Dance band Polkaworks at Frocks and Shoes Ceilidh during Sidmouth FolkWeek

PUBLISHED: 12:23 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:47 13 August 2018

Dance band Polkaworks on stage at the Frocks and Shoes Ceilidh. Picture: David Rogers

Dance band Polkaworks on stage at the Frocks and Shoes Ceilidh. Picture: David Rogers

Maria McCarthy

Polkaworks create a party atmosphere as they celebrate their 10th anniversary at FolkWeek

Polkaworks caller Aidan Hansell, with Bob and Dishi Attwood and Tish Hill. Picture: Maria McCarthyPolkaworks caller Aidan Hansell, with Bob and Dishi Attwood and Tish Hill. Picture: Maria McCarthy

Glamour was the name of the game at the Frocks and Shoes Ceilidh which took place on Monday, 6th August at the Blackmore Gardens Marquee.

Top dance band PolkaWorks were celebrating their 10th anniversary. Elegant dress and great shoes are hallmarks of the band at all their performances and on this occasion many dancers joined them with posh frocks, bow ties and kilts all in evidence. Quality gin, the band’s favourite tipple, was available at the bar.

PolkaWorks were accompanied by popular young caller Aidan Hansell. Sidmouth has a special place in Aidan’s heart as he met his wife Nina, a member of PolkaWorks, on the dance floor at a Late Night Extra gig in 1992 and now they visit regularly with their two children.

The band are all highly talented musicians who have played in many significant English ceilidh bands over the last 40 years including The Old Swan Band, Token Women, the English Contra Dance Band and The Valiant Band. As PolkaWorks they pride themselves on creating a party atmosphere and know exactly what it takes to get people dancing. Their music was a rhythmic wall of sound with solid melodeon and fiddle underpinned by keyboard and a sprinkling of hammered dulcimer on top.

Fans Sue Graham and Vince O'Farrell enjoying the Polkaworks dance band event. Picture: Maria McCarthyFans Sue Graham and Vince O'Farrell enjoying the Polkaworks dance band event. Picture: Maria McCarthy

The gig embodied the joyful, inclusive atmosphere that PolkaWorks are known for as people of all ages and abilities took to the floor. ‘It seems that some of the trains have decided to go off the tracks,’ joked Aidan, as some dancers playfully improvised their own moves to his calling.

In the interval dancers were entertained by After Dinner Clog, a dance team from Sheffield performing traditional English step clog with a sense of fun, lyricism, and lively audience interaction.

‘I’ve seen PolkaWorks before,’ said Sue Graham from Berkshire. ‘It was a treat to be here on their 10th anniversary and to get dressed up in a posh frock. The music was uplifting, the dancing was great fun and everyone was getting into the spirit of this special occasion.’

‘We hired PolkaWorks for our joint 110th birthday party,’ added gig-goers Dishi and Bob Attwood from Lichfield. ‘They’re guaranteed to get us on the dance floor and keep us there all night.’

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