The Houlies are a young, energetic and professional ceilidh band

The Houlies

About Us


Edinburgh and Aberdeen based ceilidh band, available for hire.

Houlies (noun) - wild, drunken brawls, especially at Penny Weddings.

The Houlies formed in 2017, when like-minded musicians with a love of traditional music came together from across the North-East of Scotland. A four-piece ceilidh band, The Houlies deliver a modern, funky, and energetic sound more in keeping with that of a contemporary trad group than a Scottish Country Dance band. All of the band members come from a background of classical training and have extensive and varied experience of playing at both concerts and functions, so you can be confident that your event is in safe hands.

Over the last few years we have built a reputation for being one of the most energetic and modern sounding ceilidh bands Scotland has to offer - with a combination of fun dances, expert calling and modern traditional music ensuring that even the most reluctant dancer finds themselves drawn to the dance floor. A ceilidh with The Houlies consists of all of the classic dances, such as the Gay Gordons and the Dashing White Sergeant, as well as more modern and fast-paced dances such as the Riverside and Hoolichan Jig. We call all of the dances, which allows anyone, with any level of ceilidh experience to enjoy themselves.

Although originally formed in Aberdeen, the band is now primarily based in Edinburgh - with band members studying at Universities and Conservatoires in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Despite this, we still frequent venues throughout the North East of Scotland - particularly when we return home for the summer wedding season. We also love to travel to play -  so if you would love us to play at your event in a location far from Scotland please don’t hesitate to be in touch! We welcome enquiries from overseas, and all band members have overseas touring experience.

The Houlies provide their own high-end sound equipment for every event which they play at, which ensures that they sound great, and that those listening and dancing have the best possible experience. The band is also fully insured with Public Liability Insurance, to provide peace of mind.

Have any questions? Take a look at our list of FAQs.


Band Members

Aoife Dreelan

Aoife Dreelan - Fiddle

Aoife has been playing the fiddle from the age of seven and has performed with many orchestras throughout this time. Notably she has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, and has toured to Prague, Budapest and Kraków to play. She also plays regularly in traditional fiddle groups and holds a grade 8 in violin from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Aoife is currently studying law at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Lisa Abraham

Lisa Abraham - Fiddle

Lisa has been playing the fiddle for over 10 years and in 2018, she passed her Diploma of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music with distinction. She has played in several orchestras across Scotland including the Aberdeen Chamber Orchestra, Grampian Youth Orchestra, and has toured with the acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Though classically trained, Lisa has played in ceilidh bands for 7 years.

Lisa is currently studying medicine at Edinburgh University.

Sam Hay

Sam Hay- Keys / Caller

Sam has played the piano since the age of 6, and passed his grade 8 piano with distinction in 2018. Over the last 7 years, he has played with various ceilidh bands, and this has provided him with much experience of playing at weddings and events. Outside of Scotland, Sam has toured to Canada, Italy and Spain to play. Sam's musical interests extend beyond the traditional genre, and he received an Advanced Diploma in Jazz from St Andrews University in 2018. As well as playing keys with the band, Sam calls all of the dances, keeping everyone right!

Sam currently studies at Edinburgh Law School.

Richard Glassby

Richard Glassby - Drums

Richard started playing drums whilst he was at school, before studying a degree in Music Education at Aberdeen University. During his time at university, Richard enjoyed a variety of cross-genre playing opportunities, frequently performing with ensembles and in the pit for theatre productions. Richard's main focus is Jazz music, and in recent years he has played for the Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra and Hamlet, receiving an Advanced Diploma in Jazz from St Andrews University in 2018.

Richard is currently studying a postgraduate degree in Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


From time to time, the Houlies enlist session musicians to allow them to continue to play when the usual line-up is not available. All session musicians who play with the Houlies are musically trained to the same standard as the original band members and are able to offer the same professional service as Lisa, Aoife, Richard and Sam.

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