A very Happy New Year to you all in ceilidh land (it’s still January, so we can still stay that).
We have some very exciting things happening for us this year, but before that, we want to thank everybody who booked us or came to one of our many gigs last year. 2019 was a record year for Frog on a Bike, seeing us play more gigs than we have in a very long time, including no less than 9 public ceilidhs. A feat that is already shaping up for a repeat in 2020.
So, what do we have planned for this year? In addition to our regular private gigs, which include many Cambridge College gigs already, we have several public gigs coming up.
On 8th February we will be playing our annual New Year Family Ceilidh for the village of Haddenham near Ely. This is held at the Arkenstall Centre and is a wonderful event with a lovely big stage, lots of dancing room, bar and is open to all with tickets available through the village art gallery. Those of you who are regulars at Ely Folk Club will know this venue well for hosting the larger acts that are too big for the club’s usual venue.
Fast forward to April 10th (Good Friday), we return after a long hiatus to the fabulous Unicorn Ceilidhs in Baldock. This legendary ceilidh series meets once a month and book top bands from all around the UK. Our ceilidh will be led by the wonderful caller Andy Rouse with interval dance spot entertainment being provided by the inimitable Rockingham Rapper! We may even be a bit of a musical surprise for you, but you’ll have to come along in April to find out more. Drumming for us for Unicorn will be the venerable Paul TJ O’Neill.
For Todmorden Folk Festival last year, we had the absolute please to be joined by Edwin Beasent and Heather Sirrel deputising for our usual rhythm section. For those of you who don’t know them, both Edwin and Heather play drums and bass for the band ‘Pilgrims Way’, along with Jon Loomes, Tom Kitching and Jude Rees. Edwin also plays melodeon for ceilidh band ‘The Ironmasters’ (previously known as ‘All Blacked Up’) This has led to a brilliant musical paring for us and means that Edwin and Heather are now our official long distance festival rhythm section.
We have two festivals with Edwin and Heather coming up so far this year, the first being Todmorden Folk Festival.
Todmorden is a small but charming town in West Yorkshire and straddles not only the Rochdale Canal but also the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. Tod’s folk festival will only be 6 years old this year and we are honoured to be invited back, for a second consecutive year, to play the ceilidh in the magnificent town hall. It’s a wonderful little festival, with an impressive line-up, and we can see it becoming a mainstay of the festival scene.
Speaking of festival mainstays, our second festival appearance for this year has to be one of the jewels in the crown of folk festivals. We are incredibly excited to be playing one of the Anchor Gardens ceilidhs at Sidmouth Folk Festival 2020! This is a wonderful opportunity for us, we are really looking forward to it and looking at the dance band line-up, we are in esteemed company.
We hope to see as many of you that are at Sidmouth as we can. Do come and dance with us and join us for a couple of sessions we’re leading during the week too! Our caller is still to be confirmed but being Sidmouth you’re bound to be in for a treat!
That’s 2020 for us so far, it’s going to be a great year. If you can join us for one of our public or festival gigs, welcome, if you can’t we hope to see all of you along the road somewhere.
Den, Lyn, Phil, Sarah, Tim and Tom