Shindig, North East Scotland’s most popular ceilidh/function band, are a “dynamic fiddle driven powerhouse of modern celtic rock”. For many years they have built up an enviable reputation, playing venues from small village halls to large concert stages, leaving a trail of exhausted dancers wondering just how the band’s caller managed to persuade them onto the floor, but all glad of the experience, and the exercise.
It’s been an interesting journey. Highlights include Hogmanay 2005 when the band played their biggest gig in Aberdeen’s Castlegate to a crowd of 25,000 enthusiastic revellers, supported by a pair of folk-singers from Fife… and the following Hogmanay playing for a select gathering at the Strathdon home of a certain world famous comedian…many sold-out nights in the Music Hall…and ceilidhs in just about every village hall in Aberdeenshire.
Shindig newcomers can be taken aback by the powerful music the band deliver from such a compact unit. Traditional reels and jigs featuring dazzling fiddle are given a modern rocky edge allowing the musical tastes of the band to surface in the arrangements. Hints of reggae, funk and jangling pop add a contemporary feel to the sets, but this never get in the way of their traditional purpose… ..dancing. Gay Gordons, Strip The Willow, Dashing White Sergeant, Canadian Barn Dance, Boston Two Step, Riverside Jig, Eightsome Reel and much more all delivered with a bit of a funky groove and jangly pop.
Shindig’s versatility also allows the band to cover a wide range of pop and rock music. The Beatles, Kinks, Monkees, 60s Soul, Crowded House, Elvis, Oasis, Snow Patrol, Johnny Cash, Waterboys, Andy & Robbie Williams, Stevie Wonder, Deep Purple, and many more are likely to appear, often in the same song! The band often take spontaneous audience requests which can lead to some unlikely musical mixes. Accepting most of the blame is guitarist/vocalist, Graham Stephen, a sad strumming encyclopedia of pop music who has at last found a use for all those years spent lost in a wilderness of CDs, tapes and dusty vinyl. Graham also has a career as a singer/songwriter – see www.grahamstephen.co.uk – a talent which often comes in handy when his ageing brain cells make if necessary to “rewrite” the odd classic.
Over the years Shindig have been lucky to feature some of the best fiddle players around. Recently Sandy Tweddle, a founder member, acknowledged as one of the best ceilidh fiddle players around, has been back in the line up. Ceilidh lovers with long memories will remember the great early days of Shindig when a young and dapper Sandy would light up the stage in top hat and tails, full highland dress or even leather trousers. In many ways it was Sandy’s fiddle playing style that helped create Shindig’s distinctive sound and it’s great to have him back. We found some archive pics of the band recently, there on our Facebook site.
Add some of the most renowned rhythm players in Scotland and you can begin to understand why Shindig are one of the most popular ceilidh/function bands.
The strong musical lineup has also been supplemented by some of the finest dance callers and players available – among them the tireless talents of the singular Selwyn Roberts, the sophisticated style of Peter MacCallum, the lyrical fiddle playing and soulful vocals of Colin Campbell and many more – adding extra dimensions to the Shindig experience.
The band’s CD The Rolling Waves features some great new tunes from previous fiddler Sharon Hassan, three songs by Graham, and the band’s exciting reworking of traditional & contemporary tunes.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07779499416
You can hear more samples of the band’s music on Facebook