Category Archives: Live music

Pastiche Jazz trio playing for a summer garden party in London

Pastiche Live Jazz Band.

Pastiche  Live Jazz Band.

Recently Pastiche live jazz band, were hired to play for a big charity fund raising event. The charity was the excellent Resurgo Spear –

The venue, in South West London, was lavishly decorated for a sumptuous dinner. The band comprised an eight-piece line up – female vocal, tenor sax, alto sax, trumpet, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums.

There was a 1920s/Gatsby theme for the evening – ladies in “flapper dresses, lots of feathers, beads and hats,” men in suits waistcoats and hats.

On saxophone we have the legendary Steve Gregory, who has played with Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, oh, and played that saxophone line on George Michael’s Careless Whisper. (We were once playing Careless Whisper at a wedding when one of the guests stopped dancing, came over and remarked, “respect – that sax sounds just like on the original recording!”)

On trumpet and percussion we have the fabulous Raul D’Olivera, who has played with Elton John, George Michael and Mica Paris, amongst others.

As it was a dinner the client, inevitably, wanted a dinner jazz set. Some of the tunes were sang by our vocalist, Danica Chapman – Summertime, Autumn Leaves, Georgia, Have I Told You Lately. Some were instrumental tunes – Satin Doll, Take the A Train, Blue Bossa.

The band played for the champagne reception. There was a silent film, which the band accompanied with the Louis Armstrong song What a Wonderful World. Later the band played a more lively, jazzy set for dancing, including Sway, Route 66, Moondance and even a jazzy version of Amy Winehouse’s Valerie.

The charity were pleased with the support that they received and clients and band all had a swinging time.

Here’s an audio recording from the evening – a medley of tunes and songs.

Pastiche playing for a ceilidh dance at a wedding

4 occasions when a ceilidh dance would be amazing

4 occasions when a ceilidh dance would be amazing

  • Ceilidh dance at a wedding,
  • Ceilidh dance at a school party
  • Ceilidh dance at a fundraiser
  • Ceilidh dance at a corporate event

Ceilidh dance is a great way to break the ice, and get conversation going when people meet for the first time at a get together of any kind. Ceilidh is always fun to do too – especially when some people have not danced at a ceilidh before. Complete beginners can quickly be guided in their first steps. At first people tend to bumble around bumping into each other, at least until the get the hang of the steps. Our caller expertly and quickly guides people through the ceilidh dance steps. We find that sometimes those who have already done a ceilidh before (or maybe are very experienced at ceilidh) get a little grumpy with the novices, but soon all are swirling around the dance floor.

Ceilidh and covers.

Pastiche are a flexible band – we can play one or two sets of ceilidh, and one or two sets of covers of well known, party songs from the ‘50s to today’s hits to really mix things up. Playing a ceilidh is good fun for the band too – it’s obvious that we are enjoying ourselves.

Ceilidh dance at a Wedding

Ceilidhs are often associated with weddings. Pastiche Band have played a ceilidh and cover song mix at many weddings. It’s a great way for people to get to know each other.

Here are some comments that we’ve had from recent weddings.

Adam and I wanted to thank you for such a stunning performance at our wedding at the Corinthia Hotel back in September. Your energy, skill and enthusiasm was absolutely perfect and really got the party going straight from the off. It was great to have the combination of ceilidh and covers and we had so many compliments from our guests. Everyone could tell that you were all really enjoying it and that just seemed to transfer to all of our guests. Thank you again. Justin.

Many thanks for your wonderful performance at our wedding yesterday. Everyone loved your music, the excellent singing and the ceilidh dancing (even though our guests’ dancing leaves much room for improvement!) Thanks, Rowan.

We just wanted to send you a note to say how much we loved having you at our wedding and how much fun we had. Many of our friends and family had never been to a ceilidh before but have said how much they enjoyed it. Thank you! Mike and Rebecca

Ceilidh dance at a Fundraiser

Pastiche caller instructs the dancers at a ceilidh dance

Pastiche caller instructs the dancers at a ceilidh dance

Pastiche band have been hired to play the ceilidh, covers mix at fundraisers too. After the guests have been fed and watered, sometimes listened to some speeches, they are ready to get up, let their hair down, and have a good dance. It’s a fun way to have a good laugh. One of the clients at a fundraiser said that their ceilidh dancing was “at the very least enthusiastic!”

Here are a couple of recent testimonials from fundraisers that we have played.

I just wanted to write and say such a big thank you from us all for providing us with such fantastic entertainment and music on Saturday night! You were fantastic. We have had an endless string of compliments from everyone there and it made the night perfect so a very big thank you!! Sarah – Much Hadham Playgroup Ball

I wanted to thank you very much for making the Feltonfleet Burns night a great success.  We were all absolutely thrilled with the way the event went. We have been inundated with positive feedback from our guests. Here are some of the comments we have received: ‘… Stunning setting, excellent dancing or at the very least enthusiastic… thanks to the very patient lady directing us’ ‘We loved every minute, the singing, and of course, the Scottish dancing was brilliant.’ What a shame, we didn’t have more time, as I know many of the guests would have loved to dance for longer! Thank you once again. Charlotte – Feltonfleet School

Ceilidh dance at a School Party

Because ceilidh dance is good for all ages we have played for school parties. Adults can dance with their children and all have a good time.

We would just like to say a HUGE ‘Thank You’ to each one of you for the brilliant music on Saturday night – Danica, you have an amazing voice.  So many people have been saying how wonderful it was to have a live band and how much fun you made it. It was amazing that you were so flexible to be able to play Scottish dancing music. So many of the young are saying that they were thrilled to learn how to do the reeling and definitely want to repeat the experience. Love Susie xxx

Ceilidh dance at a Corporate party

Some corporate conferences like to put on a party in the evening. The guests may have had a hard day of work and study. Sometimes they are from different parts of the company and may not know each other very well. Ceilidh is the best way to guarantee a good time.

Just a quick note to say a huge thank you to you and your band for last night. We all had the most brilliant time and the dancing was a great success. Many thanks and I hope to work with you again in the future. Best wishes Henny – ANYA HINDMARCH.

What is a ceilidh? Pastiche ceilidh band, London - fiddler, caller and the guitarist

What is Ceilidh? Who can ceilidh dance?

What is ceilidh?

Ceilidh is a Gaelic term common to Scottish, Irish and emigrant communities. The word means ‘a visit’. The original ceilidh could be a pre-arranged or spontaneous social gathering of family and friends. Customarily a ceilidh would take place after sunset, particularly during winter months. In the winter the short days meant that there were limited hours for outside work.

In rural traditions communities there would be a cottage called a taighean ceilidh (a visiting house). The occupant would typically be a shanachie (storyteller), a singer and keeper of traditional knowledge. They would keep legendary tales alive, and hand down the oral tradition to successive generations. An evening could include poetry, stories, dancing, proverbs, riddles, jokes and songs. Music would be played on pipes, fiddle or accordion. The evening would generally culminate in a dance.

Major events such as weddings, births, deaths, would be celebrated with song. The rhythm of song was also an accompaniment to all kinds of work. An old Gaelic proverb states, “The end of the world will come, but love and music will live forever.”

With increasing urbanisation the social gathering became more formalised, and moved into community halls.

Throughout the 1920s there was much shared tradition between Scotland and Ireland. The term ceilidh implies dancing. A ceilidh gathering is often called a ‘ceilidh dance.’ Dancing takes place to the accompaniment of jigs (a lively folk dance most often in 6/8 time) and reels (a folk dance typically in 2/4 time). Jigs and reels are often played as medleys of tunes in a ‘set’.

What is a ceilidh dance?

A ceilidh dance comprises a variety of dances, which can include traditional dances, old-time dances – even a waltz and quickstep can be included.

What is ceilidh? The Pastiche Band caller teaches the dance steps for a ceilidh

Pastiche ceilidh band caller teaches the steps

Who can ceilidh dance?

Anyone can ceilidh dance; all age groups. Even those with little dancing experience or skill can join in. Most ceilidh dances have a repeated 16 or 32 bar sequence. This makes a ceilidh dance fairly easy to learn. They can be danced with a minimal amount of tuition. A caller guides the dancers through the steps.

According to David and May Ewart, “Young people discover that in ceilidh there is life after disco, and ‘mature movers’ are attracted by the nice-and-easy appeal of this form of dance, as well as by it’s social aspects.” Scottish Ceilidh Dancing, 1996, Introduction.

Ceilidh dances are a popular for parties and weddings and fun way that people can get together.
Pastiche, a ceilidh band based in South East England, perform some popular ceilidh dances such as:

Dashing White Sergeant – one of the preeminent ceilidh dances.

Gay Gordons – a lively, popular party dance.

Circassian Circle – a 32 bar jig danced in a circle. There are numerous variations to this dance.

Strip the Willow – an all age dance popular in schools and at weddings. It is a 32 bar jig danced in a circle.

Pastiche Ceilidh, or kaylee, band available for weddings, parties, fundraisers...

Ceilidh, or kaylee, or céilí?

Ceilidh or kaylee?

A ceilidh, or kaylee, is social event with traditional dancing, Gaelic folk music, singing and storytelling. It is prevalent in Scottish and Irish communities.

Although pronounced ‘kaylee’ the word is correctly spelled céilidh or céilí.

“On long dark winter nights it is still the custom in small villages for friends to collect in a house and hold what they call a “ceilidh” (pronounced kaylee). Young and old are entertained by the reciters of old poems and legendary stories which deal with the ancient beliefs… Some sing old and new songs set to old music or new music composed in the manner of the old.” Wonder Tales from Scottish Myths & Legend, MacKenzie D.A p.14. (1917)

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Pastiche Band play for a combined English/Irish wedding at Epsom Downs racecourse

Live music at a combined English/Irish wedding

A combined English /Irish wedding

Pastiche Band were booked to play live music for a combined English/Irish wedding at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, England. Just eighteen miles from central London, the racecourse is the home of the Epsom Derby. The venue is an ideal location for a wedding with its stunning views over the racecourse and the Downs.

As the couple and their guests were a mix of English and Irish (and a few Scots too) they requested a wide variety of live music. They also wanted more than the standard five-piece line up. The five-piece line up comprises female lead vocal, male vocal/electric guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. To this we added a fiddle player for the Irish set, and sax and trumpet for the party music sets.
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A Ceilidh Dance with Pastiche Band at a Central London Hotel

A live ceilidh/party music mix for a big London wedding.

A live ceilidh/party music mix for a big London wedding.

Autumn saw Pastiche Band play a live ceilidh/party music mix at the very fine Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, London SW1 – just around the corner from Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament. The band had played there not too long ago for a New Years Eve party. This time Pastiche had been hired for the ceilidh/party mix that is proving popular, particulaly for weddings. Ceilidh is a great way to start off the wedding dancing, break the ice, and quickly get people whirling around the dance floor and having fun.

A live ceilidh/party music mix - Pastiche Band in Central London

Ceilidh Dancing to Pastiche Band in Central London

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