Brighton Fringe Review: Big Brighton Fringe Festival Ceilidh *****

Posted On 02 Jun 2018 at 2:56 pm

Big Brighton Fringe Festival Ceilidh 2018
By Brighton Ceilidh Collective

BHASVIC, 1st June 2018

I am a sucker for a ceilidh and this city-based group (with real Celts in their midst) always deliver. The irrepressible Brighton Ceilidh Collective gather during the fringe for an evening of raucous nonsense and ceilidh dancing. This was a one off and sold out festival event from the very popular Brighton Ceilidh Collective, an experienced and vibrant ceilidh band based in East Sussex. The group who run monthly ‘Rants’ at One Church in Brighton, encourage participants to get moving and follow a caller, whether you’ve got two left feet or not. ‘Ceilidh’ means ‘party’ in Gaelic, and that’s exactly what happened at this festival event.

Big on joining in and less bothered about your dancing skills, it was all set up to encourage people to get stuck in and share the good cheer. This event was inclusive of both beginners and those who love organised country dancing, as well of those of us still recovering from the chaos of learning the Dozy Do move at school back in time.
The group have a large array of really talented musicians playing accordion, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bagpipes, percussion and guitar, and teaching a collection of traditional dances from around the UK. We learned the Hornpipe, a French dance the Chapeloise, and a very messy ‘Suicide Square’ which felt more like a musical game of British Bulldog the playground favourite of the 1980s. Also a number of other dances I hadn’t heard of before. Time was spent getting the dancers clear about the moves and making sure everyone was comfortable before encouraging us all to whirl around the dance floor with gay abandon.

The Spearhead

This ceilidh was a true antidote to having a tough working week and really cheered me up; Endorphins ago go from smiling whilst being whirled around by a series of random strangers, and just the general bonhomie of the musicians and callers, really served to make this a special night.
A real ale bar at the show was also a popular addition and I spotted lots of old friends and acquaintances I hadn’t expected to see so obviously these events are popular and much enjoyed. I’m a convert and will definitely be attending others in the future. Maybe I will wait a little longer for my diner to digest before attending the next one though. I felt like I’d been on a rollercoaster!

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