you considered a classical duo for your ceremony or party? With a wide range of instrument combinations and repertoire, these small groups could be the perfect choice.
How about the SS String Duo? They are a violin and cello duo based in Berkshire (but willing to travel), with a vast repertoire covering classical, light, jazz and modern music.
Or possibly the slightly more unusual combination of guitar and cello? The PS String Duo can offer music from Pachelbel’s Canon to 1000 Years and easy listening pieces such as Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Find these, and other groups in your area, here.
Lockdown and home schooling
Here at Midsummer Music, we run a true bespoke service. We don't produce automated quotes - instead we look at your requirements and consider our roster of known and trusted musicians before suggesting them to you.
What this means at the moment, now that we're in the middle of another national lockdown, is that both of us who run Midsummer Music (Rob and Janet) have become somewhat busy with home-schooling, Zoom, remote meetings with teachers and all the other necessities of keeping our kids occupied.
With that in mind, please bear with us if it takes a day or two longer for us to respond to your enquiry. We promise that we will get to you as soon as we can, and we reply to every enquiry that we receive. Why not check out our roster of smaller ensembles - ideal for parties and get-togethers in the time of Coronavirus (Government advice permitting)...
The BA Band - three musicians but a lot of instruments!
The BA Band are a three piece (or four piece with a second fiddle player if a larger band is required) band based in the Forest of Dean. They are multi-instrumentalists, as well as composers and performers of their own music and will do their best to tailor their performance to your specifications.
Over the years they have played many, many successful bookings for Midsummer Music, and people have said that they “pitched things perfectly”, they “went down a storm” and they were ‘perfect, just what we wanted”!
Find more information and request a price for this band here.