Ceilidh Band London - Licence to Ceilidh
Call Licence to Ceilidh on 07855 050 778


ceilidh band

Established in 2000, we have the experience to know what makes a great ceilidh!

Licence to Ceilidh put a fresh twist on traditional tunes and dances by combining them with a modern, contemporary rhythm that no one can resist dancing to.

As possibly the busiest ceilidh band around, we pride ourselves on the high quality of our musicians and equipment - which is why word of mouth accounts for the majority of our work and we get so many repeat bookings. Click here to see some of our past clients and testimonials

All of our musicians are full-time, professional players and the members of LTC come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds from Funk to Jazz and Big-Band, Classical to Gospel and Traditional Scottish/Irish music… we make great use of having such an eclectic group of musicians by including all these influences in the music we play and offering a wide variety of musical extras.

We understand that whatever your event, you need a professional, experienced band of the highest quality that take pride in what they do... that's why we constantly update and regularly PAT test our equipment so the quality of sound is the best it can be. We also regularly update the music we play, to keep it fresh and exciting for the dancers, audience and band!

Please check out our media page, which is full of audio, videos and photos. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have. Best of all - come to one of our public gigs and have a dance!

Licence To Ceilidh Big Band


CEILIDH - Our standard ceilidh line-up is a 5-piece: Caller, Fiddle, Chords, Bass and Drums.

COVERS - When you book our Ceilidh and Covers band option we do the whole evening as a 6-piece, with our caller that also sings and a 2nd fiddle player!

But you can add extra instruments to both options to get a more unique sound! - We regularly perform the ceilidh a 6 or 7-piece with accordion, flute or extra fiddle and our 9-piece band with Horn Section is really popular!

Why not see our Larger Line-ups page for ideas on additional instruments you can add to your band! - The choices range from adding extra fiddle, or keys as well as guitar to your line-up... to adding a whole horn section or a range of traditional instruments including Accordion, Uilleann (Irish) Pipes, Flute, Whistle, and more...

Photos: Top Box: Nik Carter & Ali Barnes In Text: Ali Barnes
Callers: Alyssa | Jen | Robyn | Lisa

Licence to Ceilidh Alyssa


Caller, Singer, Dancer

Being from Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, Alyssa grew up surrounded by ceilidhs and Scottish music.

She studied dance and theatre arts from a young age and trained at the prestigious Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow from the age of 16, gaining an A.T.C.L diploma in Musical Theatre from the Trinity College London. Alyssa was invited to audition for the first ever Andrew Lloyd Webber scholarship back in 2007 winning a place at the famous Arts Educational School in London, which she graduated from in 2010 with a BA Hons in Musical Theatre.

Since graduating Alyssa has performed in a range of musical theatre shows both on and off West End, including: Liesl in “The Sound of Music” UK Tour & Jordan 2010 - 2011, Jordan Tour 2013 and International Tour 2015, Romemary in “How To Succeed In Buisness Without Really Trying” London 2014, “Betwixt!” Trafalgar Studios 2011 and more…

Alyssa brings great fun and energy to the ceilidhs she calls as well as clear instruction. In addition to this she is also a fantastic vocalist singing with our pop Covers band option, as well as performing as a dancer with Licence to Ceilidh on corporate and party bookings! Triple threat!

Photo: Ali Barnes

Licence to Ceilidh Jennifer


Caller, Fiddle, Violin, Dancer

Jennifer grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland and began playing the violin at 8 years old. In her teens she played for the county orchestra and chamber group as well as playing for several years in both The National Children's Orchestra of Scotland and The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

She then moved down to London to study Acting and Music at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, which she graduated from in 2010 with a BA (Hons) degree. Jennifer now works as an Actress and Violinist in a variety of genres, including playing for classical ensembles, folk/country bands & pop sessions for up and coming artists.

Her theatre credits include: 1st Violinist/Ensemble in "Love Story" (Bolton Octagon) 2014, The Fiddler in "Fiddler On The Roof" (UK Tour) 2013-2014, Violinist/Ensemble in "Chess The Musical" (UK Tour/Toronto) 2010-2011, Lead Violinist in "The Boyfriend" (Her Majesty's Theatre) & Lead Violinist in "The Last Five Years" (London College of Music).

Her TV/Radio credits include: BBC1, Channel 4, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales & XFM.

Although music is her main passion Jen is a fantastic performer and an experienced dance caller with Licence to Ceilidh.

"Jennifer Douglas' Fiddler is the real show stealer"The Public Review, 5*

Licence to Ceilidh Alexis


Caller, Dancer

Our Glasgow lass Robyn is a professional dancer and presenter as well as an expert ceilidh Caller with Licence to Ceilidh!

Her background is in musical theatre and she holds a 1st class honours degree from the London Studio centre. As a dancer and performer, she’s been lucky enough to travel the world entertaining people of all ages on cruise ships. She was a professional dancer on an 11 month world cruise (July 2015 - May 2016) and her other past performance work includes: Featured Ensemble in “Little Shop of Horrors” Pleasance Theatre 2014, Jane in “Tarzan” Criterion Theatre 2014 and Cover Lead / Ensemble in “Beauty and the Beast” 2015 and “Dick Whittington” 2016 pantomimes.

With her unique range of skills, in the last year Robyn has been a presenter at the Shell Eco Marathon at the Olympic Park in Stratford and appeared as a dancer for the Pet Shop Boys: Inner Sanctum residency at the Royal Opera House among other work.

As well as calling with Licence to Ceilidh, Robyn is currently a presenter at Engage Sports Media and is busy filming her successful YouTube series “The Road to Inner Happiness”, where she puts life coaching, style tips and advice to the test!

Licence Ceilidh Lisa


Caller, Singer, Dancer

A Scottish lass from Dundee, Lisa started performing at a very young age getting entrenched in her local theatre scene. She started out at Rhythm, the theatre group in Monifieth at just six years old before moving on to Tread the Boards and the Thomson Leng Musical Society.

From there Lisa also studied on the Musical Theatre Course at the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow alongside Francesca and Alyssa, before heading to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London where she graduated in 2010 with a BA 1st Class Hons degree. Whilst at Mountview Lisa was a finalist in the Sondheim performer of the year awards and took starring roles in many college performances including Maria in 'West Side Story' and Maggie in ‘A Chorus Line’.

Since graduating Lisa has performed in a number of West End shows and UK Tours including 'Bugle Boy' Uk Tour (the story of Glenn Miller’s life), playing Marjorie in ‘The Day Before Spring’ in Sadler’s Wells and most notably Lisa returned to her home town of Dundee in 2013 to appear as young Jackie in ‘Jackie the Musical’.

Lisa is an ethusiastic Caller that wont fail to get your guests on the dancefloor! She is also a dancer on corporate bookings with Licence to Ceilidh and a fantastic vocalist - watch a video of Lisa singing with Licence to Ceilidh on our covers page: Click here

Photo: Ali Barnes

Fiddle: Ali | Lauren | Alison | Alexis

Licence to Ceilidh Ali


Ali is an experienced performer specialising in Folk and Traditional music.

Having studied dance from a young age, Ali didn’t take up the fiddle until her teens, although traditional music was always a strong part of the household growing up. Her early life was spent touring Festivals and Folk clubs watching her parents perform - both folk singers and dancers and her step father, a Dundee man, encouraged a particular love for Scottish music....

Over the last 12 years as a freelance musician, Ali has performed as a soloist and with numerous Ceilidh and Irish bands in a range of venues and settings. Including TV appearences on: E4's "Made In Chelsea” (twice), BBC1's "This Week", ITV's "TOWIE", BBC2's "Great British Menu" and performing for celebrities including David Mitchell, Jeremy Clarkson, Emma Watson, Charlie Boorman, Trinny Woodall, Noel Gallagher, Kirsty Alsop and Theo Wallcot amoung others.

As a fiddler and singer she has appeared at many festivals including Sidmouth Folkweek, Bromyard Folk Festival, Banbury Folk Festival, Enfield Town Show, Chippenham Folk Festival, Alexandra Park Summerfest, Wimborne Folk Festival, Crediton Folk Weekend and Beachbreak Live.

As well as performing in and running Licence to Ceilidh, Ali and Philippe Barnes also play as a duo, reciting traditional tunes from across the British Isles on fiddle and guitar and are regulars on the London Irish session scene, playing frequently in pubs across the city.

Photo: Philippe Barnes

Licence to Ceilidh Lauren


Fiddle, Violin

Lauren began studying the violin at the age of four in Canada. Her first teacher was Mana Primrose-Beaver, the wife of Martin Beaver who is currently the first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet. At the age of six she began studying with Erica Davidson who taught her until she was 18. During this period, she was a student of the Young Artist Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as a member of the Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Lauren completed her Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance at McGill University under the instruction of Thomas Williams. She was then accepted into a Master of Arts program at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with the international soloist So-ock Kim.

Since finishing her studies, Lauren has been working as a free-lance musician in London. She is a violin and piano teacher at two schools: North Bridge House and Ark Academy as well as teaching privately. But her main passion is performing, playing for various orchestras, musicals and bands. After living in the UK for a number of years, Lauren has developed a passion for traditional folk music. She's a member London's folk band Ark Royal as well as performing most weekends with Licence to Ceilidh!

Photo: Philippe Barnes

Licence to Ceilidh Alison


Caller, Fiddle Violin

A music graduate of Cambridge University, Alison was president of the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band and is now an established Teacher and Performer in the South of England.

Although trained classically in violin, piano and voice, Alison quickly followed in her parents footsteps doing barn dances and ceilidhs with the family band from a young age. So already has years of ceilidh experience under her belt!

Alison teaches Violin, Fiddle and Piano both one-on-one and to whole classes, as well as regularly leading folk workshops at some of the UK’s biggest festivals and in her local community.

She is also an Amateur composer. Her orchestral work 'Journey’s End' was most recently performed by ‘The Orchestra on the Hill’ in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge as well as being performed in the past by the Essex Concert Orchestra and the South Essex Youth Orchestra.

Alison is both a regular dance caller and fiddle/violin player for Licence to Ceilidh.

Licence to Ceilidh Alexis


Caller, Violin and Viola

Some may say Alexis is a tad overqualified to play for a ceilidh band, after training at the University of Edinburgh, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Goldsmiths, University of London… He's actually a founding member of Licence to Ceilidh, so has well over 10 years experience performing with the band.

Alexis spend part of his childhood in Edinburgh, to which he later returned to study Music, English & Scottish literature and British History at the University of Edinburgh, before studying screen composition with Dario Marianelli and Joseph Horovitz at the Royal College of Music...

...In 2012, he completed his Viola studies with Jane Rogers at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has since performed widely with early music ensembles including The Dufay Collective, Florilegium, Horses Brawl, Rinaldo Consort and Musicians of London Wall.

As a composer Alexis works with many filmmakers/animators and his music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Channel 4, TCM and at major film festivals throughout the world, including Cannes, London and Edinburgh. Currently he is developing a research interest in the intersection of film and early music as a doctoral student at Goldsmiths, University of London. Alexis is also the founder of the Early Music Experiment.

Photo: Toby Amies

Chords: Philippe | Mike | Ian

Licence to Ceilidh Philippe Live



In 2008 Philippe graduated from the University of Limerick with an MA - First Class Honours in Irish Traditional Music Performance. Since then he has toured all over Europe & America playing guitar & flute with the David Munnelly Band, toured Ireland & the UK with London Irish group Crossharbour and headlined the National Celtic Festival in Australia with his Celtic Jazz Funk group All Jigged Out.

Philippe's recent TV appearances include: ITV "National TV Awards 2015" (with Pixie Lott & The Proclaimers), BBC1 "This Week", ITV "The Royal Variety Performance" (with Bryn Turfel & Only Men Aloud), "Classical Brit Awards" (with Amy Dickson, classic brit winner & London Chamber Orchestera), TG4 "Feilte" (with Crossharbour), E4 "Made in Chelsea", BBC2 "Great British Menu Final", ITV "Britain's Got Talent" (with Paul Potts Orchestra), MTV "5-star" (with Shakira), ITV "Celebrity Stars in their Eyes (with Mark Radcliff), BBC Scotland "Regional News", Channel 4 "Gok Wan's Fashion Fix" & "Des & Mel" (with Roger Wittaker).

His recent recording credits include: Flutes & whistles on the feature films "The Imposter", "Dark Horse", "Fraternity", "The Funeral" & "Body in the Park : Documentaries for BBC Natural World, The Discovery Chanel & ITV : BBC Radio's 2, 3, 4, 5 & Classic FM : Amy Dickson, Dizraeli & The Small Gods, Syd Arthur, 1916 The Musical, Lee Westwood, Attab Haddad, Crossharbour, Franc O'Shea, Philippe Barnes & Tom Phelan, Kirsty Bromley.

Three-time runner up in the BBC Young Folk Awards, Philippe has performed with Pixie Lott, The Proclaimers, Amy Dixon, The London Chamber Orchestra, Bryn Turfel, Only Men Aloud, Flook!, The Irish Folk Ballet Co. (Tribute to Riverdance) Mike McGoldrick, Alkimia, Moose, McDermotts Two Hours, Legacy, Richard Durrant, Emma Sweeney, Lulo Reinhardt, Geoff Smith & more...


"phenomenal technique…" - London Folk

"I've heard nobody else who can make the Boehm flute sound like the true traditional thing, who can mould tone to fit the tune so nicely... the sheer musicality is exceptionally impressive…" - John Brophy, Irish Music Magazine

"sublime"Rock n Reel


Photo: Lieve Boussauw

Licence to Ceilidh Mike Live



Mike started learning the piano and trumpet at the age of 6 and spent most of his early professional music life as an orchestral trumpeter and, when needed, a percussionist, studying at the Royal College of Music.

A change of direction saw him studying classical singing and opera at Trinity College of Music from where he graduated in 2005 and completed a Postgrad Diploma in 2006.

Mike now performs mainly as a Baritone soloist in the South of England as well as various theatre pit-band appearances on the piano.

He is a member of the prestigious choir at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s finest conductors and performing in most of the main concert venues in the country and across Europe.

Licence to Ceilidh Ian Live



Ian's percussive and rhythmic style of playing fuses the rhythm section of the band with the melody instruments to create a dynamic sound.

Ian began to play the piano at the age of five. Throughout his youth he studied the drums and became proficient on the guitar and bass guitar.

Enjoying the versatility of being a multi-instrumentalist, Ian has adopted techniques from playing with musicians of a high standard and has had the privilege to perform at some of the countries most prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Festival Halls, and The Fairfield Halls among other recognised theatres and music venues in the UK.

He has produced albums for such artists as the acclaimed Swedish singer “Annika” and classical guitarist Paul Gregory.

Ian is available as a solo pianist as the perfect complement to your meal.

Bass: Dan | Dan | Simon


Licence to Ceilidh Hump

Bass Guitar, Double Bass

Dan graduated in 2008 with a BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship, since then he has been constantly in demand for his versatility and dashing good looks.

Some of the artists he has worked with include: Pixie Lott, The Proclaimers, Buddy Greco, Craig Revel-Horwood, Kim Mezel (Maceo Parker), 911, Liane Carroll, Ray Lewis (The Drifters), Jaki Graham, John Cameron, Chico, Sonia, Bucks Fizz, Magic of Motown, Motown USA, Angie Brown, Joe Stilgo, FreshSteps UK, Dam Koek, Tom Fitzpatrick and many more...

Dan can also be heard playing double bass on the "Stella Artois" adverts and throughout Sky 1's hit comedy "Spy"!

His theatre credits include: Happy Days UK Tour (2014), Gotta Sing Gotta Dance (2012 - 2013, Jordan Productions), Blues in the Night (2013), Summer Ice Spectacular (2011, Jordan Productions), Millenium and Arts Ed Showcase Performances (2010 - Present) & Various UK Pantomime (2008 - Present).

His recording credits include: BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, Sky 1, Radio 4, Jazz FM, Hackney Empire, Soundtree Productions, The Pink Floyd Show UK, Dan Koek, Crossharbour, Tom Fitzpatrick, 2point9 Records & Bourne Leisure.

Photo: Touch Photography

Meet the Band Bass


Bass Guitar, Double Bass

Since moving to Brighton in 2003 and immersing himself in the music scene, Dan has played many styles of music from Salsa to Metal. He has performed at all of Brighton's music venues with a variety of different artists and has also worked and toured the UK extensively with world music ceilidh band Boka Halat.

Along with gaining a BA (Hons) in Jazz (2009) Dan is currently a tutor at the Academy of Music and Sound where he teaches contemporary bass guitar and music theory.

Highlights of his career to date include performing with: Sandi Thom, Alvin Stardust, Laura Vane (The Vipertones, Gnarls Barkley and The streets), Viola Wills (Joe Cocker, Barry White and Smokey Robinson), Jodie Kidd, UK premiere of Fame Forever, Port Arlington Celtic Festival (Australia) and a Tour of the French Alps.

...and also performing at Sidmouth Festival, Towersey Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and headlining the National Celtic Festival in Australia with Philippe Barnes (LTC Flute/Guitar) and Ollie Boorman (LTC Drums) in Celtic Jazz-Funk group All Jigged Out.

Photo: Freddie Smith

Meet the Band Bass


Bass Guitar

Bass / Guitar / other things!

Simon was playing music from a very young age, starting with the piano at 2 and later moving on to brass instruments at 8 years old, playing trumpet and trombone in his local Scout band. He started playing guitar at 16, studying classically for a year and then taking private lessons with composer and session musician Steve Dodds (Mica Paris), before completing the Rock Metal and Intermediate guitar courses at the Guitar Institute in London.

In his early 20's Simon moved to Boston for 2 years to study at the famous Berklee College of Music, on the Performance Studies course. Graduating with the Berklee Certificate, having made the Dean's list for Excellence every semester.

On moving back to the UK Simon quickly became a popular musician working in and around London & Brighton with rock bands, the jazz-funk improvisational group the 'Kings Cross Project', forming the jazz-funk band 'Mobius' with Otto Williams (ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse) and the jazz duo 'Indigo' which quickly grew into one of the most popular duos on the south coast, performing regularly, making numerous appearances on BBC Southern Counties Radio and recording the album "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue".

In recent years Simon has been performing more regularly on the Bass, finding a particularly love for the groove and the sound of the instrument. Simon can regularly be heard with 'The John Lake Trio', 'Big Als Jamboree' & 'Treatment of Choice' as well as 'Licence to Ceilidh'!

Photo:Ali Barnes

Drums: Ollie | Nik | Dan


Licence to Ceilidh Nik Live

Ollie is constantly in demand for live and session work in a vast array of musical genres. Equally at home in an Orchestra pit for a theatre show, in a Jazz club, or on stage with a Pop act, Ollie has gained a reputation for equal measures of sensitive accompaniment and blistering powerhouse grooves!

As a drummer Ollie has toured on some of the UK's top musicals including: Happy Days UK Tour (2014), Joan Rivers Tour (2013), Chess The Musical (touring UK & Canada (2010/11), Grease UK tour (2011), The Producers UK tour (2008), By Jeeves UK tour (2005) Nunsense UK tour (2006), Gotta Sing Gotta Dance (2008/2009/2010/2013), Magic of Motown Reach Out tour (2008/2009/2010) & The Songs of Sister Act tour with the London Community Gospel Choir (2008).

He's worked with artists including: 80s soul diva Viola Wills, Bass virtuoso Franc O’Shea, 70's Glam Rocker Alvin Stardust, Mike McKoy, Joe Stilgoe, Leanne Carroll, Keith Emerson, Acid Jazz act Urubu, H from Steps, David Jordan, Paul Davis, Shane Hampsheir & BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards finalists All Jigged Out.

As Musical Director: Ollie has also worked as a Musical Director on CITV's Stephen Mulhern's One Man Variety Show tour.

Licence to Ceilidh Nik Live


Nik is an accomplished drummer & musical supervisor based in Brighton. He developed a passion for music at a very young age and has worked as a drummer and musician on a diverse range of musical projects. After being fortunate enough to have received tuition from a number of Britain's top Jazz musicians Nik became a deep rooted member of many of the South Coast’s leading Big Band & Jazz Bands.

Nik has worked with modern house music producers touring the UK & Europe, and recorded with some of the UK’s top up and coming acts. Nik has also worked as a Musical Supervisor for feature films & has a keen interest in Photography (you can see a number of his photos in our Gallery & on our Facebook page).

Licence to Ceilidh Dan


Dan started taking drum lessons in his teens and moved on to study Music, Music Technology & Pre-Professional Music at Sussex Downs College before gaining a Higher National Diploma in Professional Musicianship at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. Dan continued his education at the Leeds College of Music where he had the opportunity to train with some of the UK's leading drummers and jazz musicians. He graduated in 2008 with a 2.1 BA (Hons) Jazz Studies degree.

Since graduating Dan has made a name for himself as a drummer and drum teacher both in Leeds, and on the South Coast since moving back to Sussex. Though he's an accomplished drummer in many styles, Dan has a special passion for Jazz Music. Some of the current projects he's involved in include: The Skatoons, Kings Mews, The Studio 9 Orchestra, & The Wayne McConnell Trio.

All Photos:Ali Barnes

larger line-ups

Licence to Ceilidh larger line-ups

Although our standard 5-piece band is great for any size event, it's always fun to have a bigger band!

We regularly play as a 6 or 7-piece, with Flute & additional Fiddle being the most popular options to add to the sound - but we can offer any size band up to a 12-piece including a full horn section!

Have a browse of our suggested options, if you've not seen the instrument you were thinking of why not make a request and we'll do our best to try to find it (we know a great harmonica player and a fabulous banjo player...)'


Licence to Ceilidh Accordion

When you're looking for that traditional Scottish sound, it's an Accordion player that you're looking for! Adding extra tune & chords to the sound, it's a great addition to the line-up.

Extra Fiddle

Licence to Ceilidh Extra Fiddles

There's nothing quite like the sound of lots of fiddles playing together! When playing in unison it can be very powerful and when they start harmonising, vibing off each other and playing in different octaves it can be very exciting!

Having extra fiddles really adds to the sound and can be lots of fun!'


Licence to Ceilidh Flute

A Flute & Whistle player is a great addition to the band for any event, but works particularly well for an Irish ceilidh for that extra Irish sound!

Our usual flute/whistle player is our very own, multi-instrumentalist Philippe Barnes who studied flute at the University of Limerick gaining a 1st Class MA in Irish Traditional Music. He has played flute on MTV for Shakira, films including 'The Imposter', 'Dark Horse' & 'Brothers of War', ITV, Discovery Channel, TG4, BBC Radio's 1, 2, 3 4 & 6 and has toured all over the UK, Europe, America & Australia with the David Munnelly Band & Celtic Jazz Funk group All Jigged Out.

Horn Section

Licence to Ceilidh Horns

The most popular option at the moment is to add a Horn Section to the band! This really adds to the modern, funky sound of Licence to Ceilidh - think Tower of Power meets Riverdance!

We can offer a 3-piece horn section: Saxophone, Trumpet & Trombone or a 4-piece including a Baritone Sax. Both options work best with some extra tune players added as well (like fiddle & flute) but this isn't essential.


Licence to Ceilidh Bodhran

Why not add a Bodhran player to the band for an even fuller rhythm section! This is also a great option for giving the band an extra Irish touch!

If you've not heard of a Bodhran before, it's an incredible instrument - a traditional Irish frame drum that gives an impressive range of tones. When used along side a drum kit it really fills out the sound, both players can drop in and out at different times so you get chance to hear everything separately too!

"...The bodhran was a great idea and worked very well. I hope we can host another Ceilidh soon..." - Pauline & Sam, Party, Wimbledon