Old School Band News

January 22, 2015

Are You Covered ?

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 12:18 pm

Although we are by definition a “Semi- Professional” outfit, we like to think we deal with bookings in a totally professional manner. This is not the Case with all Bands, I can’t say who was at fault, but we recently had a desperate plea from a client who claimed they were “let down” by another Band, and at very short notice !
Well, there are two sides to any story, and on the other hand, we have found that once upon a time clients, particularly those who were about to get married would book a bunch of Bands, then go see them, and choose one, sacking the others ! If you have worked in salaried employ (I did for 25 years) money comes at the end of the month no matter what.. If you are freelance it’s “no play, no pay”. This is not good if you have a mortgage and so on.
For reassurance all round, we have a list of future bookings which all Band Members have, and we regularly liaise with our Callers to make sure their diaries are up to date. I think we have sorted out rogue bookings by asking for a deposit to be paid, and sending a receipt which is a contract between Band and Client.
As I said, we are Semi Pro, but there is a lot to lose in reputation if you don’t take this Game seriously, let me assure all future clients that this Band do.

January 4, 2015

Phil’s New Year Recipe

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 6:48 pm

My dear old mother wanted me to marry a Delia Smith Type, because she looked so nice, but much later even Delia described herself as” a bit of a Bitch”, pity I didn’t know it, or I would then have fancied her !

Anyway dear reader(s), here’s the recipe for The Old School Band, ingredients are, the finest Sound System, the Best Instruments, Musicians who can play with “lift”,and of course, the best Callers (Roger anyone ?), each with a unique and individual style, all of which combines, to make a product that understands what Dancers want, and provides it in large portions.

Take to a Wedding Gig, where the clients are 100% satisfied with the booking, other eligible couples also think about booking us for their future Weddings, the Venue Manager asks us for a card, the other guests might well be organisers of events, or are having parties, anniversaries etc,so they ask us for a card, The Result is copious supply of future gigs.

At the moment we are nearly full all the way to Summer, and Autumn is looking good, as I have said August this year will be very difficult, so I can’t guarantee anything there.

So anyway, we carry on for another year with plenty of gigs to look forward too, we could just squeeze you in as well, give us a try.


November 30, 2014

Christmas Greetings

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 9:30 pm

Well here we are again, anybody who reads these blogs (Roger ?) knows I’m a Comet Guy, rather than a God one (ah but did he put the water and virus on the Comet that caused life on our Planet, but why did he wait Millions of years to create Nigel Farage ?).

So anyway, gigs are scarce between now and January as they normally are, but I shall be putting my feet up and reading Richard Dawkins autobiography, trying to relax, because gigs are backing up through to April, and June is coming alive too, so book early for Spring and early summer, or you may be disappointed.
Anyway, season’s greetings to all those who bother with this blog,
PS One of our special callers “professional Lanky” Sid Calderbank has just been on BBC’s “Countryfile” speaking dialect poetry, gradely lad, gradely.

October 12, 2014


Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 11:38 am

Stop press !

Soon after posting my last blog, I received an Email from Dave, because we had just done a 60th birthday party for his neighbour, for whom we had played before at a previous function.

The party at St Joseph’s Chorley, the best for such parties in Chorley, by the way, had been a huge success. We also felt our sound, and its effect on the audience, coupled with Roger’s usual aplomb as Caller (usual jokes too !) produced yet another excellent gig.

The words that stuck out in the plaudit were “sounded better than ever”. I can’t stress enough that unlike many other Ceilidh Bands, we have invested a lot of money into our Bose Sound System, with state of the art wireless microphones, and everyone takes pains to use the finest personal equpment. We recently upgraded our mixer in order to improve our overall sound.
As I keep saying we want to hear the real sound of the acoustic and Electricic instruments, and amplify at a volume that does not offend the ear, and means you can still have a conversation, unlike mr DJ whose motives, and aesthetics remain a deep mystery to me !

P S We just did a party at Samlesbury Village Hall for the first time, an excellent venue if you are looking for one.

October 8, 2014

Our Customers write

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 7:24 pm

Let’s face it, you have to take a little risk to book a Ceilidh for your wedding entertainment, in some ways you could get a D J, with all that implies (Mindless verbiage, Brown Eyed Girl, Dancing Queen ) and there you go.
You, dear prospective customer, want something better, but is everyone going to enjoy it ?
I won’t vouch for other bands, but we have had a run of very successful weddings recently.
Tessa and Pete wrote “We had an amazing time, and it was so nice to see so many friends and family up dancing”
.Rachel and Richard wrote “Everyone had a good time including those who had never been to a Ceilidh before” and concluded “We would definitely recommend you to anyone looking to hire a Band.
So there we are, two really good recent plaudits.

September 25, 2014

More Naked Self Advertisement

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 2:15 pm

It behoves me to sit at the tiller of the “Vessel, Old School Band” and steer it towards the horizon avoiding rocks like our inability to take up many opportunities to do weddings in August because of the rest of our crew’s fetish for bad Folk Festivals. What treasures we do forsake !!
Anyway, to my blog theme for real. The more perceptive may have noticed that I am a professional tutor of fretted instruments, and could give you lessons ! I am based in Preston at philarmitageguitartutor.com, I am available at any of our gigs to play Solo Guitar at the wedding breakfast or Civil Ceremony. If you also have any dinners or functions that would benefit from tasteful ambient Live Music, get in touch.And even better,unlike this Band, I’m actually available in August !!

August 29, 2014

August Die She Must

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 6:36 am

The above line from a children’s rhyme ( another Paul Simon ripoff), can describe my mood after this month.
Last year about this time I advised customers to book early for August, This produced an absolute nightmare of trying to get a Band who were either on holiday, or at a Festival, or helping on another project, to fulfil obligations.
I’m pleased to say we did it, but only just, and we had to cancel one booking. For 2015, I am going to regretfully take the opposite tack and not commit to a gig in August, or the last week in July until I know what the rest of the Band, and our usual Callers are up to. There will be no Fylde Folk Festival next year, but rumours are that something else will take its place, meaning some of our number will be there, so in this sort of scenario, I am going to avoid a long term commitment.

July 20, 2014

Reeling in the years

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 5:29 pm

Last night we did the gig of the Summer ! There’s always one where everything comes together. We were in a TIpI (sic) at Wyresdale Park near Scorton, a pretty village near the A6, but far removed, and in a sort of Manor house converted to a venue, check out their website,

. There had been thunderstorms and Lightning forecast, but other than a little light rain we escaped our usual bad weather curse which applies whenever we do a Marquee. Still, what better way to go than to die a Rock ‘n Roll death struck by lightning on stage ! Thanks too to Alison, our Canal Barge dwelling Caller supreme who did a great job.

The other great feeling I got yesterday was when we got a request to do the Silver Wedding of a couple who used the Old School Band for their wedding Ceilidh at Ince Town Hall 25 years ago. She is hoping to book the same venue again, a real nostalgia trip in the making.

Other Ceilidh Bands sometimes ask us for our secret. Simple, we have been at it for more years than I like to think about (we really must learn some new tunes ! ), but people also remember us, and will re book on the strength of what fun they had with us in the past.

June 1, 2014

Son of Disco rides again

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 5:47 pm

Our star reader Roger requested another blog on the gig last night. Well I certainly change the message more often than he changes jokes, boom boom !
My ;last rant (for lo that’s what it was !) was about Bad Discos, now let’s do bad Ceilidh Bands ! We don’t like them either ! what happens is that we are recommended to a prospective customer, but we can’t do it, or maybe they think they can get a cheaper Old School Band, It happens ! The Band they get is so bad that they kill the fatted goose for all of us, and the great tradition is tainted.
A bunch of ad hoc Folkies thrown together to make a fast buck won’t make it. A bunch of self regarding virtuosos won’t make it either. So what’s the difference ? well we, and a few others have been at it for years, we know what to play, and when, and we produce a certain quality which makes for a great dancing experience.
It is hard to define what that quality is. in Jazz it don’t mean a thing if it aint got that swing. A good pop band rocks, the best definition of what a good Ceilidh Band plays with is “lift” , you want to get up and dance and enjoy yourself.
In business a lot of store is put into Brand Names, and corporate firms will buy each other out just to get one.
So ladies and Gentlemen we are a Ceilidh Band Brand, and we play with lift. plus we only use the Best Sound System and Callers of course, even Roger sometime.

May 12, 2014

Mo’ Disco

Filed under: What's going on — Old School Band @ 3:30 pm

As part of our services to humanity, we are quite often privileged to share the stage with a Disco. I think post Saville, nobody has much of an image of moral rectitude, but aside from the nationally known DJ’s I’m sure they are as moral as the next guy, this isn’t our concern anyway.
What concerns us as a Band is that these guys can kill an atmosphere stone dead in an instant. One of them once played “It’s Over” by Roy Orbison as first record at a wedding reception, another offered the Soul Classic “Don’t You Feel like Cryin’” again in similar circumstances.
We have chosen our Sound System to accurately reproduce the sound of Musical Instruments without distortion. They bolster up the volume to genuinely hurtful levels with no attention to E Q, so the Bass and treble are just excruciating.
A mild mannered cheery Soul of a man who chats to us before the gig suddenly galvanises into a raving maniac shouting “Perty Party Party” or other such verbiage.
Do we need such people, do they listen to reason, ask yourself this if you feel you need a Disco and a Ceilidh Band. I occasionally get asked if I can recommend a good Disco, I recently lost us a gig by replying that “GOOD” and “Disco” seem to be poles apart

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