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What does Magellan play?

Magellan plays tunes and sings songs. The tunes are from the folk tradition. Some of the songs are folk-songs, for example, 'The Banks of Newfoundland', 'Lancashire Lads' or 'The Star of the County Down'. Some have recent origins, for example, the Richard Thomson song, 'Down Where the Drunkards Roll', or Woody Guthrie's 'The Deportees'.

An example Magellan set of about 30 minutes might consist of:-

* A pair of tunes in jig time, 'the Trip to Lincoln and the Weasel',
* A lively song, perhaps 'Cold Windy Haily Night
* A pair of waltz tunes, 'The White Rose and Planxty Irwin,
* A song, perhaps a sensitive ballad, 'The Factory Girl',
* A pair of polka tunes, 'Terribus and the Leaving of Aberdeen,
* To conclude, a rousing chorus song, perhaps 'New York Girls'.

The band will play several of these sets in an evening, with short breaks between them.

Is it Irish, Scottish or English music?

Yes! Magellan performs songs and tunes that would be variously identified as Irish (for example, 'Ten-Penny Bit' or 'the Black Velvet Band'), Scottish ('the Leaving of Aberdeen' or 'Jock Stewart'), and English ('The Dorset Four Hand Reel' or 'Dirty Old Town'). In reality, it is almost impossible to be sure where songs and tunes originated from, although the celtic nations claim all the best tunes anyway!

What is certain is that Magellan perform all their material in a folk style with accomplished ability on traditional instruments. Magellan's celtic credentials are demonstrated by the fact that they have provided able performances at Scottish Burn's suppers, Saint Patrick's nights and Saint George's celebrations.

What is a Barn-Dance?

Magellan can organise and perform a barn-dance for you. A barn-dance or ceilidh is an evening of dance, similar to what used to be called "country dancing" when you were at school, but wth a live band. The evening is organised by a band member known as the "caller". The caller calls people onto the dance floor, and before the band plays, walks them through the dance, instructing them about the moves and steps that make it up. The band starts to play, and the caller prompts the dancers to ensure they follow the dance. Magellan conducts the whole thing in a very light hearted way, and nobody minds if the dancers get it wrong! Barn-dances are a firm favourite for PTAs, birthday parties, fund-raising events, and many other occasions.

What do you need to provide for a barn-dance?

Magellan provides live musicians, a caller who has several years of life left in him, and the electronic required amplification equipment (the PA).

As a customer you need to provide the venue, any required food and drink (a bar is a great idea!), a power point, and some guests who want to dance. Magellan's caller is pretty good at getting people onto the floor, but if nobody wants to dance a barn dance becomes really difficult! If you want Magellan to play outside please let us know at the outset, as outdoor performances need extra organisation.

What will the timetable for the evening be?

Well it is your evening, so Magellan will make every effort to fit in with the timings you want, so as to make your evening a success.

As an example, a typical evening might be:-

* 8pm - 9pm : Introductory set of tunes, then dances
* 9pm - 9.30pm : Break for food
* 9.30pm - 10.30pm : Dancing
* 10.30pm - 10.45pm : Short break to charge glasses
* 10.45pm - 11.30pm : Dancing
* 11.30pm Close

But of course the agenda can be adapted to your needs and requirement.