Question. What is Bracken Rigg?

Answer. A Roman fort at the Western end of Hadrian's Wall?

WRONG, It is South Yorkshire's most popular traditional accordion
band, playing for Barn Dances and Ceilidhs for over 40 years.

Brackenrigg is the Roman Fort, but we are nearly as ancient.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID (These are all true .... Honest!)
And what the bride said....

(First retired miner) "What does tha think t't'turn then?"
(Second retired miner) "Sound, ******* sound!"

(Punter) "Do you do requests?"
(Band) "Yes, what do you want"
(Punter) "Oh, anything will do"

(Punter) "Do you do heavy metal?"
(Band) "No, we know nothing about chemistry!"

(Child with filthy hands in Darfield) "GivusagoontheeaccordionorIullpanthee"
(translation for non-locals - I will hit you if you don't let me play your musical instrument)

(Punter) Can I have a go on your concertina? (Musician) Can I have a go on your wife?

(Punter) "Can you play that tune that goes up at the start?"

(Punter) "That accordion just sounds like the real thing!"

(Punter) "What is the caller on? - Can we have some?"

(Swinton Hibernian) "You are the best Scottish band South of the Border - down Mexborough way"

"Some bands have passengers - This one has hi-jackers"

(Band) "If you enjoyed us, we were Bracken Rigg - if you didn't, we were Fried Wetlegs and his All Stars"

(Everybody) "Can we book you back for the same weekend next year?"

And what the bride/birthday-girl said ....

(Birthday party, Armthorpe Community Centre, 28th Jan, 2023) Hi Geoff Just a line to thank you and the band for a fantastic time last night. Everyone, especially the birthday girl really enjoyed it. Given that people were still talking about her 50th ceilidh, which you played for her, I'm sure they will remember last night too. Maybe 2033!!?

(Ladies section Christmas party, Rotherham Golf Club 14th Dec, 2022) Thank you for a fantastic evening of dancing, I have had lots of ladies telling me how much they enjoyed it.

(St Andrew's Night, York Racecourse 27th Nov, 2021) THANK YOU, GEOFF AND MEMBERS OF THE BAND. There were more people up dancing last night than we have seen in a long time because of you!! You created a great atmosphere and made the evening a success. Sorry the dancing started so late, and we didn't get more time with you. Lots of comments from members Can't say how much we appreciated your input. Thanks again

(PFG - Woodfield Club 19th Nov, 2021) I just wanted to pass on our thanks to Bracken Rigg - what a fabulous evening. Such amazing music and skilled calling! A diverse group, who are all buzzing today. Thank you, hope to need you again in the future!! Kind regards

(Wedding, Hornington Manor 6th May, 2018) "Thanks Geoff, we had a great time and you were fantastic. We will spread the word about the band"

(Burns Night, Caistor Village Hall 27th January, 2018) "Thank you so much for yet another fantastic ceilidh! You gave us a wonderful evening last night and everyone enjoyed themselves very much. Many thanks again"

(Birthday party, Doncaster Catholic Club 25th November 2017) "Just wanted to say thanks again for Saturday night, received some good feedback from friends and family who enjoyed the band."

(Birthday party, Worksop Masonic Hall 19th November 2017) "Thank you for a brilliant evening for my Birthday on Sunday 19th November, I really enjoyed it! Please pass on my thanks to the rest of the band." (Birthday party, Retford Town Hall 29th July 2017) "Thank you to you and the band for such a successful party, I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did everyone else, it was great fun. I will be passing your contact number on if anyone asks me."

(Sheffield Caledonian Society St Andrews ball, Hallam University 26th Nov 2016) "I just wanted to thank you and your band members for playing for us on Saturday night. The evening went very well, and everyone enjoyed the dances. My husband and I particularly enjoyed dancing the Eightsome Reel and Strip the Willow, and it was obvious that your band also really enjoyed playing for these dances."

(Birthday party Wombwell Golf CLub, 17th Sept 2016) "A fantastic time was had by all last nite. A big thanku to all for making the nite such fun."

(Birthday party St Austins church hall, Wakefield, 10th Sept 2016) "Thank you for last night, we all had a great time and enjoyed the music and dancing very much."

(Birthday party, Scholes village hall 2nd July 2016) Just wanted to say how much we all enjoyed the ceilidh you did for us in Scholes on 2 July. It was just right and everybody had a great evening. One of the things which was really good (and Iíve never come across before) was the way you stopped to let us get our breath back between every two dances. This meant that people kept going the whole evening. More than 2 dances in a row people get tired and drop out! Thanks very much to you all"

(40th birthday party - we also played for her 30th Phoenix Club, Sheffield 13th Feb 2015) "Hi Geoff, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you all for a fabulous party last Friday, I had a really great time."

(Sheffield University International students welcome evening 5th Feb 2015) "I wanted to thank you and your band members for coming to our event last night.The ceilidh was certainly a success.It was lovely to see everyone joining in when they had only just arrived in the UK and didn't know each other.I will certainly keep you in mind if we have other events where a ceilidh is required."

(Scouts supporters Burns' Night 9th Feb 2013) "Thank you for making our ceilidh a resounding success, once again. As you saw, we all had a wonderful time and including the raffle, raised £600 for McMillan Nurses"

(Birthday party - Bessaccarr Primary School 2nd Feb 2013) "A huge thank you and the band for Saturday evening. Alison and I were delighted it went so well and the others really enjoyed it too. It was an evening we'll both remember for a long time to come."

(Wedding - Hodsock Priory, Blyth 17th Nov 2012) "Dear Geoff and all in Bracken Rigg Band - Thank you for coming to play at our wedding. We had a fabulous evening and the music was wonderful. Thankyou for meeting all our requests - it was great to have all the dances we know and love. If we have a reason to have another ceilidh in Yorkshire, we will definitely be in touch"

(Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra - German Exchange students evening 28th June 2012) "Just to say thank you so much for the fantastic evening we had last Tuesday. It was certainly one of the highlights of a brilliant week!"

(Mount Pleasant Hotel, Bawtry 28th August 11) "Dear Geoff, wow wow wow, you were *****AMAZING****** yesterday! Thank you so much for making the day so perfect. We had a wonderful time and everyone absolutely loved the ceilidh. And we have our own wedding march too! You are so kind, thank you so much. We both play the piano so we shall have a little play this week when we have recovered! Thank you! We have some lovely photos of you too, we shall forward them in due course..."

(Chesterfield Hotel, Chesterfield 22nd Jan 11 - Burns) "The committe has asked me to thank you and your fellow band members for playing at our recent Burns Night Celebrations. It was a pleasure for us to see so many people dancing throughout the evening. You managed to fit in all the dances we hoped to have in the time allowed and we were glad that the floor was so well-used by our guests enoying your music and the dancing. Thank you again for playing for us."

(Bottesford Golf Club, Scunthorpe 26th Nov 10 - St Andrews - where we nearly got snowed in) "Hi Geoff, Thank you for playing for us once again last Friday, your band is second to none, and you always manage to get everyone up dancing. I look forward to seeing you again for our annual Burns Night celebrations, same time, same place. I trust that you had a safe journey home in what can only be described as treacherous weather conditions. Yours Aye,"

(Left Bank Centre, Cardigan Rd, Leeds, 4th Sept 10) "I wanted to say thank you so much for your fantastic efforts at our wedding on 4th September. The timing and pace was perfect - enough time to learn the dances without the learning taking longer than the dance itself - and the intervals great for catching our breath and being able to fully appreciate the skills of the band. We have been told by many of the guests what a fabulous time they had and how much they enjoyed the dancing. We were far from the most graceful or on-the-ball bunch (as our chaotic rendering of the final Gay Gordon's will have demonstrated) but we all had a marvellous time."

(Meynell Langley House, Derby, 26th June 10) "I'd like to say a very big THANK YOU to you and your band for putting on such a good show at our wedding! Everyone enjoyed the music and dancing (especially my Norwegian family). I'll send you some video of you guys once I have it. Many thanks again,"

(City Evangelical Church, Leeds, 19th June 10) "Geoff (and the Band) just to say thank you very much for an excellent 'performance' last Saturday. Many folks commented on how good the 'band' were. I will have no hesitation in recommending you to other folks. Maybe I ought to be 50 again next year so that I can have another party?"

(Brunswick Gardens, 25th Jan 10 - Burns) "Thank you very much last night, the feedback has been absolutely amazing. Everybody had a wonderful time!"

(Bottesford Golf Club, Scunthorpe 30th Jan 10 - Burns) "Thank you for a superb nights entertainment on Friday, and also to your lady for calling out the dances. The next dates which I have are, St. Andrews night & Burns night, I hope that you are free on these occasions.Yours Aye"

(White Hart, Lincoln 4th Sept 09) "Just wanted to say and pass on from B&G that Fri last was brilliant. Those of us that knackered ourselves had a great time. You worked very hard and the caller did well to drum up the participants. Huge thanks"

(Great Ouseburn 25th July 09 ) "A note to thank you and the rest of the band very much for your splendid playing on 25th July. A good time was had by all! Great."

(Doncaster Golf Club 06 Sept 08) "Just a quick note to thank you for playing at our Masonic Ladies Night, we had the best night ever, with everybody having a dance at some stage. You will be highly recommended!!!! Thanks"

(Wentbridge House 23rd Feb 08) "Dear Geoff, Just a line to say thank you for a lovely evening last Saturday. Everyone had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the music and dancing - so much so that some are thinking of the same thing for their weddings, so watch out! I know we will be asking you again for mum's 80th birthday next year ! She was always on the floor with Dad - you may have noticed them. It was lovely that both young and old joined in with the dancing and all had a fantastic evening so once again thank you very much! Look forward to seeing you all again - we'll keep looking on your website and come along if we are in the area. Bye for now"

(Sprotborough Scouts 2nd Feb 08 - Burns) " say thank you to you and the band for yet another succesful Burns Supper event. I would like to make a booking for next year at the same venue, same band and caller please".

(Hallam Community Centre 5th Jan 08) "Just wanted to say thank you all again for your hard work on saturday night, particularly with so many people trying to dance in the space! The ceilidh was very much enjoyed, and I shall not hesitate to recommend you."

(Cardigan Centre, Leeds 22nd Dec 07) "Hi Geoff. Just wanted to thank you for doing such a GREAT job at our wedding in Leeds on Dec 22: everyone LOVED the ceilidh. I've been at some really ropey ceilidhs in my time, but they are sometimes AMAZING... and Brackenrigg are definitely in the second category! I've attached a photo from the day, which you're welcome just to look at - or use (for publicity etc?) if you want."

(Sheffield Polish Catholic Club 8th Dec 07) "Many thanks to you and your band for a super evening, I have been asked by many staff if we could book you for next time"

(Park School, Doncaster 29th Nov 07) "Just a quick word to say how much everyone enjoyed last evening! The music was really good and the instructions very clear for everyone to follow. I didn't really know how everything would work out as it was the first time we have tried anything like that, but it was great fun. Our European visitors enjoyed it greatly and our parents and children want me to organise another one...maybe in the summer. I'll let you know well in advance if we decide to have another go! Once again, thanks for everything."

(Newstead Abbey, Brigg 1st Sept 2007) "just to thank you and the band again and to say that the ceilidh (including the exhausting Hullighan Jig) was very much enjoyed by folk from both sides of the border!"

(Kenwood Hall, Sheffield 10th Aug 2007) "Just wanted to say thankyou for Friday night. The band were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening."

(Maynard Arms,Grindleford, Sheffield 26th July 2007) "Thank you for the ceilidh that you did for our wedding, We had a fantastic time and lots and lots of people said it was one of the best ceilidhs theyíve ever been too!!! !! Anyway, Iím attaching a photo of me and my husband stripping the willow, me in a big dress that everyone said I would never be able to dance in!!!"

(St Benedicts Parish Centre, Garforth 28th April 2007) "Just thought I'd write to thank you and the band for a fantastic party last week. Despite some of our guests being reluctant to get up, we had a most enjoyable evening (their loss). Your band produced just the right kind of music & leadership we required, my wife has said she would like to do something similar when she is 50 and we would not hesitate to call upon your services if you are still playing then. In the meantime we will recommend 'Bracken Rigg' to anyone who asks, sure that they would not be dissapointed."

(Market Rasen Festival Hall 20th Jan 2006 - Burns) "Thanks very much for your contribution to last nights event. Hope you also had a good time. I thought it was brilliant and also very pleased with the dances. Can you book us in for next year"

(Bradway Scout Hall, Sheffield 10th January 2006) "Just wanted to say thank you for a brilliant night on Saturday. The band did us proud, and Martin had the suprise of his life. He was genuinely shocked by the extent of the do, and keeps saying how much he enjoyed it. Thanks again"

(Moat House, Leeds 10th September 2005) "I just wanted to say a huge thanks to you and the band for Saturday night. You were all excellent. We had a brilliant time and having spoken to some of our guests, they did too. Thanks once again,"

(Haigh Hall, Wigan, 18th March 2005) "Thanks very much for all your efforts last week at our wedding. I think that everyone enjoyed the Band.You kept everyone on their toes & really contributed to our day."

(Mount Pleasant Hotel, 4th October2003) "Just a note to thank you for playing at our wedding. Many people have stated how much they enjoyed it and had a good time and were pleasantly surprised at the dancing etc. Thanks for being flexible about the times etc and for playing so late."

(Leeds Hospitals Fund,1st August 2003) "Just a short note to say a big thank you to yourself and fellow band members for entertaining us so well at Headingley. Everyone enjoyed the evening and it was great fun, and although a few people were creaking and groaning the next day they thought it was a very original way of having a night out. A special thanks to your caller for his patience with the dancers!!!Maybe we will meet again on another occasion, and I will certainly pass the word around to anyone wanting a night out with a difference!"

(Fountains Abbey,24th May 2003) "This is a very belated note to say thank you very much indeed for playing at our wedding. A great time was had by all and you played and called wonderfully."

(Scots Society of St Andrew, Grimsby & Cleethorpes, 25th,May 2002) "Thank you very much for a very enjoyable and entertaing evening on Saturday, your band is a delight to listen to, and dance to."

(Mid West Yorkshire Caravan Club, 04,May 2002) "Thank you so much for the Barn Dance it was magnificent, everybody enjoyed it even the children. Some of them came to my caravan the next day and was telling me all about when they were dancing. Adults too were over the moon and they all left on Monday telling me what a great rally it had been. So thank you and the rest of your band members for helping make it a success."

(Rossington Joint Churchs dance 26,Sept 2000) "It was great to see people mingling, dancing and generally having a very good time in one another's company. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone."

(Mytton Fold Hotel, Whalley 12,Aug 2000) "The band were excellent and I've already received loads of positive comments back from the guests who really enjoyed the evening."

(Charnwood Hotel, Sheffield 06,May 2000) "All the guests that attended our evening reception spoke most highly of the band and enjoyed the dancing. Many thanks for making our wedding such a memorable event."

(Clark & Partners, Sheffield 14,Apr 2000) "A measure of how good the evening was, was that everyone took part and I have been asked when the next one is."

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Page Last Updated: 29th January, 2023