To Check availability:
Call 01273 455202
Text 07720 069877

Some Booking Info

What is the procedure for making a booking?
The first thing to do is to phone or Email and tell the band when and where the event is to be, what kind of event it is, and approximate timings if you have them. You will be given a quote based on this straight away. If you haven't seen Blackthorn before, or been recommended by a friend, you may want to ask for a demo CD at this stage. Once you are sure you want to book, the agreement is made on the phone, or by Email, the date goes in the band's diary at this point, and you will be sent a booking confirmation form to sign and return. A few days before the event the band will contact you to make sure everything is still on course, and to check last minute details. No deposit is required in advance, and payment is made at half time of the event usually.

How long will the band play for?
A normal event lasts perhaps 3 hours with a half hour break in the middle. This is usually enough for most people, but we will be happy to perform longer if needed. We can play background music before the dancing starts if needed, and we can play songs and tunes all night, or dances all through as you wish.

How much will it cost me?
We will give you a definite price when you contact us. In most cases for a private event the cost is £700 to £800. The price may be lower if you are very near to us, or for a public or charitable event, and higher if you want us to play for longer than usual, or you are outside of our easy drive-to area south of London.
We don't charge a deposit if you book direct with us. Once we have your signed confirmation form, all you have to do is pay us by transfer a week or more in advance or in cash during the event.

What do we need to provide for the band?
We need a minimum stage/performing area of about 10ft wide by 10 feet deep and one 13 amp power point (2 is nicer) and a small table and 4 chairs without arms. If there are windows behind the band it is better if they are curtained off to avoid sound problems. We also need a small amount of food and drink. We are often away from home for many hours, and a couple of drinks each, and anything in the way of food from sandwiches to whatever your guests are having will be much appreciated.

What would happen if nobody wants to dance?
You don't need to worry about this, we will encourage everyone to join in, and it is always successful.
If the event is mainly for dancing, there will be occasional breaks between the dances while people get their breath back, and we have good entertainment for you all the way through these breaks. We will sing songs and play tunes for you to listen to. During the band's break we can play CDs or MP3s for background music, either ours or your own if you wish.

Can we have our own music for the first wedding dance?
If you are booking us to play on your wedding day, and you want a formal first dance (which we do recommend as it is a great moment in your day) we can play any music you provide on CD, or we can play one of our tried and tested first waltzes which are ideal for the occasion. And don't worry, you don't need to be a great dancer, no one will mind if you just shuffle around!

Is is OK to book a disco as well?
Many people are worried that some of their guests will not be willing to dance in the Ceilidh or that our songs and tunes will not be lively enough, so they provide a disco too to make sure everyone is happy. In our experience this is not usually neccessary, we often come to the end of our set with the floor heaving with dancers, only to see it deserted afterwards when the disco starts. Other times I am sure it can work. Either way, you know your guests best, and we are happy to work with a DJ, so long as the disco starts after we finish. Alternatively we often play a compilation CD provided by the client during our break, which may be all you need.

Blackthorn Tunes and Songs


  • Londonderry Air
  • For Ireland I'd not Tell Her Name
  • Carolan's Draught
  • Carolan's Concerto
  • Give me Your Hand
  • Women of Ireland/Legacy


  • Love Will you Marry Me/Byrnes
  • Alexander's/Off to California
  • Joe Cooleys/Fairy Hornpipe
  • Cronin's/Flowing Tide
  • Dance of the Honeybees
  • Harvest Home/Boys of Blue Hill
  • Homebrew/Homeruler/Kitty's Wedding
  • King of the Fairies


  • Banks of Loughgowna/Roaring Barmaid
  • Bill Harte's Favourite
  • Calliope House/Da Brig/Foula Reel/Glasgow City Police Pipers
  • Clare Mann/Rolling Waves/Stan Chapman's
  • Cock of the North/Hundred Pipers/Majot McKie's
  • Morrisson's
  • Eavesdropper/Out on the Ocean
  • Gander in the Pratie Hole/Humours of Ballymore
  • I want to be Near You
  • Out on the Ocean/Tripping Upstairs
  • Oyster Girl/Guid Man
  • Maid Behind the Spinning Wheel
  • Old Hag you have Killed Me/Shandon Bells/Kesh
  • Hullichan Jig/Mucking O' Geordie's Byre
  • Planxty Johnson
  • Banish Misfortune/The Blarney Pilgrim
  • Sweets of May/Dingle Regatta
  • Kathleen Hehir/Atholl Highlanders
  • Tom Billy's/Coppers & Brass
  • Gold Ring

    March / Mazurka

  • Marie's Wedding
  • Sonny's Mazurka Set
  • Shoo the Donkey (Warsoviana)
  • 42nd Highlanders/Bonnie Lass of Fyvie
  • Scotland Brave/No Awa/Rowan Tree/ScotBrave
  • Tipperary/Pack up Troubles/Dolly Grey
  • Slieve Aughty/New Caledonia/Thistle of Scotland


  • Chieftains 3 Polkas
  • La Russe/Jenny Lind
  • Johnny Leary's Polkas
  • Maguire's Favourite/Maggie in the Wood
  • Murphys/£42 Cheque/John Ryan's
  • Tip Top/Quaker/Walter Bulwer's
  • O Sullivan's Polka Set


  • Blanchland Races
  • Botton of the Punchbowl/The Duke of Perth
  • Dashing White Sargeant/My Love She's But a Lassie Yet
  • Dorset Four Hand/Jimmy Allen/Salmon Tails
  • Haughton House
  • Humours of Ballyconnel/Golden Keyboard/Speed Plough
  • Far From Home/Foxhunters Reel
  • John's Reels
  • Junior Crehan's/Revies No9/Music in the Glen
  • Kicking up the Carpet
  • Lad o' Beirnes/Branholm
  • London Lasses/Torn Jacket
  • Merry Blacksmith/Silver Spear
  • Miss Thompsons/Westwind
  • Mountain Road/Cooleys/Jacksons No2
  • Musical Priest/ Wise Maid
  • Nancy
  • Navvy on the Line/The Charlwood Reel
  • Nine Points of Roguery/Star of Munster
  • Paddy Taylor's/Old Blackthorn/Frank's Reel
  • Revies No9/The Boy in the Gap
  • Sally Gardens/Mason's Apron
  • Sleep Soond/Galley Watch/Spirit of Whiskey
  • Soldier's Joy/Fairy Dance
  • Starling on the Wall/Miss Monaghan/Ladies Pantalettes
  • Trip to Herve's/Trip to Windsor
  • Trow's/Spootiskerry/New Rigged Ship
  • Jacksons No 1/Jacksons No 2
  • Sally Gardens/Masons Apron
  • Whinham's Reel/The Herd on the Hill/Because he was a Bonny Lad

  • Sidmouth Folkweek 2005

    Circle Dances/Horas

  • Havanagila
  • Djatchko Kolo


  • Orange and Blue/The Smith's a Gallant Fireman
  • Mudgee/Rigs of Marlow


  • O Keefe's/Denis Murphy's
  • John Kelly's / Going to the Well for Water
  • Merrily Kissed the Quaker/Con Cassidy's

    Slip Jigs

  • Snowy Path/Foxhunter's Jig
  • Rocky Road/Another Jig/Foxhunter's Jig


  • Henry McDermot Roe
  • Hewlett/Planxty Irwin
  • Si Bheag Si Mhor/South Wind/Fanny Power
  • Margaret's Waltz
  • Tommy Bhetty's/Munster Cloak
  • Tramps & Hawkers/Banks & Braes
  • Neil's Waltz/Fakenham Fair
  • Catalina


  • All for me Grog
  • Banks of the Sweet Primroses
  • Black is the Colour
  • Black Velvet Band
  • Brown Eyed Girl
  • Bonny Lass of Fyvie
  • Carrickfergus
  • Cliffs of Dooneen
  • Cunla
  • Cockles & Mussels
  • Come All YOu Fishermen Bold
  • Curragh of Kildare
  • Dirty old Town
  • Fields of Athenry
  • Galway Bay
  • Galway Girl (Steve Earle)
  • If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  • I'll Tell me Ma
  • Irish Rover
  • Island of St Helena
  • Isle of France
  • Jock Stewart
  • Johnny Sands
  • Jolly Beggarman
  • Just as the Tide was Flowing
  • Leaving of Liverpool
  • Loch Lomond
  • Mairis Wedding
  • Mermaid
  • Moonshiner
  • Murshin Durkin
  • My Lovely Rose of Clare
  • Neat Little Bunch of Rushes
  • New York Girls
  • Nutting Girl
  • Paddy Lay Back
  • Peter's Dream
  • Rambling Rover
  • Sally Gardens
  • Sally MacLennane
  • Seven Nights Drunk
  • She Moved Through The Fair
  • South Australia
  • Star of the County Down
  • Sweet Nightingale
  • Sweet Thames Flow Softly
  • What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor
  • When You Say Nothing at All
  • Whiskey in the Jar
  • Wild Colonial Boy
  • Wild Mountain Thyme
  • Wild Rover
  • Yarmouth Town And more - please ask