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Ceilidh band

Rufus Return

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About Rufus Return

Rufus Return are a Ceilidh/Barn Dance Band on the 'rock ceilidh' side of the spectrum. Line up of Guitar, Drums, Violin, Accordion & caller.
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Ceilidh band
Public liability insurance of £1 million

Rufus Return was formed in 1986 by Andrew Purkiss. The name of the band came from his surname, "Purkiss", being written on the Rufus Stone (a memorial to William the Conqueror's son, situated on the edge of The New Forest) and "Return" because Andrew had just returned from Avery Hill College in London to Southampton. The original line-up of the band was Andrew Purkiss on accordion, Phil Wood on drums, Sandy Auber on flute and Peter Atkinson calling. In 1988 Andrew met his now wife Lisa Reeves, who joined the band playing flute and recorder. In 1992 following the birth of their first child, Lisa's brother Brendan joined the band playing acoustic and bass guitar. In 1994, child number 2 was on its way (who now plays a stand in roll for our drummer - Phil), so Nina Barrell joined the band playing violin. By this time, Rufus Return were playing regularly with 4 musicians and 1 part time. So Lisa decided to have a try at calling and became the regular caller for the band. In August 2000, the Purkiss family moved to Qatar in the Middle East, so Andrew was replaced by Danny Harmer on accordion - whom Andrew had taught since the age of 5! This made Phil, our drummer, the only original member of Rufus. In 2007, Nina left the band and her place was taken by Polly who plays a Bridge Violin. Rufus have performed at festivals such as Sidmouth, Towersey, Chippenham, Winchester and The Isle of Wight and also at regional ceilidhs including Cecil Sharp House, Reeling in Ealing and M27 Megabops.

Performance details
We can perform outdoors
We have vehicles we can use to travel to gigs
We require car parking close to venues
Our equipment is PAT tested
We own a PA system
Encore awards
5th Encoreversary
Folk, Ceilidh, Traditional English folk, Irish rock, Folk rock, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk
See all genres
Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Recording session, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types

Song list

Various traditional tunes from all over the world along with some original compositions. We can also throw in some Traditional Irish songs:
Tell Me Ma
Irish Rover
Wild Rover
Black Velvet Band
Streams of Whiskey
Dirty Old Town
Fields of Athenry
Among many, many others.
Ouch. There goes my Banjo String
Mr Kelly Welly
The Howl
Tinnie Run
Don't Piss In My Pocket and Tell Me It's Raining
He Likes To Play The Drums
Sayonara Mr Craig!
The Floundering Bismark
He's Got a Vibroslap
Ned Belly
Dick Gossip
Cumberland Square Eight
All The Rage
Banks of the Allen
Calliope House
Customer questions

Can you perform covers?

Yes we can. We are able to include a number of covers from the likes of Pogues / Dubliners etc.

Do you have different line-up options?

Our preferred line up is Accordion, Violin, Guitar, Drums & Caller but we can go out with less musicians for a cheaper price

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

We are flexible and play each booking by ear to ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. If timings change just let us know.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

Absolutely. This is a really popular request and we actually offer this service for free. If you'd like to plug a devise in with a playlist via our PA after the final set until the venue closes, we can provide this for an additional charge.

How much time do you need to set up?

We will arrive around an hour before start unless requested otherwise to set up ad sound check. As soon as the PA is set up, we can plug a devise in with your playlist or our own to help set the atmosphere and get people ready for the live usic.

Do you provide a caller?

Yes a Caller is included within our quoted fee.

Can I pick the songs you play from the set list?

Of course you can

Is all of the equipment (e.g. PA) included in your quote?

Yes we will supply PA and some lighting.

Can you learn song requests before the event?

We can if you give us enough notice.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

We're lively and really enjoy what we do and that comes across in our performance.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Lots and lots from a marquee in the garden to local pubs to village halls to festivals

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Wolfstone / Oyster Band

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

Folk Festivals such as Sidmouth, Towersey, Chippenham


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Up to 1 hour£450
Up to 2 hours£550
Up to 3 hours£600


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Anne J, 1 year ago

Absolutely fantastic! I booked Rufus Return for a charity event where the age range was from 4 to 80 years young! A lot of of those attending had never been to a Ceilidh and they are now raving about it and asking when the next one is! Nigel and the band paced everything well to the crowd and I can’t recommend them highly enough! Already looking for dates for next year and will definitely book Rufus Return! Thank you guys so much for a great night!

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Jackie K, 1 year ago

I would just like to thank you and the Rufus Return Band for entertaining Corhampton GC members and guests so well on Friday night. We had a fabulous evening and many of the members have been back in touch to ask me to pass on their thanks. It was a great evening! You, the band, and Tom were patient, professional and good fun. Thank you. The House, Bar and Social Committee will be rebooking for a date in '21. Please use us as an endorsement for other enquiries. Best Regards Jackie

Client, 3 years ago

21st birthday party Andover "Hi Brendan, thank you so much to all the Rufus Return band, we had a great night, thoroughly enjoyed by all, and I do hope you didn't get too cold beforehand... Thanks also for your flexibility with timings and announcements, planned or spontaneous!

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