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Mikey joe Ceilidh Band wins Race Case (13) Ceilidh Band wins Race Case 03 Jul 02


Ceilidh band wins race case
JOHN INNES

A CEILIDH band was refused payment because its musicians were told their music was not "Scottish enough".

The four-man group, Ceilidh On the Breinnh, featured two dance-callers with strong English accents, and its members believe that was the reason a hotel decided to slash its fee for a Hogmanay booking, rather than because they weren't good enough.

The group hit back by claiming they had been the victims of racism and sued. Now they have won their full 800 fee from the Bancar Hotel at Lonmay, Aberdeenshire.

Hotel officials had offered them just 300 for working Hogmanay, arguing that they had not played traditional ceilidh music.

Art Dickinson, the band's leader, said: "It was a terrible night for us. It truly was the gig from hell. It was the only time we have experienced anything like that.

"All four of us had absolutely no doubt that the motivation for the audience reaction was racism. They felt offended at English accents at their Hogmanay dance.

"I have been playing in ceilidh bands for 20 years and nothing like this has ever happened before."

The group won their claim at a lengthy hearing at Peterhead Sheriff Court, where Sheriff Malcolm Garden found in their favour.

Tina Gibbons, the Bancar Hotel manager, herself a Yorkshirewoman, said yesterday that the band had met with a hostile reaction from the crowd when they began performing.

She said: "We had to respond to the complaints made by our customers. Some left within the first half houCeilidh band wins race case

JOHN INNES

A CEILIDH band was refused payment because its musicians were told their music was not "Scottish enough".

The four-man group, Ceilidh On the Breinnh, featured two dance-callers with strong English accents, and its members believe that was the reason a hotel decided to slash its fee for a Hogmanay booking, rather than because they weren't good enough.

The group hit back by claiming they had been the victims of racism and sued. Now they have won their full 800 fee from the Bancar Hotel at Lonmay, Aberdeenshire.

Hotel officials had offered them just 300 for working Hogmanay, arguing that they had not played traditional ceilidh music.

Art Dickinson, the band's leader, said: "It was a terrible night for us. It truly was the gig from hell. It was the only time we have experienced anything like that.

"All four of us had absolutely no doubt that the motivation for the audience reaction was racism. They felt offended at English accents at their Hogmanay dance.

"I have been playing in ceilidh bands for 20 years and nothing like this has ever happened before."

The group won their claim at a lengthy hearing at Peterhead Sheriff Court, where Sheriff Malcolm Garden found in their favour.

Tina Gibbons, the Bancar Hotel manager, herself a Yorkshirewoman, said yesterday that the band had met with a hostile reaction from the crowd when they began performing.

She said: "We had to respond to the complaints made by our customers. Some left within the first half hour. People asked for their money back. But they have won their case and that is the end of the matter."

Asked for her reaction to the claim of racism, the hotelier said: "That is not something I want to get into."

r. People asked for their money back. But they have won their case and that is the end of the matter."

Asked for her reaction to the claim of racism, the hotelier said: "That is not something I want to get into."


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