Take me home!


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I enquire about booking the band?

    Simply email us at info@thebigshoogle.com, fill in the online form or call us on +44 (0)7790 951128 with as much information as you have about your event and we’ll give you an accurate price.

  • Do you have all your own equipment or do we need to supply anything?

    We are completely self-sufficient with our own PA system and stage lights. Our PA is a state-of-the-art active sound system that can split into 3 different sizes to suit all venues from small, intimate venues, medium-sized function suites and halls up to the biggest ballrooms. Our stage lighting is the latest LED pars and laser systems. All equipment is PAT tested for electrical safety, which is now a requirement for most of the high quality venues. We do require 2 x 13A 240V sockets to power our systems.

  • Do you give instructions for the ceilidh dances?

    Yes. Our expert caller will guide your guests through the steps of all the dances. So if you’ve never been to a ceilidh before and don’t know the difference between a Dashing White Sergeant and a Haggis Supper our caller will have you shoogling around the floor like an expert in no time. At most functions there’s a mixture of experienced dancers, novices and people who have never been to a ceilidh before. Our aim is to include everyone so each evening is treated individually, where, with our many years of experience enables us to strike the perfect balance between instruction, participation, insults and humiliation (!!) and participation. It’s all done with a wicked sense of humour and in a relaxed and informal style. For some international corporate events our dance caller will actually demonstrate dances from the dancefloor with the help of a suitable volunteer and a headset radio microphone.
    We also take pride in the fact that we can encourage guests on to the dancefloor even if they are a tad reluctant at first. Really – if we can’t get a dancefloor filled – nobody can.

  • Do you play any music during the buffet break?

    Yes, we have an iPod in our kit, which we use for playing background music during any breaks. We have some compilation playlists already made up but if you would like to make up one of your own on your iPod or mp3 player, we’ll connect it to our sound system for you. This music can either be background music, or, if you wish, louder and more upbeat if you wish to create a disco atmosphere. If you do, we’ll turn our LED stage lights around to light the dance floor and switch them on to “sound-to-light” to create the full disco effect.

  • Will you learn a tune or a song for our first dance?

    Yes, we’ll learn a tune for you if you have a specific request. Please give us as much notice as possible for this. For traditional Scottish tunes we can often sight-read and play them the first time we see them but it’s better if we get to know them better to do them justice. Chances are we already know the tune anyway.
    If you want us to learn a song for your first dance that’s usually ok too but we definitely need plenty notice because many songs have complicated arrangements with many parts since many “chart” bands use numerous musicians on their recordings. We have to adapt the arrangements to suit our instrumentation, which is more often the 3-piece band. However, people are always amazed at the full sound we produce with just the three of us. However we do have to say to some clients that their particular song would be best left to the original artistes if we feel that we cannot do it justice with our instrumentation (we’d hate to murder a great song and your first dance is rather important!) so the option is there to play the song from an iPod. Many brides and grooms choose this option.

  • What’s so unique about The Big Shoogle?

    One of the unique things about The Big Shoogle is that we can play pop/rock covers. Primarily, we are a ceilidh band so play all the ceilidh music and call the dances all night for a full evening’s ceilidh if required. But, we can play a set of ceilidh tunes and a set of cover songs, or mix and match as the evening progresses. We can read a crowd and adapt our music each night to suit any event. We’ve years of experience so know instinctively how to adapt. There are very few bands that can play both styles properly and convincingly. We’ve heard some excellent covers bands who’ll play a short ceilidh set during the evening but any we’ve heard were not able to play the ceilidh stuff very well. And we’ve heard excellent ceilidh bands that played some covers, and while their ceilidh stuff was right on the money, their cover songs were weak. We pride ourselves in being able to cover both bases extremely well. All that, of course, as well as our extremely professional approach, expert dance calling and compering, and of course our stunning good looks. Yes, and we’re very modest.
    We are the ideal party band.

  • Can you provide a disco?

    We do not actually provide a disco ourselves, as such, but prefer to recommend some of the excellent professional DJs we’ve met on our travels and let them look after that. We could “do a disco” ourselves, but it’s best left to the experts. Again, DJs are a mixed bag. We’ve heard hundreds over the years, some excellent and some not so. When we come across an excellent one we take a card from them with their contact details in case anyone asks. We’d be delighted to pass their details on to you. It’s common for the band to play the first half of an evening and leave the DJ to take over until the end. Anything is possible.

  • How much does it cost to book the band?

    Our fee depends upon various factors like, for example, where the venue is, the length of time you need the band to play for, the set-up and derig times and whether you wish to book the 3-piece band or the 4-piece with our fiddle player. For an accurate quote for your wedding or function, simply email or call us with as much information you have about your event and we’ll give you a no obligation quote.

  • How do I book the band?

    If you decide that you wish to confirm a booking with us we’ll send you a contract. This is usually emailed to you as a .pdf. You should print this off, fill in the blanks, sign and return it to us at the address marked on the form. When we receive a signed copy the booking will be confirmed. We usually ask for a deposit at this time. We’ll give you the relevant details when you enquire.

  • How far will the band travel to play?

    We’re based in Glasgow, so much of our work is in the Central Belt but we do travel UK-wide and overseas, having played in France, Italy, Belgium, Scandinavia, The Middle East, Russia on numerous occasions. So we’re really The Big Shoogle International!

  • How loud are you?

    Our volume levels are set so that we’re loud enough to create an exciting atmosphere on the dancefloor and do justice to the energy we put in to the music, while keeping it at a comfortable level for your guests who are not dancing and wish to have a conversation. For festivals and graduation balls the levels are usually higher to suit the younger audiences and the music we play is the faster, high-energy material.