a bit about the band:

Hekety formed in 1997, mainly because Richard & Jess decided they wanted to start a new band, having both been playing in other ceilidh bands for a number of years. The rest of the band met from playing music in and around Sheffield, in most cases through connections with the Sheffield University Ceilidh Society. The personnel changed round a bit at first, but settled to the six piece line-up within the first year or two. Guitarist Paul Baker left due to family commitments in 2003, leaving the current line up of five.

Why the name? Hecate was a greek goddess associated with darkness and winter. You could meet her at crossroads, and she was connected to the night and the moon. She was also the Queen of the Witches in Macbeth. We didn't have any particular connection with who or what Hecate was but we liked the word… and changed the spelling in order to make it more obvious to pronounce.

The most important thing about the band is the dancing. We're a ceilidh band, so first and foremost we have to be good to dance to. That means watching the dancers while we play, and knowing enough about what is going on to be playing the right tune in the right way for a particular dance. Can't promise we always get it right but we do try! Secondly we want to be interesting to listen to, in terms of material and arrangements. That doesn't necessarily mean having smooth polished arrangements, but does mean getting the energy level right; having some b****cks, and keeping it fun and interesting to play. We do plan our arrangements out in advance, at least loosely – but there's always room for improvisation. Some of our best material is arrived at spontaneously on stage.

The music is a mixture of traditional English dance tunes, our own tunes and our arrangements of contemporary music by other people. The style and arrangements have a pretty diverse range of influences – from Morris and other folk traditions through to heavy metal, jazz, reggae, klezmer, …, you name it, … It all has a root in the English music though, because we are all English and because we're playing for English dancing.

We originally released a 6 track EP in 2001 and our full length album 'Furze Cat' was recorded in 2004.

Members of Hekety also play in other bands – Richard & Jess in Melrose Quartet (concert band) and as a duo, Nige with Trinculo (english ceilidh band) and Jo with the Bell Hagg OrkestarBell Hagg Orkestar,Trip the Light and Outre Manche. Gav plays with Tom Kitching and with the Gavin Davenport band. Richard and Nige also play in the english metalcore ceilidh band Glorystrokes. Jess and Richard also respectively dance with and play for women's Cotswold morris side Pecsaetan.

Jess Arrowsmith


Richard Arrowsmith (melodeons)

Gavin Davenport
(cittern and guitar)

Jo Veal

Nigel Holmes
(5-string basses)