Celebrating life's important events with dancing dates back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and traditional dancing remains popular because it’s still great fun and is suitable for all ages and abilities. You don't have to know the dances or the steps either; if you can tell your left from your right hand and follow some simple instructions, with a little expert guidance from our caller, everyone will have a night to remember. The progressive dances in particular are great ice-breakers but all the dances will give you and your guests the opportunity to mix and enjoy yourselves together. This makes it ideal entertainment for all social occasions solving a big problem for many event organisers in the process. This kind of entertainment is suitable for children too, although not for the very young.
The fun starts with the first dance and most often we play 2 sets, one either side of an interval, giving you up to three hours dancing. We usually play appropriate recorded background music before we begin, to get people in the mood and between our sets too. The interval gives your guests a chance to have some supper if you are planning it, or just to catch their breath and refresh their glasses. So, typically, if we started at 7:30pm we'd be finishing at around 11pm. We can play for shorter sets if you need to accommodate other things during the evening or longer, if you just love to dance. If a 7:30pm start doesn't work for you, tell us what will and we'll work around it.
The music and dances we play are from a variety of traditions including Northwest England but we can tailor our repertoire to suit any preferences you may have.
Our dance caller will keep you and your guests occupied with the dances and entertained with his banter and, in between the dances whilst you get your breath back, we’ll play some music for you. He'll also be pleased to act as MC where necessary to keep your party going with a swing.
Our wireless microphone will be available to you should you wish to say a few words to mark the occasion.
Our volume level is only high enough to enjoy the dance so if you do sit one out, you'll still be able to talk! We will do our best to make sure you enjoy your experience and hope you'll pass on your recommendation.
We usually perform as a four-piece band, including the caller but would be pleased to quote you for a trio if space is limited. If you are plannning a more intimate event, perhaps at home, then we can entertain you as a duo.
From time to time it may be necessary for guest musicians to deputise for our regular band members.
We are professional musicians and have lots of experience playing lively music for dancing around the Northwest and much further afield too. We've been together as a Band for over 11 years now and in that time have played at close to 400 events, the majority of them being weddings.
I lead the Band and have a passion for folk & traditional music, from Northwest England in particular. The Band usually include several 'local' tunes amongst our dance sets and we all agree they sit very comfortably with dance music from around Britain and further afield. I have also composed a number of the tunes we play. This website shows the other projects that currently keep me busy and, needless to say, they are all fiddle related! When I'm playing with the Band I play an Asymmetric 4 String fiddle made by Tim Phillips and next to my son, it's my pride & joy. I like real ale and the smell of new mown grass and, most weekends, if I'm not playing with Union Street, I'm usually tramping the fells and footpaths around the region, weather permitting.
By some distance, Sham is the tallest member of the band and has been gainfully employed in the music business since 1989 when he became manager of Shamrock Recording Studio in the Ribble Valley. A keen festival-goer, he has engineered sound and lighting at some of the larger UK folk events including Sidmouth & Towersey and, closer to home, Fleetwood Folk & Blues festival. He holds a Teaching Certificate and has delivered Music Technology, Pop Music and IT courses at Preston and Runshaw F.E. colleges. He is a singer-guitarist in the duo Sham & Dave, sings tenor and bass for the Darwen-based choir, The Ashleigh Singers. Sham is a contributor to BBC Radio Lancashire’s weekly folk music programme, The Drift.
Richard is a powerful guitar player and a fine singer who is equally at ease with folk, ragtime, blues and contemporary music. His driving percussive and rhythmic guitar skills are blended with subtle fingerstyle playing making him in high demand as a soloist and as a skilled accompanist for traditional melody players and singers alike. He has a keen interest in the traditional music of northwest England singing songs by the Blackburn poets of the 19th century and the 'Lancashire Burns', Edwin Waugh.
The caller is the most important member of the Band so we work with the most respected in the region, all of whom have many years' experience. We'll choose one most suited to your event and they will guide the dancers through the figures to let them know what they should be doing and, most importantly, when they should be doing it! Sometimes, if you're new to this style of dancing, it's surprisingly easy to turn the wrong way or get in a muddle but don't worry, that usually adds to the enjoyment too!
Ceilidh dancing is very much a live event and it’s difficult to capture to capture the energy in a recording but if you're not sure exactly what sort of music we play, click here. If you don't tap your feet, check your pulse!
We have a professional approach to insurance and Health & Safety regulations. For the re-assurance of yourself and your guests we hold Public Liability Insurance with an indemnity limit of £5 million. Please ask us for evidence of our cover.
Under normal circumstances we provide our own professional quaity PA system. The integrity of our equipment has been fully tested and is compliant with the I.E.E. PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) code of practice. Ask to see our certification.
To ensure the safety of the public and ourselves we have undertaken a risk assessment of our equipment, the performance space (both the stage and dancing areas) and of traditional social dancing in particular. If you or your venue administration would like to view this document then please contact me.
Naturally our fees are dependent on the duration and location of your event but we charge a sensible rate including the cost of the caller and travelling costs too so there are no hidden extras. Please contact me with a few details about your event and I’ll respond with a firm quotation straight away.
Union Street have been playing together since 2008 so have lots of experience but most of the Band’s bookings are private events which limits the opportunities for people to see us perform. If you’re interested in booking us but can’t get to one of our public events, I may be able to arrange, with our client's permission, for you to attend a private one, just to see what goes on. You’ll be able to see first-hand how the dancers enjoy themselves and hear our music. Whenever new clients have taken this opportunity we’ve always received a booking. Please contact me to arrange this for you.
Here is a selection of our future bookings, the public events are highlighted in green. Click to see our Previous Bookings.
|25th May 2019||Wedding celebrations||SMSJ-The Old School Rooms, Clitheroe||Private function|
|29th May 2019||Wedding celebrations||Wyersdale Park, Scorton||Private function|
|31st May 2019||The Tandem Club National Rally||Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC||Private function|
|22nd June 2019||Birthday celebrations||Ramsbottom Civic Hall||Private function|
|29th June 2019||English Country Dance Weekend||Croston Community Centre, PR26 9RH||All welcome
see website for tickets
|6th July 2019||Cleckheaton Folk Festival||Cleckheaton Town Hall, BD19 3RH||All welcome
see website for tickets
|12th July 2019||Skools Out ceilidh!||School of Biological Sciences, Manchester University||Private function|
|13th July 2019||Wedding celebrations||Braithwaite Institute, Keswick||Private function|
|17th August 2019||Wedding celebrations||Wordsworth Hotel, Grasmere||Private function|
|22nd August 2019||Wedding celebrations||Venue to be confirmed||Private function|
|24th August 2019||Wedding celebrations||Woodford Community Centre||Private function|
|31st August 2019||Wedding celebrations||Astley Bank Hotel, Darwen||Private function|
|7th September 2019||Wedding celebrations||Samlesbury Hall, Preston||Private function|
|28th September 2019||Wedding celebrations||The Wellbeing Farm, Edgworth||Private function|
|4th October 2019||LSA PTFA Ceilidh||St. Paul's Parish Hall, Fairhaven||All welcome|
|18th October 2019||Dance School Ceilidh||Inn on the Prom, St. Annes||Private function|
|20th October 2019||Wedding celebrations||The Wellbeing Farm, Edgworth||Private function|
|2nd November 2019||Wedding celebrations||Ribby Hall Village, Wrea Green||Private function|
|14th December 2019||Wedding celebrations||The Villa Levens||Private function|
|24th January 2020||Burns' Night Ceilidh||Samlesbury War Memorial Hall, PR5 0UY||All welcome
07966 182544 for tickets
|25th January 2020||Burns' Night Ceilidh||Bolton School Arts Centre||Private function|
|28th March 2020||Wedding celebrations||The Wellbeing Farm, Edgworth||Private function|
|9th May 2020||Wedding celebrations||Brindle St.Joseph's Parish Hall||Private function|
|17th October 2020||Birthday celebrations||Rivington Hall Barn, Bolton||Private function|
© Fiddlemusic 2019