A & B

Aidan and Brian play as the duo 'A&B', with a reputation as providers of beautiful and exciting music to dance to. With Nicolas as MC they create memorable evenings of high quality country dancing.

Aidan has a wide experience of playing music of many different kinds, from Pop through Folk to Classical. He has led orchestras, conducted musical productions, appeared and played on Top of the Pops and TFI Friday, and even appeared in Shakespeare in Love! His rhythmic playing for Country Dancing together with his ability to extemporize at will makes for many memorable moments when he and Brian are playing.

Brian is an extraordinarily gifted pianist and musician, who spends much of his time playing for Scottish Ballet, both as rehearsal pianist and in the Orchestra. He is the regular accompanist for Terry Neason in her one woman shows, which they have performed together as far apart as the Edinburgh Festival, the Lyric Hammersmith, Athens and Vancouver. He is composer, arranger and keyboard player extraordinary for Terry.

Apart from playing piano for the 'Assembly Players' and 'A&B's country dance engagements, he plays keyboard for their Ceilidhs, and he and Aidan have also played for 'Reelers'.

The degree of telepathy between these two young men when playing together has to be heard to be believed; for those with ears to hear, it is little short of miraculous.

B & B

2001 saw the debut of this father and son duo at Eastbourne International Folk Festival, followed by Broadstairs Folk Week. In 2002 they played to considerable acclaim at Chippenham Folk Festival for Fried Herman, Alan Davies, John Meechan and Barrie Bullimore. Later in the summer they were at Pinewoods (Mass.) playing for English Country Dancing, then in Berea (Kentucky) playing as the Scottish element of the Artevida International Festival! Later still at Whitby Folk Festival they played for Hilary Herbert and ran a very successful series of combined workshops for musicians and dancers, in which Aidan coached the musicians, while Nicolas tried to persuade the dancers to listen to and dance to the the music!


Accordion (Leader)


Piano/Keyboard, Sound & Recording

The Assembly Players started as a Scottish Ceilidh Dance Band in 1989 (after the demise of The Gallivanters Ceilidh Band), playing mostly for Scottish ceilidh dances until the issue of their first CD in 1994. By this time, the original keyboard player, Dick Burger, had gradually given up playing with the Band, and his place had been taken by keyboard player and pianist extraordinary Brian Prentice. Brian's arrival enabled Nicolas to steer the band further towards his first and abiding passion, English Country Dance.

With the subsequent issue of one, and sometimes two, recordings annually since 1994 The Assembly Players' reputation as an English Country Dance Band has steadily grown, so that they have been invited to play at many dances and Balls, workshops and folk festivals both in England and abroad.

Owing to Nicolas' teaching and MC'ing commitments, The Assembly Players do not play as a band as often as many others, but despite this restriction and being based in Scotland, the band has played for dances or Balls at Cecil Sharp House, Eastbourne, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Oxford, Darlington, Norwich, Gloucester, Leamington, and abroad in Holland and the USA


© Copyright Nicolas Broadbridge 2013

As a Scottish Ceilidh dance band, we provide strong rhythmic music with exciting variations; and for Ceilidh dancing we have a dedicated Caller, Nell, whose job is to keep events running smoothly, make sure all on the floor are au fait with the dances, and to introduce a wide range of suitable dances in addition to the usual half dozen! We have issued to considerable acclaim a Ceilidh CD, ‘Doon the Brae’ available to buy online here. This contains all the usual favourite dances with full instructions in the CD booklet.