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Band Y Braichmelyn: Our Ceilidh Band
neil@neilandmeg.com       01286 677578

Band Y Braichmelyn has been in existence since the late 1980's, and is still very active. The roots go back even further to The Boffins, run by Neil's dad since the 1950s. We weren't born then, but both of us played in the band a lot in the decades before we moved to Wales and formed Band Y Braichmelyn. The band name, by the way, derives from the area of Bethesda where we lived for many years.

There's a lot information below, but if you're thinking of having a ceilidh for your party/wedding/function Give us a ring, or an email and we can answer any queries you may have.

The core line-up of the band is button accordion, banjo (and/or guitar), and bass guitar. This gives a punchy, lively sound that can react to the dancers. The music and dances we do are usually a mixture from around the British Isles. If you'd like us to bias it towards a particular country then let us know.

We provide a caller to explain the dances and make sure everyone has a good time. Usually, Neil does the calling as well as leading the band; the calling can be in Welsh, or bilingually where this makes sense.
A normal ceilidh will probably run from 8pm to midnight, with a longish break in the middle for refreshment (commonly a buffet). If you aren't having any food then 8pm to 11pm is probably fine. Three hours dancing is enough for anybody!

People often ask if we have a demo recording or CD. The answer is no, not really. Why? Because it's not just 'good players in the band' that makes a good ceilidh! (You could listen to our Never Mind the Bocs mp3 files elsewhere on this site if you just want to make sure we can play our instruments!) A better way for prospective clients to understand what we do is to come along to one of our ceilidhs before making a firm commitment to book us. That way, you see the way our experience makes the evening work (choice of dances, how they are explained, the feel and speed of the music - as well as the sheer laughter involved!). Get in touch if you'd like to do this.

Often people wonder (particularly for weddings) if they can book a disco as well. This is fine, but from our experience we know that it works best if we do our ceilidh bit first and hand over to the disco to finish the night. It doesn't work to try and alternate us with the disco, or have the disco first. This is because discos are inevitably MUCH louder than we need to be. In fact, one of the pleasant things about having a ceilidh is that nobody complains we're too loud - good for weddings where long-separated relatives can catch up on the gossip without having to shout at one another...
What do we cost?
Any decent ceilidh band will set you back somewhere around £375, including the band, caller, and travel expenses. If it's a fair way off we may charge more to cover the extra petrol and time involved; if it's very local (Bangor, Caernarfon) we may even be a bit cheaper. Give us a ring to discuss what you have in mind - whatever we quote, it will include the band, calling, P.A. system and travel.