Band of Burns Jan 2020 Tour – London – Union Chapel

band of burns union chapel

Celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns with a glittering array of musicians, including BBC Folk Singer of the Year Rioghnach Connolly.


Welcome to one of the most powerful and compelling sounds of Folk and World music. Band of Burns is a unique collaboration of twelve artists from the upper echelons of the folk scene – including members of such prestigious groups as The Breath and The Langan Band, and featuring the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the year Ríoghnach Connolly.

These individuals come together to perform a truly distinct show which celebrates the life, works and philosophies of Robert Burns, sharing a profound belief in the values he championed – equality, social justice and the power of love – and in their pressing relevance amid today’s troubled times.

The birth of Band of Burns came after several years of one-off Burns Night gigs in London’s famous Wilton’s Music Hall. The team behind the band – musicians Alastair Caplin and Dila Vardar – put together a more permanent group of musicians in order to expand the scope of the project. Thus, Band of Burns was born.

Bringing elements of the musical traditions of their homelands - Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, and Turkey - the final selection of the 12 musicians was an easy choice to make: all had played together at some point in the past, all had shared the highest level of mutual respect for each other’s musical skill, and all had a deep regard for the works of Robert Burns. The resultant band is a tightly knit ensemble of musicians who all shine bright in their own right, with a string of awards and an admirable list of previous shows. They collectively create one of the most powerful and compelling sounds of Folk and World music.

After the success of their debut album ‘Live at Union Chapel’ the band released their first studio album ‘The Thread' in Autumn 2019. Recorded by the 12 members of the band in Watercolour Studios last year, The Thread is a true representation of the bands international influences, and their poetic endeavour to interpret the works and philosophies of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

Since their inaugural concert at Union Chapel in 2017, members of the band have always held the venue dearly in their hearts. The perfect acoustics and stunning beauty of the building itself make it the perfect venue for the band’s return to London.

“A shimmering collection … that does full justice to the poet’s humane vision” - The Times

“Band of Burns take few prisoners with their often raucous, partying dance tunes but are also capable of softer, more reflective moments” - The Herald

“Exemplary musicianship, exemplary lead playing with a real respect for the tradition shining from every song” - Fatea

“Nourishing stuff beyond its times, another warm, welcoming stew to feed the bones” - The Guardian


Alastair Caplin (Isle of Lewis) - Musical Director, Violin, Viola, Vocals, Guitar

Ríoghnach Connolly (Co.Armargh, Ireland) – Vocals, Irish Flute

John Langan (Ayreshire) – Vocals, Guitar, Cajon

Adam Beattie (Aberdeenshire) – Vocals, Guitar, Double Bass

Michael Kenney (Liverpool) – Violin, Vocals

Dila Vardar (Turkey) – Vocals, Finger Bells

Dominie Hooper (Dartmoor) – Vocals, Cello

Ellis Davies (Camarthenshire) – Guitar, Vocals

Ewan McDonald (Ross & Cromarty) – Violin, Cittern

Dave Tunstall (Angus) – Double Bass, Border Pipes

Lewis Murray (Aberdeenshire) – Violin Viola

Feilimi Devlin (Co.Antrim, Ireland) – Bodhran


£15 Early Bird

£20 Advance (Until 5th January)

£25 Full Price

10% of proceeds from this event will go towards Music Action International, who use music and creativity to overcome the effects of war-related trauma.

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