When Lucy heard Jiggered Ceilidh Band at a large Gala Dinner in October 2011 she decided they were the band she wanted to play at her wedding to Roger. They were getting married at Lumley Castle (the tagline is "no ordinary venue" and we can vouch for that!).A roadtrip was in order!!
As ever, Jenny brought her own bit of drama to proceedings. While Ewan, Susan and I drove down to Lumley Castle (it's in Chester-le-Street, between Newcastle and Durham), Jenny decided at the last minute to take the train. Her bargain £20 train ticket would get her from Edinburgh to Chester-le-Street but she missed it and had to buy a £50 ticket for the next train. Then of course she didn't have any way of getting from the station to the Castle...so she hitched a lift!
Meanwhile, the rest of us made it to Chester-le-Street and visited a chippy for dinner (a place where the locals would treat themselves to a delicacy I'd never heard of: a bag of batter). We took the chips to the castle and the duty manager allowed us to use a cosy wee quaint conference room called The Bede...Then the fireworks started ;)
You never know exactly how a crowd down in England will respond to ceilidh but Lucy and Roger's guests were a great bunch and we never had to coax them onto the floor- they were keen to try all the dances.
At the break, guests tucked into the CHEESE wedding cake. I did not.
We also excahnged our Secret Santa gifts. I say "Secret" Santa...I've yet to take part in a Secret Santa arrangement which didn't end in everyone figuring out "who bought for who"! Ewan got Stick With Jesus drumsticks which led to a nonsense conversation where we branded our own Christian-themed musical accessories (Stick With Jesus Drumsticks, Jesus Picked Me Plectrums, Jesus is the Key Piano cover, Jesus: The Resin for the Season Violin Resin). Puns over it was time for a lively second half and the long drive home to Scotland.
Next up? Hogmanay @ Gleddoch tomorrow.
Posted at 10:41 on 30th December 2012 by Chris Smith
Jiggered's final ceilidh before Christmas was at the impressive Performing Arts Centre at Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh. It was a joint birthday party for two sisters, Annie (16) and Jess (18). The hall was huge but we were really impressed that the dance floor filled up every time with super-enthusiastic, energetic friends and family! Definitely the BEST EVER Cumberland Basket from one set who would kneel as if starting a sprint and then launch themselves in the air, forming the basket while still in flight and then hurling each other around full pelt. Awesome.
It was a great event and we were delighted to be involved. Our next ceilidh's down in England on the 29th December followed by our Hogmanay gig at Gleddoch House Hotel, Langbank.
Have a brilliant Christmas everyone from the Jiggered team!
Posted at 9:24 on 15th December 2012 by Chris Smith
Lots to tell you after tonight's ceilidh. Going to have to settle for bullet points:
-Arrive at 6.25pm for early set up.
-Meet electrian Mark who is going to give our equipment the once over. Gear passes the PAT. (Note: it's not PAT Testing as that would be "Portable Appliance Testing Testing", the same reason it's not a PIN Number, ATM Machine, HIV Virus etc...).
-Band message to say there's a serious crash on the motorway. At one stage it looks like it might just be me. I try to recruit Mark, at least for moral support. He, understandably, is for none of it and leaves.
-The rest of the band arrive in the nick of time ready for a most pleasant first half. This crowd (here to raise money for Galston Church Fete) appreciated good music and ceilidh at a leisurely pace so that's exactly what they got. A couple of up tempo dances followed by a wee breather to enjoy Jenny's sweet vocals, accompanied by Susan's virtuoso violin harmonies.
-The break arrives and we're ushered in first to enjoy some of the best sandwiches we've ever had at a ceilidh, followed by some chewy meringues, truffles and good old Ayrshire festive tonic: ginger wine.
-A quick rendition of "Jingle Bells" brings Santa Claus out of the woodwork and he conducts the raffle (issuing the prizewinners with a lot more than just the prize their ticket earned them!).
-Ewan was back on raffle form, scooping an impressive Christmas wreath, put together by ex-servicemen with PTSD.
-I win a fetching china rooster mug. And as if that wasn't excitng enough, it came with matching coaster and tea-towel. The wife's Christmas sorted, then.
-The second half was great too with the ceilidh stuff, Scottish stuff and covers all big hits ("Dignity" sure got folk up for a boogie)-
Ooops. Almost forgot. The photo attached to the blog shows the artwork in the toilet. It's a cat/dog smoking. I'll leave you to figure out the hidden meaning in that one.
Posted at 23:42 on 8th December 2012 by Chris Smith
Kilsyth Church of God are celebrating being about for 50 years...their month of special events kicked off with a ceilidh and Jiggered were the obvious choice for them! We'd already played for some of this bunch at a birthday bash in a barn back in 2010.
Winter's here for sure- the car park was icy, the Christmas tree was up and the car radio was blasting out the tunes of the season! We performed 3 sets of about an hour each. In between the troops were enterained with some games and poem, specially penned for the occasion.
I think quote of the night goes to the older gentleman who introduced himself to Susan with the line "I fiddle a bit too, dear. I fiddle the taxes here and there".
If you're in the Kilsyth area, why not check out the events these guys have on this month and come along?
Posted at 12:45 on 2nd December 2012 by Chris Smith
I guess the litmus test for a successful band is to ask former clients "would you book this lot again?". Obviously after last year's fundraiser at Hurlford Bowling Club, the guys from Kilmarnock Portland FC were in no doubt: they wanted more of Jiggered Ceilidh Band and so booked us up again.This was a home gig for me and inveitably there were a few familiar faces hanging about...a colleague from work, parents of the pupils I've taught (including David the organiser, and his wife the birthday girl who loved having us sing happy birthday, Mark and Andrew's mum who insisted I embarrass Andrew on Monday morning, Jordan and Danny's mum whose knickers quote will haunt Ewan and I for years to come, Adam and Sara's mum whose expressive dance moves with David entertained the masses,the Moles- cheery as ever) and a sprinkling of former pupils (great catching up with Nicola, Mark and Ainsley!).
Same as last year, we were treated to fish and chips at the break. But in a stunning turn of events, Ewan's special raffling talent seems to have left him.
We've been asked this week about playing at Westminster Cathedral Halls, London...possible road trip coming up! Watch this space.
Posted at 9:48 on 1st December 2012 by Chris Smith