Functional Bands with Stars in their Eyes


Bands which play traditional music for traditional dances seem, on the face of it, somewhat anachronistic in 21st century England – the entertainment equivalent of other relics such as coal fires, private grocers, hot water bottles and church services.

The amazing thing is that traditional dance bands still exist at all. Ceilidh bands, barn dance bands, whatever you like to call them, and the events they play at – and there are hundreds of them up and down the country – are not just another facet of the heritage industry, quaint reminders of bygone times, revived or preserved for the benefit of tourists or nostalgia freaks eager to experience Merrie England first hand. What saves these present-day dance bands from this living death is that, unlike many other modern musical entertainments, they have a function independent of the leisure industry – in fact beyond entertainment.

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Suffolk Folk

Norfolk Folk Association