Category Archives: London band

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.

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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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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