Monster Ceilidh Band
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Monster Ceilidh Band

Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Experimental


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Monster Ceilidh Band BeatHerder Festival 2013 Review"

Beat-Herder 2013
Monster Ceilidh Band were stunning; a brilliant main stage set which managed to get the hot, tanned, but always well oiled, crowd finally on their feet for a brilliant performance. This band play Folk Drum & Bass (yes that’s right) and were in excellent form, all the more remarkable given that their regular accordionist, the talented Amy Thatcher, was indisposed and her stand-in replacement did a sterling job! They also provided probably the best slap bass playing of the weekend. Marvellous stuff. -

" review of 'Charge'"

‘Charge!’ definitely does not fit into the standard ‘cup of folk tea’ bracket, indeed many folkies, trad or otherwise, will find this album about as endearing as a cup of hemlock … but that’s their problem. The Monster Celidh Band bring yet another fusion to folk with electronic effects and drum ‘n’ bass power grafted onto traditional accordion and fiddle-led dance tunes. The energy is persistent, the performance uncompromising, the meld inimitable and if your feet remain still then someone has nailed your shoes to the floor.

I first encountered their genre-busting, tradition-frightening brand of folk with their first studio album ‘Mechanical Monster’. Now with a string of festival standing-ovations and legions of wiped-out, exhausted audiences to their credit they release their second studio album ‘Charge!’ From the surge of opening energies with ‘Vralkada’ and the superbly titled ‘80’s Ferret’ through the slightly less frenetic ‘Anti-Gravity’ and ‘Mr.G’ to the multi-layered live version of ‘Gyto’and ‘Alien Forces’ this leads folk in unfamiliar, bizarre and intriguing directions.

As stated earlier, ‘Charge!’ is not for everyone, but for me it’s yet another injection of excitement for folk music. That doesn’t mean chucking out the baby with the bathwater and neither is it tearing down tradition with some permanently pissed-off wave of post-punk angst. No, this is yet one more vibrant bud emerging from one of the folk tree’s many and eclectic branches. It means ‘go with the flow’.

by Tim Carroll -

"Review of 'Charge' from Roots of the world"

[Charge by Monster Ceilidh Band] is a joyful turbocharged folk funk party with jazzy rocky bits thrown in for good measure resulting in euphoric hapiness x100! - Roots of the World

"'Charge' fRoots Review"

You get more monster in your ceilidh. Third time out for the ever improving and expanding MCB – now with extra-added sample, groove, beat and dub, – Charge evolves their mutant strains to a level where techno begins to push over the trad, not completely but elbow room for folk dance is becoming limited. Vralkada opens up proceedings with that blueprint, almost tweed skirts and Fair Isle sweaters for the first passage. Gradually the computer percussion and twangy samples run it through. On the meat of the album 80s Ferret and Anti Gravity heavy electronics and programming surface. Super Mario Smack Down shoves tinny games sound effects into a blender with improvisation and a squeezebox on helium.

Halfway through, as if almost exhausted by hardware input, Cosmos No 2 is a slow air straight out of a Highland village hall Saturday night hop. Back into bangin’ territory Gyto makes churning noise and rumble under a fiddle reel; Alien Forces follows a similar gameplan, the weird bleeps and gurgles buoying the fiddle and octave mandolin. Mr G works itself into a real lather, drummer Joseph Truswell (aka Touch) adding rim fire and bullet-shot percussion to an already fullon setting, composed by Carly Blain, Amy Thatcher and er… Mike Scott?!

From the footsteps, whispered endings and spoken intros (“1,2,3 4, off we go…”) much of this would appear to have been done fairly live, there’s even room for the odd dose of crowd holler and OTT applause. Recorded in Newcastle and mixed by bassist David De La Haye – a fine job too, sir – MCB really are one band who are probably best producing their own efforts; only they know where they want to go next. Charge may wear warpaint and come heavily armed, but murder on the dance floor is the last thing on the agenda. Some of us would just love them to conjure a bonus CD of hardcore, down and grungy remixes but, hey, there is wit, depth, exuberance and an enthralling catchiness here which makes this hard to resist.

Simon Jones, fRoots magazine - fRoots

"'Mechnical Monster' Review R2"

trully thrilling...make sure your curtains don't catch on fire! - R2

"'Mechanical Monster' Review fRoots"

A leap into the future... a success of monstrous proportions - fRoots

"'Mechanical Monster' album Review Songlines"

It’s alive! A Frankensteinian assemblage of two halves ****

With lots of funk and zing to move all butts to the floor, the Monster Ceilidh Band remind us that while the word that means dance is internationalised, it still predominantly conjures up Scotland, Ireland and Celtic countries. So it’s a pleasant surprise that they hail from Newcastle, as their brand of music, which induces the skipping, jumping and dancing that has kept thousands warm throughout winter over the centuries, is a real tonic for innovative energy.

The musical references of the acoustic-based disc one trace intense developments in traditional music close to home, a la Kathryn Tickell, and most closely approach the beautifully wiry melodic sound of Finnish radicals Maria Kalaniemi, JPP and other Sibelius academy alumni whose 90s re-thinking and sound has touched the European world music scene over the last 20 years.

The musicianship and arrangements of this gender-balanced foursome is simply stunning, with oodles of contemporary classical and jazz sensibility adding terrific bite to everything they touch: there’s a wonderful atmospheric nuance notable in pieces like ‘Gastown’ and the Kalaniemi-influenced ‘Vralkada’. The highly energised second CD here, ‘Monsters vs The Touch’, has drum ‘n’ bass producer Joseph underpinning pieces with dynamic, quirky edges. Potentially a success of monstrous proportions then.
- Songlines

"'Mechanical Monster' album review Bright Young Folk"

The marriage of energetic ceilidh music with electro sounds and beats is a huge success. It seems certain that a live show would be frenetic and dynamic, but Monster Ceilidh Band have succeeded, on both discs, to relay that energy onto a recording. No mean feat! -

"Monster Ceilidh Band 2012 Festival Promoters Views"

"Monster Ceilidh Band's fusion of roots and electronic music had our rammed tent dancing flat out for an hour"
Tucker, Chai Wallah’s/ Diplomats of Sound

“A thousand people jigging to ceilidh electronica! Monstrously awesome - a festival highlight.”
Paul Burke, Purbeck Folk Festival director

'Young and sassy, innovative and skilful the Monsters effortlessly fuse the traditional with the contemporary and over two separate sets got our audience dancing wildly - just the job!'
Liz Holmes-director Knockengorroch World Ceilidh

“Monster Ceilidh Band have the skills to create that instant party, with an infectious blend that fuses UK folk, with drum & bass. This year they performed a storming closing set for the London Folk Guild at Wilderness by pushing the tempo to its absolute limit. With one crowd pleasing tune after another, they brought the night to a climax. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.”
Mike Green London Folk Guild/ Wilderness Festival

“Monster Ceilidh Band brought the Sunday afternoon alive like no other band has ever done! Stunning high-energy mix of the traditional and the modern. Next time they play the Dance Tent it will be after dark and I cannot wait!!”
Philip Mellersh, Programmer Magical Sounds Dance Tent, Bearded Theory Festival

"Monster Ceilidh Band FolkEast Review 2012"

The next band on the main stage were the Monster Ceilidh Band, they started off with fast paced, enjoyable, dancing inducing classic Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) songs, they gathered what we could call the first large crowd of the festival, around three songs in, something beautifully surreal happened, something practically unique in this music scene the Monster Ceilidh Band, dropped the bass. An innovative and surprisingly effective blend of genres created a genuinely unique experience, if we could say anything about this band it would be: any chance you get, go and see them! (FolkEast) -

"Monster Ceilidh Band Review Purbeck Folk Festival 2012"

For some reason, the programme had to be swapped around, but this resulted in the Monster Ceilidh Band being able to take time to plug in for an electric set instead of their acoustic ceilidh. Our daughters favourite of the weekend, she was in awe at the fiddle playing of the beautiful Carly. The band started out somewhat traditionally, but in a break between songs, asked if anyone liked Drum and Bass? Befuddled by this, we soon realised what was meant, as the traditional turned to futuristic, and the barn roof was lifted by the sounds of an awesome Drum and Bass ceilidh with live instrumentation!!
eFestivals review of Purbeck Folk Festival 2012 - eFestivals

"Monster Ceilidh Band Review Bearded Theory Festival 2012"

“Monster Ceilidh Band produced yet another great set.[They] must be one of the most consistent festival bands around. Evolving all the time, they’ve ramped up the D&B and electronica recently to great effect. Chatting afterwards they said they are really looking forwards to hitting the Glade audience with the new material. Do go and see these guys anywhere – and take yer dancing shoes.” (Bearded Theory 2012)


2009 'Make me a Dancer'
2011 'Mechanical Monster'

2014 'Charge'



Band members and Instrumentation
Kieran Szifris -  Octave Mandolin
Amy Thatcher - Acordion
Carly Blain - Fiddle
David de la Haye - Electric Bass
Joseph Truswell - Drums & Laptop Beats

Promoter Comments

The Monster Ceilidh Band have the skills to create that instant party, with an infectious blend that fuses UK folk, with drum & bass.
Mike Green, London Kings Place, Wilderness Festival & London Folk Guild

Young and sassy, innovative and skilful the Monsters effortlessly fuse the traditional with the contemporary
Liz Holmes, Director Knockengorroch World Ceilidh


Monster Ceilidh Band are on a crusade to bring a powerfully modern and un-patronising approach to ceilidh fusion music. Their experimentation with electronic beats, simply stunning (Songlines), has its roots in the traditional but has produced something innovative, contemporary and dynamic. They combine, explosive and fiery folk with, funky riffs, glitchy Drum n Bass beats and live drums. Monster Ceilidh Bands music embraces the old dance traditions, while translating them into blood-quickening crescendos for the twenty-first century nightclub audience.

2011 saw the release of their first studio album Mechanical Monster. Its new electronic approach transformed their reputation from a stalwart and steady ceilidh outfit into that of a ground-breaking new act on the UK music scene.

In 2012 they set themselves on a mission; to inject traditional music of the British Isles with the UKs other great musical export, Drum n Bass. They are currently the only live Drum n Bass, folk act on the festival circuit.

Since their debut studio album, Drum n Bass producer, The Touch, has joined the band on a permanent basis adding live drums to the show. This expands on the electronic beats and brings the music alive. This new line-up has led to a slew of hugely successful festival appearances. 2012 saw them perform at many events, highlights included; Bestival, Knockengorroch, Glade, Secret Garden Party and Kendal Calling along with traditional folk festivals; Sidmouth, Broadstairs, Purbeck and National Forest. This experience has honed their live performance into something that R2 described as an unbeatable live experience.

January 2014 excitingly saw the release of their 2nd studio album 'Charge' which was released independently on the bands own label and promoted with a tour in the Autumn along with more festival appearances. It will be the first album to feature the full quintet with live percussion.


if we could say anything about this band it would be: any chance you get, go and see them!