The Band

Nigel Bull

Nigel Bull

Guitar View Details
Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

Melodeon View Details
Peter Brocklehurst

Peter Brocklehurst

Upright Bass View Details
Wil Walker

Wil Walker

Fiddle View Details
Charlie Corcoran

Charlie Corcoran

Caller View Details
Ray Dawson

Ray Dawson

Caller View Details
Denny Plowman

Denny Plowman

Caller View Details
Edward Bellarby

Edward Bellarby

Caller View Details
Bryan Sheppard

Bryan Sheppard

Caller View Details
Nigel Bull

Nigel Bull

Guitar

Nigel plays guitar with the band, he also plays the drums and at a push, the mandolin.He has played in a number of bands in a variety styles, rock, folk, jazz and blues for far too many years.

Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

Melodeon

Nick has been playing the melodeon for more than 25 years and is an original member of the band.
He plays a variety of other instruments. At the moment he is particularly enjoying playing the Pipe and Tabor, an extremely difficult pair of instruments to play in a co-ordinated way! He also plays guitar and trombone. Currently he is a fan of ‘garage music’ – yes he keeps the band PA in his garage!
He dances with Dolphin Morris and is one of their main musicians.
Other hobbies include most outdoor pursuits especially sailing, cycling and walking.

Peter Brocklehurst

Peter Brocklehurst

Upright Bass

Peter recently invested in an EUB (Electric Upright Bass) built by Jerry Rulf which attracts a lot of interest … and a fair amount of sympathy as it looks like a double bass without a body! He also plays an electric bass guitar. He has been playing with folk bands of one sort or another in Lancashire, Yorkshire and the East Midlands for some 35 years! With the University of Leeds, he has played as far afield as Poland and Spain. Peter has broad musical interests and also plays with local orchestras, wind ensembles and for light operatic shows! His musical family have been known to augment the band occasionally. He plays jazz with Nigel (see above).

Wil Walker

Wil Walker

Fiddle

Wil is an experienced fiddle player who often joins us on bookings. Although having never trained at the Royal Academy or played first violin with the Berlin Philharmonic, he has spent many years trying to escape the epithet ‘classically trained’, honing his chops in sessions around the Hope Valley in Derbyshire and as a member of the Sheffield Traditional Fiddlers’ Society before moving to Nottingham in 2001. Whilst versatile in different styles, he has a particular interest in English tunes. He dances with Dolphin Morris and also plays for the rapper dance side ‘Whip the Cat‘.

Charlie Corcoran

Charlie Corcoran

Caller

Charlie is an accomplished caller with many years of experience. He has a wide repertoire of dances and is very adaptable. He plays the fiddle and is a key member of the Leicester Morris Dance team. He is also ‘Bagman’ of the Morris Ring.

Ray Dawson

Ray Dawson

Caller

Ray has been calling for the past 30 years and regularly calls with various bands in the East Midlands. He has a range of dances from beginners’ to advanced and will often produce a few dances he has written himself. He also plays the bodhran and, if no one is listening too carefully, the concertina. In his other life Ray lectures in Computing, but then, no-one is perfect!

Denny Plowman

Denny Plowman

Caller

Denny is an accomplished musician who has been a regular member of the folk scene for many years. He plays regularly with the East Midlands band ‘Five go Off’. He is a great caller with a good range of dances and an original, humorous style.

Edward Bellarby

Edward Bellarby

Caller

Edward is the other original member of the band. Unfortunately he doesn’t call for us any more as he has moved to Cumbria, but he is still a good friend so we’ll keep him on this page. He is an accomplished Jew’s Harp player and has an original technique with the Tin Tray. He was in great demand as a caller and was often called upon to work with other bands too. It is rumoured that he now practices his calling technique with the sheep on the fells!!

Bryan Sheppard

Bryan Sheppard

Caller

Bryan began calling with the Rollright Stones back in the mid 1970’s and then joined North Oxfordshire folk rock outfit The Hookey Band as Caller and Anglo Concertina player. Here he developed a unique style of calling which became much sort after by other bands however he rarely called for other groups as The Hookey Band were always so busy.
Over recent years Hookey have decided not to work quite so hard; Bryan began to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and started calling for other bands again but insists that he has most fun with “Bellows.”
Bryan is at home with any standard of dancers and his clear explanation coupled with a wicked sense of humour makes him one of the more sought after callers in the country.

About Bellows, Scratchitt & Pluckitt

What Do We Do?

Nottingham based Bellows, Scratchitt & Pluckitt barn dance and ceilidh band have provided high quality entertainment for many years. If you want something special for your wedding,  birthday,  anniversary,  corporate event or fundraiser please have a look at our pages. We have a wealth of experience and have established an excellent reputation. We are passionate about our music and love getting people up and dancing to our wide assortment of foot-tapping tunes.

Barn Dance

We provide a range of dance tunes, mainly English, Scottish and Irish. A selection of reels, hornpipes, jigs, polkas, waltzes and slip-jigs. Our caller chooses dances to suit the mood and experience of the dancers. He gives complete and clear instructions to everyone and makes certain that everyone knows what to do.

Between dances the band entertain by playing a wide variety of tunes.

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What goes on at one of our dances?

Of course, every event is different and we pride ourselves in our adaptability. However most events run to a fairly similar format.
Firstly, if you book us we shall play for (up to) 3 1/2 hours (including breaks). Our line up always includes our excellent caller plus melodeon (squeezebox), guitar & bass. We are often very lucky to have Wil join us on fiddle. He can’t always make it, but if he does, we don’t alter our charges.

We try to arrive about 3/4 hour early to set up. All we require is a space for this and one mains socket. A small table to put the amplifier on is useful and arm-less chairs appreciated too. We are discrete when setting up, but of course we respect what is going on and will always wait for an appropriate time if necessary.

If it is a wedding, the couple often want a first dance. We can play for this and we do have a few suggestions here (please ask). Alternatively, we have provision to plug in a phone / ipad / laptop etc. so a chosen track can be used.

We’ll generally get things going with a few tunes and then the dancing starts. We generally call up the dances in pairs, giving the dancers a chance for a breather / drink / chat in between. During the breaks we play live music – a wide eclectic mix (you’ll be glad to know we don’t sing, you wouldn’t like it if we did!).

There will often be a break, again we are very flexible with timings here.

On some events we are followed by a disco. This is fine with us, but we must emphasise that it does not work at all if there is an attempt to alternate the two genres. The disco does need to follow us.

Of course we are happy to answer any further questions, just get in touch.

Watch & Listen

Thanks

Some letters of thanks we have received.
Click on any letter to see full text