The Rhythm Chaps Barn Dance and Ceilidh Band

I have played in the Rhythm Chaps Ceilidh and Barn Dance Band for over 30 years. We play English, Irish and American tunes and call a variety of fun dances at weddings, parties and a wide variety of social and corporate events.

The Rhythm Chaps Ceilidh & Barn Dance Band play in the Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Leeds, Doncaster, Wakefield and Huddersfield area and is one of the most experienced and versatile bands around so can guarantee a good night.

Themed Nights
Photo shows the band on a Scottish themed night. We also specialise in Burns Suppers where we play all Scottish music, sing Scottish songs and even address the Haggis! We can also offer Irish, English or American themed nights where all the dances and songs are from those countries. Please ring or email for a quote.

Here is a video of the Rhythm Chaps playing at the Water Aid National Big Ceilidh in October 2011.

This video was kindly recorded by the staff at Barnsley College.

What do the Rhythym Chaps Do?
The Rhythm Chaps play Irish, Scottish, English and American Reels, Jigs, Hornpipes, Strathspeys and other traditional music forms, all with a driving rhythm and enthusiasm that makes it hard to stay in your seat. The Rhythm Chaps main aim throughout an evening is to entertain and to help the audience have fun. Our caller will guide the dancers with humour and without bullying them and, whether beginners or experienced dancers, they will enjoy the experience.
What is a Ceilidh?
A Ceilidh, Ceili, Barn Dance or Country Dance describes an evening mainly composed of traditional barn dances with the occasional song to give the dancers a rest. A Ceilidh with The Rhythm Chaps is a little different in that we keep the party going in between dances with anything from ukekelele music to popular folk songs, old pops to rock ’n’ roll, but mainly we specialise in playing for Traditional Ceilidh or Barn dancing. The band are very experienced musicians and can boast influences from Jazz to Rock ’n’ Roll through Country and Bluegrass to Rhythm and Blues, we use these influences to spice up the tunes we play to get the audience’s feet tapping and on to the dance floor.
What are the Dances like?
The Rhythm Chaps can fill an evening with dances for the absolute beginner or the dance aficionado with equal ease, but usually a good mixture is provided which suits most of the audience most of the time. Some dances can be included which are suitable for children and the pace of the dancing can be altered to suit the level of energy and ability of the dancers.
Insurance etc.
The Rhythm Chaps have a high quality P.A. System and all equipment is PAT tested, the band is covered by Public Liability Insurance through the Musicians Union. They are completely reliable and will arrive at the agreed time, start on time and will work tirelessly to ensure your guests have a good night. The ’Chaps” have entertained at many different gatherings, folk festivals, golf clubs, Masonic Halls, weddings, civil partnerships, birthdays, christenings, balls, banquets and functions of many kinds.

Dear Chaps,
Thank you so much for coming to play at our wedding at Barnby Moor in April. We had a really wonderful time and, judging by reports, so did our guests. That is certainly due, in no small part, to you, and we’ll be recommending the Rhythm Chaps at every opportunity! Thanks again

Colin and Rebecca

A Hundred Pipers & The New Rigged Ship

by The Rhythm Chaps | A Scottish Jig and another from Shetland

The Butterfly

by The Rhythm Chaps | A lyrical Irish Slip Jig

Uncle Bernard's Polka and Jenny Lind

by The Rhythm Chaps | A pair of rhythmic English polkas

We usually arrive about 45 minutes before the start time specified to set up, and we play for about four hours on the average ‘Gig’, i.e. from 8pm to midnight, or 7.30 to 11.30, with a break in the middle, ‘to water the horses’. The band have played at every type of function imaginable – from Balls, Banquets, Burns Nights and Birthdays to Knees Ups, Booze Ups, Hoe Downs, Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Festivals, and Christenings – in every venue under the sun: Town Halls, Church Halls, Marquees, Universities, Golf Clubs, Pubs – the list is endless!

All we ask for is a safe electricity supply, a dry place to play, a willing audience – and we’re away! We often play in the Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Wakefield, Doncaster and Leeds area, but we’re quite happy to play further afield.


Chris formally worked for Barnsley Music Service as Curriculum Development Officer and is now a freelance musician and instrumental teacher.

Chris plays tenor banjo, mandolin, tenor guitar and also explains and calls all the dances. All of the dances that Chris calls will be easy and fun to do.

Dave first encountered traditional song and dance music at Keele University, and learned to play tin whistle and piano accordion under the direction of musicians who played for the university’s folk dance society. Upon graduation he returned to his first instrument, the piano, and worked with various Ceilidh bands in the South Yorkshire area before becoming one of the founder members of the Rhythm Chaps.

Martin (fiddle, guitar, banjo) has toured extensively throughout Britain and Europe with his bands Skyhook and Caravanserai. A keen performer of Scottish dance music he has played  fiddle and called in numerous ceilidh bands over the years. Alongside his performing career Martin is  a very active music workshop leader and trainer working with Music in the Round, Sheffield City Council, York University and countless community settings.

Please email us for a quote or more information