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The Blue Hat Ceilidh Band are Rachael Hales, Robin Dunn, Richard Adamson, Phil Tyler.  Members of the band have played together in various guises for over 30 years.  The eclectic mixture of musical backgrounds, experiences and ages within the band brings a freshness and vibrancy to the music.  The band are united by their passion for playing for ceilidh dancing.  They love to bring a room to life with their music, and experiencing a room full of people dancing, laughing, and having a great time never fails to bring a smile to their faces.


Both individually and collectively, the band have a huge amount of experience in playing for all sorts of events including: weddings, parties, social events, fundraising events, dance clubs, festivals, reel parties, Burns Nights, concerts, school events and garden parties.

If you’re planning any kind of event and fancy the idea of a ceilidh, please do get in touch to discuss your ideas.

Rachael Hales

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Rachael (fiddle and caller) is a graduate of the Folk and Traditional Music Degree at Newcastle University, where she first fell in love with playing for ceilidh dancing.  She played fiddle with popular ceilidh band Fiddler’s Elbow for 12 years, before founding the Blue Hat Ceilidh Band.  Rachael assists with the running of the Redheughers Ceilidh Band with Robin Dunn, and plays every month for Tyneside Ceilidh Nights.  As well as performing, Rachael teaches fiddle and is a sound artist and composer – you can learn more about her work here.

Robin Dunn

Robin (fiddle and caller) is well known in the North East of England as a fiddle player, caller, composer and band leader.  He began performing in his teenage years in rock and roll bands, but he found his musical home in the world of ceilidh dancing.  Robin has performed in many bands during his successful musical career, including Alistair Anderson's Steel Skies band, The Sergeant Minor's Barndance Band, La Toque Bleu and Fiddler's Elbow.

He founded and tutors the Redheughers Ceilidh Band, a community ceilidh band who have been going strong for over 35 years, and founded the Gateshead Ceilidh Club (now Tyneside Ceilidh Nights).  Robin has several publications to his name, including a book and two albums featuring his own compositions and arrangements, and the Ceilidh Band Pack, a teaching resource commissioned by FolkWorks which includes notation for ceilidh dances, notated music and accompanying recordings.

Richard Adamson

Richard (melodeon) has been playing accordion since the age of 15, and playing for ceilidhs for almost as long.  He's played with many bands around the North East over the years, building up a huge wealth of experience in playing for ceilidh dancing.  He enjoys playing for dancing because it’s an inherently sociable activity with people getting together to make their own fun.

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Phil Tyler

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Phil (guitar & fiddle) is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, with varied musical interests which range from leading Sacred Harp workshops to performing as a duo with his wife Cath Tyler.  He has appeared on a number of albums covering an eclectic mix of styles and genres - you can find them here.

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