Monty’s Maggot have delighted dancers at festivals, ceilidh series and parties around the country. The major festivals and series we've played at include Sidmouth, Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Broadstairs, FolkEast, Wallingford Bunkfest, White Horse, Haddenham, Unicorn, oxfolk, Great Western, Meltdown and Knees Up Cecil Sharp.
Monty’s Maggot brings together some of the best known players on the English dance music scene (from The Old Swan Band, Grand Union and Random) with some younger faces. Monty's Maggot features the driving fiddles of Flos Headford and Taz Tarry, Keith Holloway on guitar, Jeremy Tozer on melodeon, and Theresa Jones, Vicky Benjamin and Heather White on tenor and baritone saxes to underpin it all and round out the sound.
No other band has this blend of fiddle frenzy, melodeon with bite and bounce, rhythmic guitar, and the reedy, gutsy sound of tenor and baritone saxes —a vibrant and full wall of sound!
Captivating tunes are played with infectious rhythm, energy and lift which puts the beat just where you need it. This usually leads to spontaneous, involuntary and spirited dancing and toe-tapping!
Here's a montage of video with Monty's Maggot and caller Will Hall at the Knees Up Cecil Sharp!, Cecil Sharp House, London, 19 June 2015. The sound was recorded by our sound engineer Sam Jones at a rehearsal in Bridport at The Woodman Inn before one of Monty Crook's ceilidhs. The video was shot and edited by Stuart Barton.
Many people ask why we're called Monty's Maggot. Maggot is old English meaning an eccentric or fanciful idea or whim; and the band was an idea hatched during a series of fiddle workshops that Flos and Jerry were running out of the wonderful White Horse pub in Moretonhampstead.
Monty is Jerry's Jack Russell who likes to sing while Jerry practises. Monty likes singing in E minor and it seemed natural to put Monty and Maggot together!
Monty has taught Jerry's other dog Sasha to sing as well.
You don't need to know how to dance; a caller will walk you through each dance immediately before it is played, and he'll call through it to keep you on track.
Tim Normanton (banjo) and Carl Allerfeldt (fiddle) join us occasionally and Ed Rennie, Nina Hansell, Ian Dedic, Dan Bones and Chris Bartram have guested or depped with us.
Well known callers that we have worked with at festivals and ceilidh series include Will Hall, Barry Goodman, Nick Walden, Gordon Potts, Fee Lock, Mary Panton, Sarah Clough, and Andy Rouse.
Shrewsbury Folk Festival
The sound was superb"
John Heydon, Haddenham Ceilidhs, 4 Oct 2014
Thank you SO much for playing for our wedding dance; you were really fantastic. It was great fun and everyone loved it!"
N&D Sep 2014
You were the best dance band all weekend - so danceable, you sounded great!"
Polly Dare, Bromyard Fok Festival 2014
Monty's Maggot play traditional music for barn dances, English country dances and English ceilidhs. Captivating tunes are played with infectious rhythm, energy and lift.
This frequently leads to spontaneous, involuntary and spirited dancing!
Since 2010, Monty's Maggot have been well-received at festivals and ceilidh series including Sidmouth, Bromyard, Shrewsbury, Broadstairs, FolkEast, Wallingford Bunkfest, and White Horse.
“English Ceilidh” (EC, aka barn dance) is English country dancing to upbeat bands with emphasis on energy, stepping and fun rather than complexity.
You don't need to know how to dance to go to an English Ceiliidh. The dances are usually for sets of people and a caller will walk you through the dances before the tune is played.
You don't need to bring a partner with you; it’s quite normal to ask someone to dance. Families are always welcome.
EC dances should be danced or stepped throughout, rather than walked, which is unlike “Social” or “Playford” dances where the complexity of the figures in the dance is more important than the stepping. This is extreme English country dance!
If you see people going to an English dance wearing trainers and shorts, it’s more likely that they are going to an English Ceilidh than to a ‘social dance’!
If you thought English country dancing might be boring, think again!
Broadstairs Folk Week