On Bouge

On Bouge is currently taking a break until the 2022/23 season starts on 14 October 2022.

On Bouge, established in 1990, is London’s long-running club for French Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan and Fest Noz. It is based in Heath Street Baptist Church from 7:30-11:00pm on the second Friday of each month - see map and get directions.

They always have Live Music. Duo Mistral (Chris and Caroline Shaw) are happy to share their years of experience of playing and dancing in various French regions, and the On Bouge Band (incorporating the Behind the Shed Buskers) are always there to play. They are negotiating to have specific guests in the coming months.

Many of the dances they do are danced all over Europe, but they do like to shine a spotlight on dances from specific areas. Fest Noz, Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan are titles used to describe what they do. The accent is on dancing with fun, but they usually try and tell you about the context of the dances, fitting them into the cultural traditions of the various regions.

Prices are generally £10 (£8 unwaged). You are welcome to turn up rather than booking, but please be triple vaccinated or contact chris@gigcb.com for up-to-date guidance if not.

Please bring drinks and nibbles to share. They will provide French festival freshly washed-up reusable plastic cups and sticky labels to put your name on – please remove the labels at the end of the evening. They will take them home and wash them up again.

Please email chris@gigcb.com to join their email list. Please contact Chris if you would like to play. They want to keep up their eclectic mix!

Upcoming dates

11 February 2022 On Bouge LIVE and Personally in Person: Sawney White Bird
12 March 2022

On Bouge Bal Normal - On Bouge Band, David Lowe and Duo Mistral.

Moved from Friday 11 March 2022.

8 April 2022

Featuring Duo Mistral. We'll be going over the dances we worked on last month, plus a number of Breton dances and BalFolk dances. The On Bouge Band and friends will provide further highly danceable music.

Please BYO booze and snacks to share.

The dances mentioned are Auvergne bourrées, Lo Crousado, La Montagnarde, Morvan bourrées, Bourrée des Monedieres, Bourrée Planiere. Plus Breton dances Suite de Loudeac, Dans Keff and qui sais quels autres!!! Kenavo. Adishatz. Amitiés.

13 May 2022

The Famous Five Fiddlers

Chris, Caroline, Graham, Ravi and John playing dance music we have learned mostly from our friends from Correze Jean-Pierre Champeval and Olivier Durif. Indeed three of our fiddles were made by Jean-Pierre.

10 June 2022

Les Marginaux

Mark Stefanicki (hurdy gurdy) & Graham Shelver (fiddle, viola) will be playing a number of “new / unusual / seldom heard” dance tunes mostly from Central France. Duo Mistral will be teaching dances from Gasconny: Congo de Captieux and one or two more involved Béarnais Sauts.

July-September 2022 Cancelled.
14 October 2022 To be announced.

Click here for their website and Facebook page.

Covid-19: See GOV.UK guidance below. Covid-19 is still a problem, but we have to learn to live with it: We have to live! We have to dance! We have to play music! Please feel free to come if you have had the three necessary vaccinations. If you are not vaxed please contact me. My priorities are to keep people safe, but I will be happy to do the research to see what we can do.

One of the crucial things is simple: if you have ANY Covid-19 symptoms please stay at home and look after yourself: see instructions from GOV.UK below.


From gov.uk:

Before attending any sporting activities, all participants, officials, volunteers and spectators should self-assess for symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you have one or more of these symptoms you should not attend any sporting activity, even if your symptoms are mild. You should follow NHS guidance on testing and self-isolation.

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