“The annual ceilidh is one of the highlights of the year at Clinks Care Farm. We always have Skiphire because we know we’ll have great music, great dancing and great fun!” -- Hugh Jones, Clinks Care Farm Director
"Thank you, Skiphire, for one of the most fun-filled evenings out we have had for a long time. Fantastic musicianship and clear instructions helped us through until we really didn't want the evening to end." -- Mark and Maria Allen, Beccles
"Epic atmosphere, high drama, everyone was up and dancing - even Granny who didn't think she would! It was a great way of mixing our friends and family and it was the perfect ending to our wedding day." -- Christopher and Natalie Kirkman, Bristol
"Skiphire gave the Dance Folkus regulars a more electric night than usual. Frentic fun from a band with a great sound and enjoyable dances." -- Rob Neal, Dance Folkus
Established in 1992, John’s Skiphire is a professional and highly respected ceilidh band, very popular for public ceilidhs, private events, weddings, anniversaries, parties, etc. The band members all have fine pedigrees in folk and dance music but can also play in other styles. Together with John’s extensive repertoire of popular songs from the last 60 years, the band has a versatility that can provide for every occasion and bring an audience an entire evening of ceilidh tunes or play a mixed set of dance tunes and sing-along popular songs. Skiphire performs mainly as a trio with fiddle player Mario Price or Jim O’Toole and, on occasions, also works with other talented musicians.
Lead vocalist and guitarist, John underpins the fiddle tunes with driving guitar rhythms that get people on their feet. He sometimes doubles up on other instruments, most notably bodhran, and his dynamic playing is an audience favourite. His repertoire of popular songs includes ballads for slow dancing, light jazz, pop and rock ‘n’ roll standards, and much in between.
Richard is a vastly experienced dance caller with a wide knowledge of English, Scottish, Irish and French dance music. Richard’s professional approach, humorous style and acerbic wit will entertain and suit the experienced ceilidh dancer or the complete beginner who needs careful instruction. Richard plays bass guitar and percussion, sometimes doubling up on keyboard or 6-string guitar.
Mario is an exceptional fiddle player who has had a musical partnership with John for nearly 30 years. He has a formidable reputation as a player of jigs, reels and Gypsy jazz and his exciting style delights dancers and listeners alike.
Jim is an extraordinarily talented fiddle player, adept at many different folk styles. Jim plays all over Europe and beyond in orchestras and has an extensive repertoire of tunes from across the British Isles and America, which he brings to Skiphire for a delightful dance experience.
The combined talents and versatility of the Skiphire musicians guarantees their reputation as one of the most popular and sought-after ceilidh bands in East Anglia and beyond.
“Thank you so much for playing at our wedding and for helping to make it so wonderful. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the music, despite the chaos that was ‘Stripping the Willow’! We just can’t wait for the next party when we can have you back again.” -- Lucy and Phil Beck.
"None of us thought that we would actually be able to cope well with ceilidh dancing but how wrong we were." -- Mark and Maria Allen