The Storming Northern Roots Band

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Calendar 2007: total of 74 shows
Go to journal 2007
Check out our public bookings: *Orange*
Private functions: Blue
January 2007  
Tuesday 2nd Windermere: Merewood Hotel
Thursday 11th

Mike Willoughby: Solo: The Nest, Rawlinson Street, Barrow. 8.30 p.m.

Saturday 20th Lancaster: Town Hall
Thursday 25th Lancaster: Lancaster House Hotel
Friday 26th Lancaster: Grammar School
Saturday 27th Lancaster: Town Hall
February 2007  
Saturday 10th Greenod: Village Hall
Saturday 17th Bowness-On-Windermere: Broad Leys
Friday 23rd Wigton: The Stocksman
March 2007  
Saturday 3rd Kendal: IBIS Football Club
Saturday 10th Askham: Village Hall: Eden Runners
Thursday 15th Kendal: Queen Katherine's School
Friday 16th Carnforth: Railway Club
Saturday 17th Lancaster: Our Lady's High School
Saturday 24th Morecambe: Strathmore Hotel
Saturday 31st Muncaster: Castle
April 2007  
April 14th

Staveley: Village Hall: Ceilidh

Saturday 21st Lancaster: St. Thomas's Church
Saturday 28th Ambleside: Rugby Club
*Friday 26th Lancaster: John O' Gaunt.
May 2007  
Saturday 5th Buttermere: Fell and Rock Climbing Club Anniversary
Saturday 12th Barnard Castle: The Witham
Saturday 19th Penrith: Private House
Wednesday 23rd Lancaster: Christchurch School: KS1 ceilidh!
Friday 25th Blackburn: Canbarra Club
Saturday 26th Cockermouth: Saint's Room
Sunday 27th May Armathwaite: Nord Vue Farm
June 2007  
Saturday 2nd Staveley: Beer Hall
Saturday 9th Cockermouth: Saint's Room
Friday 15th Lancaster: Gregson Centre
Saturday 16th Lancaster: Arkholme Village Hall
Wednesday 20th Borrowdale: Institute
Friday 29th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
Saturday 30th June Ivegill: Village Hall, North Lakes, Nr. Carlisle.
July 2007  
Saturday 7th Outgate: Belmont House
Tuesday 10th Grange: Netherwood Hotel
Thursday 12th Ulverston: Sports and Leisure Club
Friday 13th Cockermouth: Kirkgate Centre: Borrowdale Johhny Tour
Saturday 14th Melmerby: Village Hall
Sunday 15th (p.m.) Newby Bridge: Lakeside YMCA
Sunday 15th (eve.) Borrowdale: Lodore Falls Hotel
Thursday 19th Windermere: Cragwood Hotel
Friday 20th Staveley: Village Hall: Khatmandu Charity Ceilidh
Saturday 21st Orton: Village Hall
Monday 23rd Windermere: Cragwood Hotel
August 2007  
Friday 17th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
September 2007  
Saturday 1st Bolton Le Sands: Community Centre
Thursday 13th Staveley: Beer Hall
Saturday 15th Dent: Village Hall
Friday 21st Blennerhasset Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: Caroline Turner 016973 21944
Saturday 22nd Ambleside: Low Wood Hotel
Saturday 29th Keswick: Labour Club: Keswick Mountain Rescue
October 2007  
Friday 5th Plumland Village Hall, Nr. Apatria: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: Ray Jones 016973 23262
Saturday 6th Ulverston: Sports and Leisure Club
Friday 12th Arnside Educational Institute: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: 01524 762254
Saturday 13th Shap Wells Hotel: Bob Graham Round Club
Saturday 20th Portinscale: Village Hall
Thursday 25th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
November 2007  
Friday 2nd Waberthwaite Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: Mary Stewart 01229 717218
Monday 5th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
Friday 9th Skirwith Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: 01768 88234
Saturday 10th Morecambe: Christchurch
Friday 16th Boldorn Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny: CONCERT
Tickets:01833 638210
Saturday 17th Lancaster: Grammar School
Friday 23rd Cliburn Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: 01931 714218
Saturday 24th Threlkeld Public Rooms: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: 017687 79172
Sunday 25th Brampton Community Centre: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: 016977 45023
Friday 30th Santon Bridge Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: David Evans 019467 26278
December 2007  
Saturday 1st Kirkland Mission Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: Michael Johnson 01946 817545
Friday 7th Sedbergh People's Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets:015396 20125
Saturday 8th Armathwaite Old School Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets:016974 72383
Sunday 9th St. John's Chapel Town Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: 01388 537680
Friday 14th Staveley: Beer Hall
Saturday 15th Mawbray Culterham Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets:Steve Weedall 01900 881499
Friday 21st Ullock Village Hall: Borrowdale Johnny
Tickets: Gerry Millar 01946 861136
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Striding Edge Journal: 2007

This is our journal for 2007. This year has been the busiest ever for Striding Edge, with a total of 74 shows completed: Testament to the the fact that we have become probably the most popular cutting edge roots band in the region!

And what a great year it was too! A terrific round of gigs over the winter spring and summer led to the 'Borrowdale Johnny' tour in the autumn/winter, to launch our brand new album. This was a hugely successful concert/ceilidh tour, taking in 16 community venues that were mainly packed to the rafters with attentive listeners (for the concert) and dancers (for the ceilidh!) Now read all about it....


'Borrowdale Johnny Show' went out to 16 village halls throughout Cumbria and Durham, from September through to mid December!

Many folks came to see us launch our brand new album 'Borrowdale Johnny' with these very special shows. At most shows, a seated concert presenting a sequence of songs and tunes from the album started the show, telling the story of Borrowdale Johnny's epic journey from Borrowdale and back again.

This was followed by a ceilidh dance which will gave the audience a rousing couple of hours to enjoy themselves on the dance-floor, interspersed with some 'floor spots' from the band, including clog dancing, border pipe playing, and big chorus songs (Including the classic 'Sally Grey') that everyone loved singing along to!

This tour was organised by 'Highlights' and 'Way Out West' rural touring schemes. Our great thanks to Barbara Slack and Bob Pritchard for all their hard work in putting this excellent schedule of dates together! The tour took us to community venues around Cumbria and County Durham; the bed-rock breeding ground of our brand of music, which made it a highly exciting and energising 'down to the roots' tour for us, and our local audiences. We practised hard to make these the best Striding Edge shows ever. As you can see by the comments, we went down a storm on every show, which made us realise that we suceeded!


June/ July 2007

Staveley Beer Hall: Saturday 2nd June. Heavenly beer at Hawkshead Brewery's fab new venue: Great wooden dance floor, too. Smashing venue for Mike and Ali's 25th Wedding anniversary party, full of ceilidh-heads in the party mood who hit the dance floor all night, in between scoffing some famously fab food from Wilf's next door!

There were 17 more action-packed gigs over June/July: weddings, concerts, community events galore! August, we played one gig then took a break. Pheww!!!!

May 2007

Armathwaite, Nord Vue Farm, 27th May A huuuuge barn filled with revellers, to finish a great week on the road. Old pal Stuart Clarke organised this with Charles Lowther, a big party to celebrate the opening of Charles's new equstrian center. Good also to share the stage with old pal, colleague, street entertainer Jem Famous!

Cockermouth, Saint's Room, 26th May Great to discover a cracking new venue in the lakes, Cockermouth's Saints Room: a puuurfect venue for a good ceilidh, with an excellent stage, lovely wooden dance floor, evening light pouring through leaded windows and, on this occasion, a tremendous dance crowd for Peter and Lottie's wedding. An impossible crowd to tire, we kept cranking up the pace and the dancers kept with it an hollered for more!!

Hi Mike

Thanks so much for a fantastic evening. I know everyone had a great time - but you probably worked that out! People are still talking about the strip-the-willow! It was the first ceilidh for lots of our guests, and some of them where so bowled over by it that they're going straight back for more at your show on 13th July at The Kirgate Centre!

Peter Bell: Cockermouth: May 26th

Striding Edge at The Saint's Room, Cockermouth, May 2007. Photos by Sam King.

Blackburn, Canbarra Club, 25th May

On the road again, down to an airfield club for this good hearty family ceilidh for John's 60th birthday party. So many ages all mingling heartily on the dance floor, which is what the spirit of a good ceilidh is all about!

See Caroline's letter to us about the gig, below:

Hi Mike

John and Pat have asked me to write and thank you and the band for coming to the Canberra Club in the Ribble Valley on Friday, 25 May 2007. The feedback from everyone that came to the party is that they had a fantastic night and the beautiful music you all played, the singing and the dances far exceeded Mum and Dad's expectations. It was lovely to see everyone get involved, especially the children, thank you for involving them and for being so patient calling the dance steps. We would strongly recommend you to anyone looking at your website and wondering whether to have a ceilidh.

We wish you all the the very best and hope to see you again at another family bash very soon.

Thanks again.

Caroline Smith: Blackburn: May 2007

Lancaster Christchurch School, 23rd May. A 'Katy Morag' themed ceilidh for lots of very young KS1 kids: We adapted the dances and the music to the required level, drawing on our considerable experience of working in schools with exciteable children! A great fun afternoon!

Great Salkeld, Burrel Green Farm, 19th May. Deep in the lush Eden valley, we found our way to this big marquee on a pig farm! Two fine pigs kept us company while we were waiting to go on, though we must amit that we all induldged in eating a little of their sister at half-time (organic, of course!) Even Juliet, usually veggie, relented on this one. Our best wishes to the wedding couple, Alex and Sarah!

The Witham, Barnard Castle, 12th May. A big, glorious, cavernous town hall with a real sprung dance floor. Always one of our favourite venues, away across the East Cumbrian moors. Happy 40th birthday, Angus! See you and Susan at your '80th! It was great playing for you and your 'up for it' crowd once again!


Just a thank you note for the brilliant gig you and the band played for us on Saturday. Everybody really enjoyed themselves and you even got some committed non dancers onto the floor!

Your music and enthusiasm made the night really special.


Angus and Susan Wheeler: Barnard Castle: 12th May 2007.

Buttermere: Birkness Climbing Hut: Fell And Rock Climbing Club: Saturday 5th May. This gig is where the music of the Lakeland mountains that we play comes home to it's roots: With 40's Buttermere Rock climbing hero Bill Peascod proudly portrayed on the club hut wall, and thundering out in our anthemic song 'Poor Man's Mountains', it felt totally right and in-tune to be playing to this wonderfull crowd of mountain enthusiasts, overlooked by the mighty crown of glorious Grey Crag.

The FRCC Dancing under the gaze of Grey Crag...
Striding Edge, Lakeland roots band, in their element...

Photos by Jeannie Sutherland


Many thanks. Everyone had a great time and there was universal acclaim for Striding Edge's performance. Very impressive all round.


Norman Haighton: Fell And Rock Climbing Club Of The Lake District: May 2007
April 2007

Ambleside Cricket Club: 28th April: Alan's 60th Birthday. Wow, good to play at this club again: Last time we were here was 11 years ago! A mixed age-range crowd who got more exciteable and involved in the dancing as the night progressed. Turned into a reet cooking night.

John O' Gaunt: Lancaster: 26th April: After all the big, cooking dance nights we've played recently, it was a refreshing contrast to play this intimate little pub gig with an a good crowd of listeners, including Lee from Oysterband and his missus Sarah, who were on the front row! Great also to meet many old friends at this traditional warm Lancashire gig: Hi Noni, Tony!

Lancaster: 20th/21st: Two good solid ceilidhs in Lancaster. Nice to gig with James guesting on double bass.

Staveley Village Hall: 14th April: Ok, we're off and away for the summer now with this excellent ceilidh: A public gig, in aid of the MacMillan nurses, packed out with a crowd of 140, many of whoum are old friends we've seen at Striding Edge gigs in Lakeland down the years. A no-holds-barred, 'go for it' crowd hit the dance floor for every dance and set the hot and sultry night alight with their wild energy. 'Edge' Rocked, too. Wey-hey, a cracking ceilidh indeed. Thanks to Sally Flemming for promoting this gig so very well! See ya all again!

Dancers at Staveley..
totally up for it...

Striding Edge on song...


Mike's mum Leila with Suzy
All pics by Jeannie Sutherland

Sally Flemming, the promoter, writes:


I'm absolutely blown away by the success of Saturday night.

It was really important to me that Striding Edge led the evening - as a result ticket sales went ballistic and I could relax in the knowledge that the professionalism and sheer quality of the band would do the rest on the night. And you did! Between us we created a truly thrilling event and by osmosis we raised over £1500 for Macmillan Cancer.

Thanks to you all
See you again soon

Sally Flemming

February/March 2007

Muncaster Castle: 31st March: Janet and David's wedding saw a sprightly set of dancers take the floor throughout: Nice to be back in The Old Laundry in way out West Cumbria playing to such a warm bunch of people!

Strathmore Hotel: Morecambe: 24th March: This was a great, bubbling melting pot of a sociable gig: A couple's golden wedding anniversary, with their five children and nineteen grand-children in attendance! All had a fine time. Piccies below are of us playing, with guest fiddler Wal on this occasion.

Photos by Sam King: Strathmore Hotel: 24th March

Our Ladies High School: Lancaster: 17th March.Three nights on the road and we're still standing! More high energy jinks on the dance floor on this now traditional yearly gig: Lovely big dance floor, lovely big dance crowd celidhing all night to our big beat. Phew! Now I can go home and Sleeeeep!

Railway Club: Carnforth: 16th March: Second night of the St. Patrick's tour is an outreach gig for community music company More Music In Morecambe, (Ben and Rick work for 'em in the day) and as we crunched through the glistening reef of broken glass to get into the club, it definitely had that 'outreach' feel about it: However, a small intimate gig with an attentive crowd ensued; not by any means our usual bonkers dance crowd (a total contrast from the night before!) but enjoyable non-the-less.

Queen Katherine School: Kendal: 15th March: Advertised as a post-exam de-stresser for 6th formers, to be quite honest we didn't know what to expect of this gig, as school gigs can be a reet mixture: We needn't have feared, as this was by far the best school crowd we have ever played to: The whole 6th form hitting the dance floor for every dance and really going for it in a joyous mass that was a delight to behold and play to. Phew! All that energy! We really cranked up the tempo on some numbers and maxed out on the dance length and yet still couldn't tire out this wonderfull bunch. See you again, we hope!

Askham Village Hall: 10th March: Our now traditional yearly gig for the Eden Runners club, which being a ceilidh for runners is always a high energy affair. This is a really nice big village hall with lots of dance space and stage space to really spread out and let go... Oh yes, and so we did, playing a nice big long set oozing with all them classic BIG dances (Cicillian 'em!) and BIG tunes (Common Ground:Trip To The Lakes: love 'em, too!) Thanks to Sally and the gang for having us over again to play this queen of ceilidhs!!

Kendal Football Club: 3rd March: A buzzing night of dance floor action for Wyn's 60th birthday party, puctuated by everyone piling out onto the car park every so often to watch the lunar eclipse! Wyn's daughter Jo's african drumming band Sister Slap played a groovy dance set that got everyone swaying: hope we can gig with this crew again!

The Stocksman, Wigton: 23rd February: A lovely night playing in far North Cumbria, for Elizabeth's 60th. Good to see so many familly friends from all over the country re-united on the dance floor. Elizabeth writes:

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for making my party the success it was. Many of my guests had never been to a ceilidh before and your great music and excellent calling of the dance moves encouraged them to let their hair down. I'll have to find a venue with a bigger dance floor for my 70th!!

Elizabeth Millichap: Wigton: February 2007

Broad Leys, Windermere: 17th February: Broad Leys is a stunning listed building on the shores of Windermere, and the traditional home of Windermere racing club. Kath and Tim's wedding crowd enjoyed a good time mix of Traditional Lakeland songs and ceilidh dances with us, and it was interesting for us to play at this intruging venue with its beautifull sweeping views across Windermere.

Dear Mike and Co.

Thank you for the great music on Saturday night at Kathryn and Tim's wedding. It was a perfect combination of music and dancing and so many people said how much they enjoyed it. Many thanks again and best wishes for the future-we will certainly recommend you to others!

Yvonne Miller: Windermere: February 2007

Greenod Village Hall: 10th February: Greenod hall is a great example of how to re-vamp a small village hall and create an excellent space for dancing and socialising. It's even got the bar in the same room as the dancing, which is always a recipe for success! An success it was, a lovely flowing night of dancing for Dave and Maggie's wedding, with many familiar local faces: Hi Luke and my neighbours Rob and Rachel!

January 2007

Burns Night Tour 2007

For 'Burns night' 2007 we played a neat little tour of 4 dates in Lancaster City: which we'll talk you through the action....

Lancaster Town Hall:(again!) 27th Jan. Great to back in this grand venue so soon after playing there earlier in the month, on the 20th. This time, we were playing a Burns night in aid of Lancaster Hospice, and once more the venue was packed with a terrific crowd of about 100 who filled the (huge) dance floor for every dance. We played a full 3 hour ceilidh, and the night was dynamite!

For more pictures CLICK HERE>>>

Hi Mike

Great night! Everyone's talking about it. Can I book you for 26th Jan 2008?

Same venue, same times. Thanks Julie

We did have a very 'spinal-tap' moment early in the night just as we were all getting into the cavernous venue. Carloyn disappeared, and then Rick got frantic messages on his mobile phone asking him to come and find her, and release her from a dark, tomb-like room whose heavy door had shut immovably behind her! After much frantic searching of the vast honey-comb gothic complex that is Lancaster Town Hall, Rick finally discovered 'Carolyn's Crypt' and like a knight in shining armour let her out: Thankfully just in time, as she had to fire up her bagpipes for when the guests arrived!! Carolyn was rather thankfully, as she didn't wish her skeleton to be found centuries later by bored workmen, her skeletal cobwebbed digits clasped around a brittle bagpipe don't worry folks, we're all very much alive and looking forward to a return booking for the hospice in 2008!

Lancaster Grammar School: 26th Jan is a now traditional yearly gig for us, and always excellent fun. Another great, sprung wooden dance floor and a spirited crowd in formal attire, and a keen fell-runner as a host! Spectacular airy views from the stage onto the 100-strong jigging and reeling crowd...

"Excellent Burns again: Many thanks to you and the band. Also Carloyn for piping. She did great!" David

Lancaster House Hotel: 25th Jan: An informally small but engaged (i.e. roaring wild!) crowd fired up with neaps, haggis and strong whisky: some of the most 'unrestrained' and 'on the edge' ceilidh dancing we've seen for a goodly while! Phew, needed my gin and Cranberry when I got home....

Lancaster Town Hall: 20th Jan. Lancaster Town Hall is a stunning, cavernous venue with what is, I think, the largest dance floor we have ever played for. A whopping great resonant, sprung wooden floor puuurfect for dancing:


This was ably filled by John and Marie's wonderfully crowd of 100-strong dancers who kept the pace flying all night, whoopin' and hollering' and zipping through the jigs and reels 'till past well past 11.


A heart-warming night indeed, especially as we got so much warm, positive feedback from the crowd afterwards.

Rickster, our brilliant bassist, won the first prise for best dressed member! For more pictures CLICK HERE>>

Supertonic Studio: Morecambe 12th Jan. Carolyn, Mike and Rick gather to listen to the final mixes of our forthcoming album 'Borrowdale Johhny' which has had a rather long gestation: However, A few 'tweaks ' here an there to the sound mixes, and we now have a stunning set of songs ready to send to the CD factory, We're all really excited about our new album and can't wait to get it pressed...we'll keep you posted when it's ready: Feb/March?

Merewood Hotel: Windermere: 2nd January. Great to start the new year playing in Windermere, (where my adventures in music began at the tender age of 15.) Back to base! Grant and Charlotte's wedding was a hoofing good mix of English and Australian dancers, cricket grievances forgotton and united on the dance floor: The high point of which was a group of nine men including the groom madly circling chanting 'oooh Ah, Cantona, oooh ah Cantona'..Has the 'nine pins' ever sounded so irevverant but frankly so enjoyable? A classic Striding Edge moment...!! Good luck, Grant and Charlotte, see you again we hope...grant writes:

Hi Mike,

Charlotte and i just wanted to thank you and the band so much for a wonderful evening of sweat-inducing dancing! I can't remember the last time i was so knackered and smiling at the same time!

Many of our guests said it was the best wedding they'd been to, and you guys were a big part of that.

Thanks ever so much for a great night and we hope to come to another gig soon (does that mean we can gate-crash a wedding?)

Grant and Charlotte: Windermere: January 2007

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