The Bursledon Village Band are one of the best Barn Dance & Ceilidh Bands in the UK. Firm favourites as a Folk Dance Band at Folk Festivals, Ceilidh clubs and Barn Dances for over 30 years.

Straight From The Fingers Reviews

September 2001

The Bursledon Village Band are the archetypal Southern English country dance band. Here they perform music sets for 13 dances - that is, they are at tempos and lengths suitable for dancing. In fact, they make equally good listening. The quality of the recording is excellent, and Wildgoose Records are to be commended for their work in archiving the contemporary southern scene.

I'm afraid that the whirlwind jigs and reels of our Celtic cousins leave me cold after five minutes, whereas I never tire of the jaunty, melodic measures of English bands like the Bursledon. All six members are masters of their craft. It is an old adage, but oh so very true, that in music it not so much what you do as what you do not do that defines the quality of a performance.. The Bursledon Village Band does nothing purely for effect or to show the virtuosity of the individual performers. Their arrangements are varied, with just the right amount of harmony above an interesting bass line and with entrances and exits of the constituent voices to prevent the blandness of some bands I have heard - you know, the kind whose idea of an arrangement is to simply start and stop at the same time and have everyone play the tune all the way through in between.

I have to confess to being a little biased in my opinion because Dave Ingledew (melodeons) and his merry crew recorded a pair of my waltzes - Shepherds Waltz Alone and Newbridge Street - on an earlier CD (The Bursledon Village Band, MFY 014). That said, I can assure you that the Bursledon Village Band really is one of the very best country dance bands in the land. One reason for this is their choice of material. There is not a bad tune on Straight from the Fingers. Just as in property the adage is 'location, location, location', so in music it is 'material, material, material'.

Mike Raven

The following appeared in the Green Man Review - Portland USA

First up is the Bursledon Village Band with their CD "Straight from the Fingers". Like most of the bands that I'm blessed to review, this is a working band, i.e. I found a listing on the Net for the Haddenham Ceilidh which featured Hugh Rippon, Bursledon Village Band and Towersey Morris. This is not surprising as Wild Goose Studios has produced many a CD from a working band!

Based in the Southampton area of Hampshire in the U.K., they have been playing together since 1977 and specialize in traditional English Dance music for Barn Dances or Ceilidhs. (OK, there's really no meaningful difference between ceilidhs, barn dances, contradances and so forth. The important thing is that all involve music of a more or less traditional nature, lots of happy dancers and hopefully a caller who knows how to keep it flowing.)

If "Straight from the Fingers" -- great title! -- is any indication, this is a truly great dance band. Consisting of Dave Ingledew (Melodeon), Graham Pretty (Concertina), Joyce Ingledew (Fiddle), Matthew Parker (Piano), Paul Johnson (Percussion) and Simon Harmer (Brass -- Tuba and Horn). The brass adds a nice touch -- sort of like the effect of the brass section in The Commitments, the fictional band in the movie of the same name. Joyce's bio notes that she is "one of the founder members of the band. Though a classically trained violinist she was brought up on Scottish country dancing by her Scottish mother and as a result has a great feel for dance music. She has been the church organist at Bursledon church since she was 17 and as well as playing in the band she has played in a variety of pit orchestras in local theatres." I always appreciate when an artist has both a classical and traditional music background!

So how do they sound? Superb, simply superb. This is toe-tapping, wants-to-be-danced-to music -- not a weak cut to be found. Me favourites are "Reel des Accordeonistes," ''Some Say The Devil's Dead/Hunting the Hare," and "The Kerry Polka," a delightful Irish tune.

From Shreds & Patches October 2001

"Straight From The Fingers" - The word "straight" sums up this album beautifully - no gimmicks, no self-indulgent noodling, just a solid hour of good tunes well played! A nicely balanced mix of traditional and contemporary dance tunes played in the band's " ... distinctive Southern English style", to borrow from the sleeve notes.

If I had to pick a favourite track it would have to be Sharon Eubanks Waltz, written by Dave Richardson of Boys of the Lough. The arrangement for fiddle, keyboard and brass is a real gem and a good illustration of the band's versatility. The sleeve notes are entertaining as well as informative.

Prepare to be taken back to the early Flowers & Frolics/New Victory Band days - this album reminded me just why I got hooked on this type of music in the first place. A Classic - go and buy it !!

Carly Rose

December 2001 - from "What's Afoot" Devon Districy Folk Committee Magazine

Now here's a band that have been around for a long time (since 1977 to be precise) and should need no introduction to regular festival goers, at Sidmouth and elsewhere, particularly in the family ceilidhs. They also make periodic forays from their native Hampshire to North Devon as guests of the Bideford Ceilidh club. Their distinctive, bouncy and very rythmic style, which has won them acclaim is instantly recognisable and eminently danceable. One dancer is quoted as saying, about this album, that the music "goes in at the ears and comes out at the feet".

Most of the tunes in this collection are English, played in their steady, Southern English style, with a pleasing, no-frills blend of melody and rhythm instruments, which includes Melodeon (Dave Ingledew), Fiddle (Joyce Ingledew), Anglo Concertina (Graham Pretty), Keyboards (Matthew Parker), Tuba/TenorHorn (Simon Harmer) and Drums (Paul Johnson). A few tunes from other sources - Ireland, Scotland for example - have crept into their repertoire, since a good tune for playing and dancing is difficult to ignore, wherever it comes from.

Most of the 13 tracks on this CD are 32 bar tunes including jigs ( Pete's Peerie Boat/Pipers Poodle & Jig by Greenland - from Michael Turners collection despite the name - with Muckin o' Geordie's Byre), several polkas (the less well known Walter Bulwers No.3 among them), hornpipes and waltzes. Add a 28 Bar polka (Webbs Wonders), a 16 Bar schottische selection (a good alternative for Nottngham Swing) and a 48 bar French Canadian reel and you have a great selection suitable for instant dancing. The sleeve notes give details of the source of the tunes and , most helpfully for a caller, indicates the number of times through each set.

The Bursledon Village band achieve that often elusive combination of a CD that is great both to listen and dance to - only betterd by going to one of their live dances!

Colin Andrews

December 2001 - From Folk in Kent

After printing copies of two of the reviews that appear above the editor added his one note:-

Having read a similar review in the folk magazine "Shire Folk", I bought a copy of this CD and enjoyed it so much that I bought their earlier CD's "The South Wind" and "The Bursledon Village Band". I can recommend all three.

Eddie Crook

Don't forget you can listen to a sample of the CD on our Recordings page