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Biography

The Monster Ceilidh Band are Amy Thatcher (accordion/caller), Carly Blain (fiddle), Kieran Szifris (mandocello) and David de la Haye (electric bass). They’ve taken their cross-genre ceilidh music all over the world, entertaining generations new and old whilst retaining the true spirit of ceilidh dancing – getting up and having a party! If you want to know more, this is the place.

Mechanical Monster is Monster Ceilidh Band’s second dose of frantic folk mayhem – a double album surging with new musical experiences the Monsters have taken from touring the world, from Russian Metal clubs to the Rainforests of Malaysia. This adventurous album combines acoustic elegance and full-blown electrofolkmaggedon and sees Monster Ceilidh Band expanding what it means to ‘ceilidh’. In 2010 this Newcastle-based ceilidh band, with a home-recorded album, were nominated for best instrumental album by Spiral Earth, received a Time Out Magazine’s ‘Critics’ Choice’ honour, and were included in the British Music WOMEX official CD. It also saw them march from the Northeast of England across the world. Monster Ceilidh Band managed to devour not only 20 UK festivals but also a tour of Russia - playing at Moscow’s biggest metal club Toshka, Moscow International House of Music and St. Petersburg’s huge Glav Club. The peak of the year was, however, the 8,000 mud soaked punters screaming ‘MONSTER!’ during their headlining performance at the Rainforest World Music Festival, in Borneo, Malaysia. Now in 2011, the Monsters are aiming higher with a new double-album, fusing new electronic influences with the Monsters usual iconic brand of quirky instrumental folk composed and played by some of the UK’s finest folk musicians. Mechanical Monster really is a monster. It’s a double album featuring a full acoustic album and introducing an uncompromising, beats-driven folk sound aimed at festival dance crowds – they call it ‘The Monsters vs. The Touch’. This new project has already been turning heads as Drum and Bass producer The Touch leads the Monsters into a dark world that instrumental folk music rarely enters. With The Monsters already no strangers to playing nightclubs, their new electronic approach wows audiences with its stomping dance sound. Newcastle’s rich music scene really helped shape Mechanical Monster through Tyneside collaborations with glitch electronics guru Anomaly, Dub step producer DJ Giotto and Balkan superheroes The Baghdaddies’ Paul Susans as producer. Monster Ceilidh Band accordionist Amy Thatcher (who earlier this year performed on Sting’s latest DVD) says: “The Monsters are really about having a good time, getting down and dirty and tearing out some folk music that everyone can jump around to… that’s what we tried to capture in the studio – a real, lively energy. ‘Ceilidhing’ and ‘Night-clubbing’ are the same experience to us and new and old fans party long into the night to the original, instrumental folk music of Monster Ceilidh Band.”

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