Ceilidh at The Halls: Cock and Bull Band with Micheal Catovsky calling!

Stanley Halls, London, SE25 6AB
Fri 14th June 2019

From beginners to seasoned veterans all are welcome to a night of dancing and meeting new friends at the glorious Stanley Halls! 


First known as Hemlock from 1976 to 1978 they were a folk group singing songs and playing dance tunes. They were based in Stony Stratford where there are two pubs – The Cock and The Bull – which gave rise to the expression “cock and bull story”. The band changed their musical direction and their name, but didn’t want to lose their existing reputation, so became Hemlock Cock and Bull Band. They released their first album on Topic Records, All Buttoned Up, and somewhere between the front and back covers, they dropped the word “Hemlock”, appearing then as The Cock and Bull Band.

Initially, The Cock and Bull Band comprised Bob Shakeshaft, Brad Bradstock, Dave Whetstone and Jean-Pierre Rasle. By the time of the first album, the personnel had changed to Dave (melodeon), Jean-Pierre (bagpipes), John Maxwell (drums) and Paul Martin (bass). Dave and John left in 1986 (and John sadly died in 2001), to be replaced by Pete Lockwood on saxophone and keyboards. Vanda Sainsbury joined on clarinet in 1992, left in 2000 (replaced by Steve Cobham until 2009) and rejoined in 2011. In 2010, Jean-Pierre moved back to France. As a band, they were always keen to develop a distinct repertoire of tunes and, with Jean-Pierre’s influence, they pioneered the use of French music for English ceilidhs, and later experimented with electronic sounds.

They returned in 2014 for a one-off reunion of the original Cock and Bull Band line-up - Dave Whetstone, Jean-Pierre Rasle and Paul Martin – plus John's son Tom Maxwell – for Towersey Festival's 50th anniversary.

Tickets: £10 in advance (+booking fee) + £12 in on the door!


Google map static shot of Stanley Halls, London, SE25 6AB
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