Ceilidh // Barn Dance
Weddings, Parties, Fundraisers and Festivals


Stanstead Abbots Ceilidh Society

Sunday15th September

Veteran drummer Rob Gifford (The Committee Band, Flowers and Frolics, Chalktown, Stomp) and seasoned bassist Trevor Lines (Bonfire Radicals, Molten Amba, Chalktown) provide the groove whilst a youthful frontline formed of accordionist Matt Brookes (Capers and Japes, GiffordBrookes) and violist Beth Gifford (Mrs Savage’s Whim, GiffordBrookes) add their dynamic expression and lyrical phrasing to the mix.


Original material from each member of the band results in a plethora of self-penned tunes. Expect impetuous Drums and alluring Bass, layered with brooding, irascible viola and agile, bright accordion, each interacting with the others for a rich and varied texture.

We're available for festivals, weddings, parties and charity fundraisers.

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Who Are We?

Matt Brookes


Matt studied music in York, specialising in composition. Whilst he lends his beguiling accordion wiles to Take the Biscuit, in York he gigged regularly with Gypsy Jazz band ‘Corduroy Brookes and the Anchorsteam Collective’ on Fiddle and with ‘Bramble Napskins’ on fiddle and box. He gained experience playing for dance in ceilidh band ‘Capers and Japes.’  Matt writes compelling, hair raising tunes, many of which are on the Take the Biscuit setlist.

Beth Gifford


As a classically trained Violist brought up in English Ceilidh tradition Beth is inspired by the rhythm, shape and vibrance of traditional dance music. She is a young and exciting Folk Educator and a passionate upper strings teacher, with experience of a wide variety of age groups, from five to seventy-five. Beth writes songs and tunes in the traditional style and has performed with groups ‘Mrs Savage's Whim’ and ‘Anna & Beth.’

Rob Gifford


With over 30 years experience, Rob is a stalwart of the English Ceilidh Scene, first performing with ‘Flowers and Frolics,’ and going onto to play with other highly successful bands including ‘The Committee Band,’ ‘Stömp’, ‘Chalktown’ and ‘Gas Mark 5’.
Renowned for his ability to ignite a dance floor with infectious drum beats, Rob has performed at many UK folk festivals.

Rob is also an experienced workshop leader including the 'Stömp Bandit' project at Sidmouth Folk Week.

Trevor Lines


Trev is a seasoned bassist, equally proficient in both jazz and folk. In recent years he has played with ‘Molten Amba’,’Chalktown’ and the ‘Bonfire Radicals’ and recorded with the likes of Chris Foster. As a lecturer at Birmingham Conservatoire he has worked to promote the understanding of traditional music in the wider musical community.