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"Playing traditional acoustic music
in and around Darwin Australia
for more than thirty years."
Top End Folk Club Incorporated
PO Box 41551
Casuarina Northern Territory Australia 0811
ABN 20 835 317 702

Darwin Ceili Band

Founded 1982

The Darwin Ceili Band are:

  • Betty Risler - acoustic guitar
  • Fritz Risler - fiddle
  • Pat Somers - tinwhistles and melodion
  • Mike 'Pumping Jack Feedback' Lane - electric bass
  • Peter Bate - mandolin, banjo, vocals
  • Sue Ross - dance caller
  • and many guests and friends of the Darwin Ceili Band...

The Darwin Ceili Band (or Deathless Darwin Democratic People's Ceili Band - DDDPCB - to accord its full title) was established in June 1982, and is the oldest (literally) folk group still extant in the Territory.  Original line up was Risler and Rod Drew on fiddles and Pat Somers on whistle and melodeon.  Peter Bate on banjo and mandolin joined shortly after. 

The band was originally called Tropical Ear, but after incessant nagging by Sean Byrne we let him have the name when he left to form a new group.  Several musos have been in the line-up over the years, including, briefly, a lady tuba player.  Betty Risler and Mike Lane are also long term band members, and Sue Ross has been dance caller since it's inception.  Mike Manhire on squeezebox was a long time member before moving to Tasmania.

One of the DDDPCBs highlights was playing at Elliot and Newcastle Waters for the start of the Bicentenary cattle drive, and later flying by DC3 to Longreach to play for the end of the cattle drive concert at the Stockman's Hall of fame.

The band's history is traced in the song - "The deathless Darwin democratic people's ceili band".

Click here for photographs of the Darwin Ceili Band