Harbour Lights

We are based in East Suffolk and provide relatively inexpensive, light-hearted concerts, folk club spots or after dinner entertainment. Our material is drawn from East Anglian local traditional songs and tunes, music hall and a few more recent gems. The emphasis is on entertainment and audience participation. We prefer to play acoustically and get up ‘close and personal’ with our audiences.

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Two Coats Colder are a fun loving bunch of musicians who will certainly entertain you with their own varied take on folk music, drawing from Traditional, Contemporary & Progressive Styles. Their shows, which always feature a good mix of self penned songs plus a few borrowed gems, never fail to get their audiences singing along.

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tony hall 21WHAT I DO
I sing varied songs, accompanying myself on Hohner melodeons and play a mixture of tunes. I have played at folk clubs and festivals all over the UK for the last forty-odd years. I have made a number of solo recordings as well as playing on recordings by  Shirley Collins, Nic Jones and The Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor) among others. I have also written a number of ‘Norfolky’ songs.

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Terence Blacker

I write and sing songs about the way we live now, and play them on the guitar or ukulele. I have performed shows of songs and stories at venues from the Hay Festival to the Edinburgh Fringe, from from folk clubs to London’s Crazy Coqs cabaret bar.

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Sound tradition

Sound Tradition is an a cappella folk foursome (David, Linda, Catherine and Moose) singing in glorious harmony, with occasional harmonium or percussion. Their varied repertoire ranges from lively chorus songs to lilting ballads, and from medieval times to the modern day, but always with an ear for the English folk tradition.

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Proper EnglishWHAT WE DO
We are a singing trio and barn dance band performing traditional English songs and tunes in a lively and entertaining style.We have extensive collective experience in a number of bands; notably Tickler’s Jam, Katie’s Quartet, Old Hat, The Posh Band and The English String Band, including festivals, recording, TV and community work.

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Philyons 21

I sing traditional and contemporary British folk songs. I am an experienced performer, having sung at many folk clubs and festivals in this country and France. I play Bartram and Lowden guitars.

I have a solo CD, Time and Tide, that was well received on release.

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Paul Riley

I have played in folk clubs, festivals and pubs as a soloist and with various collaborators since the 1970s. I play a mix of instrumentals and self-penned songs, folk and near folk, folk-blues and non-folk if it takes my fancy! I play guitar and mandolin.
I have recorded a CD The Wanderer  – mostly original material, which has been well-received.

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Paddy B

I sing traditional songs and some contemporary story songs with guitar, melodeon and unaccompanied. As a contrast, I play French folk dance tunes on hurdy gurdy and melodeon.
Current CD available. Open Ground consisting mainly of traditional songs and some tunes.

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                               WHAT WE DO
The Hosepipe Band is usually a four-piece band playing for English ceilidhs / barn dances. We play for public events – festivals / public dances – and private events – weddings, parties etc.
Our repertoire combines traditional dance tunes from England, Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere with  our own compositions.

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No Strings Attached

We are Anglo-French folk singers bringing our own lyrical style to (mostly) traditional songs from England, Brittany and beyond. We follow the oral tradition of learning and performing by ear, and the great majority of tunes have harmonies arranged by us. We have sung at venues large and small in Suffolk and Essex since 2010.

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Born and raised in Suffolk and currently based in Newcastle, I am a solo singer of traditional and contemporary folk songs. I have performed in a variety of folk clubs and festivals, including Sidmouth Folk Festival, Folk East Festival, Hadleigh Folk and Acoustic Music Nights, Colchester Arts Centre and Shannonside Winter Music Festival in Ireland.

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About the ceilidh dances

The dances are mainly based on English folk dances and are danced as couples in lines, circles or squares.  Lots of people come without partners and many of the dances are progressive, where people change partners.

There are links below to sites that provide in depth information about ceilidh dances but most of our dances are fairly simple and can be done with the movements described here.  All the dances are called and start with a walk through to make sure that everyone understands the movements.

Basic guide!

  • The man usually has the lady on his right.   The top of the set is the end nearest the band.
  • Longways sets face towards the band and may have 3 or more couples - the men stand in one row and the ladies in a row on the men's right
  • Square sets have 4 couples standing in a square and facing inwards - the couples facing the band and with their back to the band are head couples - the others are side couples
Back to Back or Do si do Take 2 or 3 steps forward so that your right shoulder passes your partner’s right shoulder, take 2 steps to your right then 2 or 3 steps back so your left shoulder passes your partner’s left shoulder, back to your place
Balance Stand/hop on left leg and kick the right leg across your body – repeat on right leg
Cast The first person in the line turns away from their partner and walks towards the bottom of the set
Corner In a square set this is the person on the lady's right and man's left
Dip and Dive Holding your partner’s nearest hand, walk forward together going under the arch made by the first couple you come to and form an arch for the next couple to walk through
Grand Chain Standing in a circle, face your partner and give them your right hand. Walk past them and give your left hand to the next person.  Walk past them and give your right hand to the next person.  Continue till you get back to your place.
Ladies Chain The lady takes right hands with the opposite lady, moves forward past her and gives left hand to the man opposite.  He will put his right arm behind the lady and rotate on the spot as she walks round him.  The lady repeats the process with her own partner in order to return to her place
Reel of 3  
Reel of 4 People 1 and 3 face down the set. 2 and 4 face them, then like Reel of 3
Right and Left through Give your right hand to your partner and change places with them. Turn to your right and  give your left hand to the person next to you and change places with them. Turn to your right and give your right hand to your partner.  Turn to your right and give your left hand to the person next to you and change places with them so you are back in your place
Star Place your right or left arm as directed at shoulder height into the middle of the circle. Join hands with the others and walk round in a circle usually back to your place
Strip the Willow Take your partner’s right hand and turn them round until the lady faces the men’s line and the man faces the ladies line.  Hold out your left hand to the first person in the line and turn them round .Meet your partner in the middle of the set, give them your right hand and turn them round. Give your left hand to the second person in the set and turn them round until you reach the bottom of the set or group
Swing Take both your partner’s hands and turn round together
Turn Give your partner your left, right or both hands as directed and turn them round

More information

Mardles Ceilidhs

SkylarkingThe Marisca Trio are our band for December

Norfolk Ceilidhs were being held at the John innes Centre until March 2020, when Covid 19 put a stop to them.   We restarted on 08/10/2021, as Mardles Ceilidhs  at the Costessey Centre, Longwater Lane, NR8 5AH.    Many of the Mardles team helped make Norfolk Ceilidhs possible by playing, calling and organizing.   All the dances are called so no experience is needed!

We will be restricting numbers in line with Covid guidance so please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in order to book tickets (£8) - you will be sent a confirmation email that includes the bank details to credit.

Covid points to note, please - 

  • As a result of the added concerns due to Omicron, we are asking people to take a Lateral Flow Test on the day of the dance
  • Please only attend if you are completely well and have been double vaccinated or had a negative test in the previous 48hrs
  • We will ask you to hand sanitise before each dance, please bring your own.  Wearing a mask is optional
  • The doors will be open so bring something warm to wear in between dances
  • We won't be doing any dances such as Lucky 7 which involve mass partner swapping or handclapping
  • We will only hold hands with partners - hand holding with others will be replaced with elbow swings or hands on shoulders or Do Si Dos etc
  • People can come without partners but we would encourage them to dance with the same person for at least half the evening

Other points -.

  • We will be starting dancing at 19:30 and finishing at 21:45 because we have to be out of the car park by 22:30
  • There is no bar at the hall but there is a kitchen with mugs, kettles and glasses.  You are welcome to bring your own drinks, including tea and coffee but please wash up at the end!
    • If you bring alcohol then there is a corkage fee of £1 per 500ml can which we will have to pay to the Whitwell Railway as they hold the drinks licence for the hall. There will be a tub for you to put your cash fee into or you can pay it in advance when you buy your tickets. The licence holder will run a bar but we would have to guarantee them a high minimum turnover.

Date (Friday at 19:30) Band Caller
08/10/2021 The Keel Band Ken May
12/11/2021  Skylarking Steve Wiles 
03/12/2021  The Marisca Trio Jon Hooton
14/01/2022  Fairgreen Ceilidh Band Chris Austin
04/02/2022 The Occasional Ceilidh Band  Jill Parson
11/03/2022 The Hosepipe Band  
22/04/2022 Birgitta & friends - band name to be decided! Birgitta
02/12/2022  The Marisca Trio Jon Hooton


poster next danceDownload a poster for the next dance

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There is a long history of public ceilidhs in Norwich - maybe you can fill in some dates for us!  Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. any info.

  • Labour party held dances
  • Reeldance Organization held dances at Keir Hardy Hall on St Gregory's Alley until 2014
  • Norfolk Ceilidhs at John Innes Centre from 2015 to 2020


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Mardles.org brings you Folk news, reviews and information about music and dance events in the Eastern Counties. 

We run monthly Ceillidhs near to Norwich, you can read more about us in the About Us menu, which is at the foot of each page.   Please Contact Us if you would like to contribute articles to Mardles or to have your events listed.

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