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Ceilidh Party CD A contemporary collection of traditional Anglo-Celtic dance music, given the distinctive ThingumaJig makeover. "Even if you are among the two-left-feet crowd, you'll enjoy the energy and superb musicianship of this album" - Sing Out! Magazine (USA) This lively set of tunes and songs is taken from ThingumaJig's extensive ceilidh repertoire, and provides a range of different dance rhythms - reel, jig, march, slip-jig, waltz, polka and hornpipe - played on many different instruments - including bagpipes - providing a musical feast for the ears. As a bonus, the insert has instructions for 5 dances to go with the music.
Sing Out! (USA) "British folk band Blackthorn vets Pete and Mannie McClelland join here with numerous players, dancers, and callers who were finalists in the BBC 2 Young Folk Awards contest. This album is devoted to dance, and contains instructions for jigs, hornpipes, waltzes, squares, reels and polkas. Even if you are among the two-left-feet crowd, you'll enjoy the energy and superb musicianship of this album"
Dirty Linen (USA) "Music for informal traditional dancing is also the speciality of English sextet ThingumaJig, a good time dance band whose CD Ceilidh Party provides just about everything necessary to stage an Anglo-Celtic ceilidh in your living room - not just the music, but a booklet that includes dance instructions as well. The sextet's sound emphasises flute and whistle with assorted combinations of squeezebox, fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. The disc has a simply produced live sound on uptempo sets of reels, jigs, polkas, marches and a waltz."
Greenmanreview.com "The playing is spirited, with plenty of bounce and energy; best enjoyed, I find, when played loud. The percussion does its job well, driving the tunes along, without being an end in itself. Once the tunes are established, then there's time for the occasional bit of cross rhythm for that injection of energy. ...ThingumaJig fare well on several criteria. ....the album is fun to listen to, the music gives a good impression of the group's strength as a dance band, and there's lots of useful information to get beginners started on dancing."
thefolkmag.co.uk "... I surprised myself in enjoying the CD. For the most part, this is not listening music, but, as the warning states on the cover, needs to be danced to and would certainly be useful for calling to pre-recorded music. .... The band play music from all over the British Isles and the Celtic influence is quite strong. The majority are well known dance tunes with some unusual variations and indeed do make you want to dance about."
Folknews Kernow “Goody another dance CD. This is the second of Hobgoblin's CDs, and is as fascinating as the first. The band plays traditional tunes at danceable lengths and speeds, so the CD is perfect for dance-clubs and dance-parties. These acoustic six don’t overdub yet mix perfectly and play it seems to me, with smiles on their faces. Nip down to Hobs and get one”
Shreds & Patches "... a few of the tracks did have me hopping around in the front room ...The musical styles range from "Irish session" through English, Scots to "Pogues Irish" ... there is a good selection of circle, long ways, and square dances , Rocky II, Eightsome Reel, Mountain Road, Random Notes, Cock-a-Leekie, Summer Set, ThingumaJigs, and Over the Hill are all good sets, played well, and suit the dances. ... The lovely Tommy Bhetty's Waltz is the best track on the CD, with some beautiful flute playing to go with the circle waltz. ... Altogether a good idea by a good band of musicians.."
Fiddle On "ThingumaJig has been around since 1998, and it shows in the precision of their playing. All the notes are there (and in the right order); speeds are nicely judged; some - but not too many - liberties are taken with rhythm and harmony. ...it works as listening music, even for a hoary old folky like me, and on that basis I enjoyed many of the tunes, especially their version of 'Cooleys'."
Surrey Folk News
"The CD contains all the familiar dance tunes like "Cock of the North", "Galopede", "Foxhunter's Jig", and John Ryan's Polka" collected in danceable sets. The sleeve even contains instructions for five dances if your caller is double-booked.
Around Kent Folk "It's described as anglo-celtic dance music and brief instructions for 5 dances are included. All dancers will recognise most of the tune sets - Floiwng Tide, Cock of the North, Cooley's, Salmon Tails, Rowan Tree, Rocky Road to Dublin, Whiskey in the Jar and New Rigged Ship. all played to a high standard - exciting and easy listening to non dancers. Be warned - the cover caption says the CD may cause involuntary physical movement. It is very difficult to keep still whilst listening, very infections."
Tradition "On the ThingumaJig CD... the McClellands are two and the Blackthorn trio, including Barnes are augmented to a party sound by David Sheldon, keyboards, Tom Phelan, bass guitar and Ollie Boorman on drums, plus contributions from Bob Ash on Highland pipes, Simon Southgate (also engineer) on percussion, and Lara Holding on backing vocals. Also mentioned are dancers/callers John and Liz Scholey, with this incarnation since its inception in 1998. The otherwise useful booklet omits to say which male sings the songs, but does give instructions for five dance sets and notation for a composed track so musicians can play along - a rarity. ...All tracks are fine and mostly up tempo ... with Wild Mountain Thyme the restful moment. The beauty of this album is that it's multi-purpose: for listening at home, playing along, having a party and getting familiar with the dancing, especially if you plan to hire the band. You kow these tunes even if you don't recognise the titles."
Orpington Folk Club "There are 14 tracks, each set of tunes for a specified dance. Brief instructions for 5 of the dances is provided in the booklet. The music is bright and lively with a varied instrumentation and is easy on the ear."
Irish Dancing Magazine
"In England, Hobgoblin Music has done massive work down the years to introduce and encourage amateur musicians to have a go - buy an instrument at reasonable cost and learn some music, mostly in the folk idiom. The founders are a couple, Pete and Mannie McClelland, and they're fair testimony to the principles of Hobgoblin - Pete can play virtually
every type of instrument in the shop and Mannie isn't far behind!