What do we need to provide ?

We provide the music, the caller and the PA system. All you need to provide is the venue, food, drink and of course the dancers.

What sort of dances do you do ?

We generally have a mix of English, Scottish and American with the occasional more exotic dance thrown in. Our sample list of an average dance might include Virginia Reel, Sweets of May, Nottingham Swing, Farmers Jig, Cornish Six Hand Reel, La Russe, Rosa, Clopton Bridge, Blaydon Races, Waves of Tory, The Willow Tree and the traditional finishing dance of the evening the Circassian Circle Dance. Our usual program will also contain traditional Scottish dances as mentioned below. All our dances are fun, fully explained by our caller and straightforward.

When we play a completely Scottish dance night we have a complete repertoire of dances including the usual Gay Gordons, Strip the Willow and Dashing White Sergeant through to the more challenging Eightsome Reel.

Are the dances difficult ?

Not at all. Our caller is there to explain the dances. His job is to ensure that everybody gets up to dance and doesn’t sit down again !

What’s the music like ?

We play a varied repertoire of traditional music to accompany the dances. Check out our MP3 files on the music page

Who are Rattlebones ?

Rattlebones is a group of musicians drawn together by a love of playing traditional dance music. Most of the band members are full time musicians and the band contains more years experience of playing for weddings and events than we would like to remember (if we could). The band range in age from 25 to 50 and members can often be seen on the dance floor at Ceilidhs when they are not booked to play.

We are a five piece band and play an assortment of instruments including soprano sax, flute, melodeon, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, bass and drums but not all at the same time !


What if I need a smaller band ?

Rattlebones are happy to go out as a trio to suit a smaller venue or budget. We can still make enough noise to dance to.

What happens in the breaks ?

We have a CD player plugged into the PA and play appropriate traditional music during breaks and early in the evening. If you would like your own CDs played feel free to bring them along.

Do Rattlebones performs songs ?

No, we are all dreadful singers and stick to what we know best, playing quality music for dancing.

Where can I hold a Ceilidh/Barn Dance?

Ceildhs/Barn Dances are regularly held in hotels, barns, private houses, marquees, village & town halls, social clubs, and school halls. The ideal venue usually is spacious with a stage and a hard floor.

How much room do I need ?

Ceilidh’s are lively and the dancers move around a lot so the answer is as much room as possible. The seating is best arranged around the perimeter with any tables situated at the far end of the hall away from the band.

How much does a Ceilidh/Barn Dance cost ?

It’s a bargain for a great night’s entertainment. Email Phil today with your requirements for a quote.

What’s included in the price ?

A band, caller and PA system.

What's the difference between a Barn Dance and a Ceilidh ?

Nowadays there is now no significant difference with the Gaelic term “Ceilidh” frequently being used in England to describe a Barn Dance or English Country dance as well as an evening of Scottish social dancing.

How long is a Barn Dance/Ceilidh ?

Most Barn Dances last between two and four hours with breaks.

How do I book Rattlebones ?

No deposit is required. Just email Phil with your address and he will send you a booking form. Just complete this and return it within seven days and we are booked.

How far will Rattlebones travel ?

Rattlebones will accept bookings in Surrey, West Sussex, Hampshire & Berkshire.