About Kick Shins

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Kick Shins is a barn dance band from around Reading, Berkshire, UK. Sometimes we are described as an English Ceildih band. Whichever way you look at it we play traditional music in a lively style.

The band started in about 1981. We started playing English traditional music, but now also include music from Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and other countries. The name comes from an old Wokingham custom. In between cock fights in Wokingham, people would try the sport of shin kicking. They would grab each other by the shoulders and try to kick each other's shins. The loser had the most bruises or blood!


We play keyboard, fiddle, melodeon, guitar, recorder, trumpet, tambourine, drums and hurdy gurdy. The band originated out of Berkshire Bedlam Morris, so our roots are in traditional English music.


We have played for all sorts of functions. but weddings seem to be a particular speciality at the moment. We are now experts at setting up quietly in the corner without disturbing the speeches! Amongst other things we have played at a village dance in France, various 30th, 40th, 50th birthdays, anniversaries, folk clubs, PTAs and Scout groups. No experience is necessary - we'll help you through and will tailor the dances to suit the audience.

Want more than a barn dance?

Most bands will advise you to avoid mixing a barn dance with a disco. But why not? We have done this many times and if you plan it carefully it can work very well. We can do it all for you. Have a look at our commendation section for comments from a satisfied customer.

Booking us

Go to contacts page then e-mail us for further information and to check availability. We'll send you a booking form. Or telephone Stuart Barry at +44 118 988 2186.

We mostly play at dances around the south of England (typically Reading, Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Bucks) but we'll happily go anywhere (even abroad - see our photo album) - for a fee of course.