The Mad Hatters
are a seven-piece ceilidh and concert band with
a unique blend of musicians from both classical and
folk music backgrounds.
Three members of the band
have orchestral links, which in one case extends to
the London Symphony Orchestra. The other band members
have a strong folk music base having played at clubs
and festivals for song and dance over many years.
Four of the band members
have considerable involvement with both North-West
and Cotswold Morris dancing. The musical line-up
comprises fiddle, cello, guitar, banjo, clarinet,
and two multi-musicians playing melodeons, accordion,
concertina, percussion and mandolin. Calling is normally
by John Stanley of Horwich Prize Medal Morris Dancers
and for concerts the band is joined by singer Linda
The band's repertoire is similarly broad
with music taken from editions of John Playford's
'Dancing Master', the Thomas Hardy family manuscripts,
as well as modern composers such as Ben Woodward,
Ian Wilson and Dave Richardson.
Hatters play throughout the Thames Valley
and home counties area. They have played for
ceilidhs at Cecil Sharp House, The Conway Hall, Knebworth,
and many Universities and Colleges.