Banjo Embargo

Acoustic Mash-Up Band

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Edinburgh, Scotland
£1,892 (avg. price)
Booked 25 times on FixTheMusic ⚡
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About Banjo Embargo – professional acoustic band available in the UK & Europe

Banjo Embargo are an Edinburgh-based acoustic mash-ups band delivering party classics in an original and imaginative style.

Once described as ‘Hayseed Dixie on speed with a serious chunk of Funk!’, they have been making fans wherever they play.

View our list of Scotland's best wedding bands ➡️

We're regularly booked to perform for weddings and events at Cray House & Estate in Blairgowrie and Balbirnie House in Glenrothes, Scotland.

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More information about Banjo Embargo

They feature five-string banjo, chunky acoustic guitar, double bass, stripped down drums (sometimes even a suitcase) and brilliant four-part harmonies.

View our list of Scotland's best wedding bands ➡️

This tweed-clad Edinburgh quintet have been entertaining crowds across Europe with their brilliantly imaginative take on some of pop’s most memorable tunes. Whatever your flavour they’ve got it covered!

Since their inception in 2007, their shows have included many gigs up and down the country and beyond including festivals, awards ceremonies, the 2014 Ryder Cup end party, Edinburgh Film Festival wrap parties, Edinburgh Book Festival launch parties, gigs for Visit Scotland, Fynefest, List Magazine's annual Festival Party, Club Vegas and The World Famous Spiegeltent along with over 400 other shows.

Other notables are gigs at the old Marquee Club in Soho, London, a cocktail boat on Loch Lomond, an awards ceremony in Malta and a pool party in Ibiza.

They've also played many private parties too including one for the cast of BBC's Eastenders and another for fashion designer Jenny Packham.

With 5 string banjo, acoustic guitar, double bass, stripped-down drum kit and 4 vocalists, some really do say that their bluegrass-funk interpretations are better than the originals.

Their eclectic and diverse blend of mash-ups include tunes by Louis Prima, Radiohead, Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Metalica, Panjabi MC’s Knightrider remix of ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’, a bluegrass souped version of Dizzy Rascal’s ‘Dance Wiv Me’, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain.

Our set list also includes Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', a high-octane version of Duran Duran’s ‘Girls on Film’, a stylophone-powered version of 'The Final Countdown', The Beastie Boys’ ‘Intergalactic’, Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in Love’, and Nelly’s bluegrass-ed ‘Hot In Herre’.

Here are just some of the locations where we have been booked by clients on FixTheMusic for weddings and events...

  • Toftcombs Mansion House
  • Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow
  • Cray House & Estate, Blairgowrie
  • Balbirnie House, Glenrothes
  • Oswald House, Kirkcaldy
  • Bo'ness Town Hall
  • Morroch Bay, Stranraer

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So if you're looking to hire the finest modern bluegrass pop covers band UK has to offer, get in touch with us.

Barney (Guitar & Vocals)

Barney has recorded albums and played and toured in USA, Holland and extensively in the U.K. Won the MTV ‘In The City’ Unsigned Band of the Year award in 1997 and subsequently signed a two-single deal with Boy George before securing a large album deal with New York-based label ‘Roadrunner Records’.

He has an honours degree in Sonic Art, DJs and also does music and sound design for adverts, theatre and dance.

Richard (Drums & Vocals)

Richard graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a 1st class honours degree in music, and now plays regularly across the UK and further afield.

Recent artists he has worked with include number 1 boyband The Wanted, The Sugababes, Grammy nominee Muhsinah, African Jazz Singer 'Somi' (number 2 world music artist works with John Legend, Paul Simon, Dave Gilmore), number one selling artists The Noisettes, Scottish rising star Carrie Mac, electronic act Homework and critically acclaimed Jazz/Fusion group The Discordian Trio.

He has performed on BBC1, 2, ITV and Channel 4 and as well as radio stations across Europe and played in the multiple award-winning show 'Hamlet! The Musical'.

Pat (Banjo & Vocals)

Pat was born in Belfast and has lived all over the UK. As well as playing the 5 string in Banjo Embargo he plays in and manages Edinburgh based independent folk/bluegrass band Southern Tenant Folk Union and London-based soundtrack maestros The Incredibly Strange Film Band.

An experienced touring and recording musician, Pat has won many awards, performed on national radio (Radio 4's 'Loose Ends') TV (Saturday Night Live) and in theatres and venues all over Europe and the USA.

Craig (Double Bass)

Craig has a degree in music from Napier University in Edinburgh and has spent time in New York City performing and studying at The New School while also studying privately with bass masters such as John Patitucci and Felix Pastorius.

An experienced and versatile musician, he has shared the stage with modern jazz/fusion group The Discordian Trio, contemporary folk singer Jake Cogan, 60's French pop revivalists Jack And The, African jazz singer Somi, and New York based improvised comedy group The Vigilante among others.

He has performed live on national radio shows and toured the UK on a number of occasions as well appearing at major events including the Cheltenham Jazz festival.

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9 Videos & 18 Photos

7 Verified Reviews

"Quick message to say thanks for the weekend! In case you couldn’t tell, I was having a bloody great time, and so many people came up to us on the day, the day after, and since telling us how awesome they thought you guys were. Thanks also for your flexibility and the brilliant outside acoustic set. Hopefully you were looked after with food and beers etc. Cheers, Dave."

David Thom, 20 March 2024, wedding at Cray House & Estate, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

"Thank you so much for playing our wedding at Marlins Wynd. We had a great time and everyone loved you guys. I have never danced so much at a wedding you guys made it a great night. Loved the Star Wars music. Cheers, Stewart and Keren."

Stewart Wyllie, 25 October 2023, wedding in Edinburgh
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

"Banjo Embargo were excellent on our wedding day. They set up with no issues, were friendly and professional but most importantly sounded great and had a wonderful set. Really good experience from start to finish and would book again!! ❤️"

Kat Yearley, 22 July 2023, wedding at Balbirnie House, Glenrothes, Markinch, Scotland
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

"Banjo Embargo were simply a terrific choice for our wedding! They were professional, incredibly tight and so much fun with some truly creative twists on recognisable party tunes - we especially enjoyed Get Busy, Let’s Dance and Toxic! So many of our guests have commented on how much they loved Banjo Embargo and we would highly recommend them to anyone looking for something a bit different (which we definitely were). They are brilliant musicians and very pleasant to deal with in the build up to the big day. Huge thanks to Barney, Pat and the rest of the band for making our night so special. :-)."

Liam Kelly, 17 October 2022, wedding at Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

"Oh Barney! I can't tell you how happy we are to have booked the band. You totally made the night! Sooo much great feedback from guests! Sammy 😁"

Samantha Harrison, 30 November 2021, party at Masonic Hall, Market Lane, Linlithgow, West Lothian
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

"Classic Old Skool hip-hop played on banjo and other acoustic instruments and recounted in three part harmony. What’s not to like?"

Alastair Tibbit, 21 September 2021, corporate event in London
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

"Thank you all so much once again. You were truly awesome x."

Wilma Murray, 22 February 2020, wedding in Edinburgh
Verified booking Verified booking on FixTheMusic

Set List

Addicted To Love – Robert Palmer
Ain’t Nobody Vs No Diggity – Chaka Khan & Blackstreet
American Boy - Estelle
Back In Black – AC/DC
Baggy Trousers - Madness
Beggin’ – Frankie Valli
Belter – Gerry Cinnamon
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Blue Monday – New Order
Boom Shake Shake Shake The Room vs Shake Your Body Down To The Ground – Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince vs The Jackson 5
Born Slippy vs What Time Is Love – Underworld v KLF
Bring Me Sunshine – Morecambe & Wise
Shimmy Ya / California Love – ODB v 2Pac
California Soul – Marlena Shaw
Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Chop Suey – System of a (Hoe) Down
Crazy In Love – Beyonce & Jay-Z/The Chi-Lites
Da Funk – Daft Punk
Dance Wiv Me – Calvin Harris/Dizzee Rascal
Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins (Top Gun)
Don't Stop Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
Don’t You Want Me Baby – The Human League
Dr Beat – Mylo v Gloria Estefan v The BL4
Enter Mr Sandman – Metallica v The Chordettes
Ever Fallen in Love With Someone You Shoudn’tv’e Fallen in Love With? - Buzzcocks
Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
Firestarter – The Prodigy (Ska-style)
For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder c/o Sammy Davis Jnr
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
From Russia With Love (title theme) – Matt Monro
Get Busy – Sean Paul
Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliot
Ghostbusters Theme – Ray Parker Jr
Girls On Film – Duran Duran
‘Just’ Hate To Say I Told You So – Radiohead v The Hives
Heart of Glass – Blondie
Here Comes Your Man - Pixies
Here Comes the Hotstepper v Forget About Dre – Ini Kamoze v Dr Dre
Hot In Herre – Nelly
I Like To Move It – Reel to Real (Madagascar)
I Feel Love Vs I'm Sexy And I Know It – Donna Summer v LMFAO
I Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin (aha!)
I Wanna Be Your Dog – The Stooges/Iggy Pop
Jolene – Dolly Parton
Just A Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody Medley – Louis Prima
Jump Around/Rappers Delight/Baby’s Got Back - House Of Pain vs Sugarhill Gang v Sir Mix-a-lot
Killing In The Name Of Bluegrass – Rage Against The Machine (FOLK YOU!)
Let Me Blow Ya Mind – Eve & Gwen Stefani
Let’s Dance – David ‘Bluegrass’ Bowie
Let’s Do The Timewarp Again – Rocky Horror Picture Show
Living For The City – Stevie Wonder
Love Me Tender - Elvis
Mundian To Bach Ke (Knight Rider Mix) – Punjabi MC
Nine To Five – Dolly Parton
Polkaface – Lady Ga Ga
Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash/Tom Jones
Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
Seven Nation Army – White Stripes
Sex on Fire – King of Leon
Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top
She Said – Plan B
Spanish Flea – Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass
Song 2 - Blur
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
Tell Me When (Quando Quando Quando) – Englebert Humperdink
The Next Episode – Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg
Timber – Pitbull ft Keisha
Tainted Love/Brand New Combine Harvester (‘Tainted Harvester’) – Gloria Jones/Soft Cell vs Wurzels
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Toxic – Britney Spears
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Volare – Dean Martin
Walk On The Wild Side/I Wanna Be Like You/Sex Machine – Lou Reed vs Jungle Book vs James Brown
Welcome To The Jungle – Guns’n’Roses (in a proper country style)
Whiskey River – Willie Nelson
Whole Lotta Rosie – AC/DC
Word Up – Cameo-grass
You’re The One That I Want (from Grease) – slow version
You’ve Got The Love – Candi Staton

See Full Set List

Audio samples

Crazy In Love / Are You My Woman
Mundian To Bach Ke
The Final Countdown
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Rock Your Body
Dance Wiv Me - Dizzee Rascal
Billie Jean
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