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Martin learnt the Violin at school. He got to Grade 6 and then put it back in it's case in order to explore other interests. He didn't pick it up again for another 11 years when Phil Preen twisted his arm and talked him into going along to a Folk Club that he'd started going to.

It was at a Folk Club shortly afterwards that he got invited, along with Phil, to join Ceilidh Band "The Acme Dance Company", which Edward Reeve was forming, as Fiddler and he became fascinated by the Melodeon that Edward played. He managed to acquire one of these amazing instruments and after a few starter lessons from Edward, started to get the hang of it ...and never looked back!

He got introduced to playing for Morris Dancing when he was invited to join Anstey Royale Chalfont North West Morris Side, firstly on Fiddle and later as Band Leader on Melodeon. He also joined Hinckley Bullockers Molly Dancers for their Annual drunken tour of Sharnford, Stoney Stanton and Sapcote.

"The Acme Dance Company" eventually split up and Phil and Martin went on to co-found "The Bang on the Wall Band".

Around this time, Martin met John McDonald in a Pub Folk Session and was asked if he'd like to join the "Moonshine Ceilidh Band" where he met Neil Cadwallader and Michael Scrivens. As well as playing for Ceildihs, the four of them formed "Canny Craic" performing Irish and Geordie songs and tunes in several local pubs.

In 2008 Martin formed the 3-piece ceilidh band "3 Around 3" with Neil Cadwallader on Guitar and Stuart Mee on Drums.

Martin has now re-joined Anstey Royale Chalfont and is band leader of Way Of The Wyrd Border Morris and the Hinckley Bullockers Molly Dancers. He has also been a band member for Sergeant Musgrave's Dance, Anstey Morrismen and the highly-acclaimed Mortimers Morris from Nottingham.

As well as playing with "The Bang on the Wall Band" and "3 Around 3", Martin has guested with "Platform 3", "2 Left Feet", "Wheezle", "The Navigation Band" and "Moggy In The Wood".

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First picked up a guitar at the early age of 22 and within 2 years was playing Bass in new-age / jazz noise "Haytap". Then, via pub practice rock outfit "The Trolleydogs" to being asked to join "Trees-a-Crowd" on Mandolin.

I joined on Bass, the band became "Moonshine"an Anglo - Irish - bluegrass - folk - Poguesy expirience and the rest is lost in a fog of drink fuelled forgetfulness that my liver would rather forget!

Thereafter, came my first Ceilidh band, born of the hungovered ruins of Moonshine; the "Moonshine Celidh Band" (inspired!) with John McDonald (of whom more later) and a foray into the weird world of western clubs with the "Notorious Dawson Brothers" (New Country).

Then played guitar and sang in a pub folk outfit with aforementioned John McDonald on drum and singing, Michael Scrivens on Melodeon & Martin (if you give me a solo on this I'll play Colonel Bogie) Wildig on Fiddle. Martin went on to co-found "The Bang on the Wall Band", a dazzling spectacle of loud shirts, and I joined, first on Guitar, then on Bass.

Apart from a few years with "The Longhorns" a 'roots-rocking swampy Cajun feast of Americana' with Dawson Smith again, thats it for now folks!

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Phil Preen is an enthusiastic supporter of all things traditional.

He plays Tin Whistle, Anglo Concertina and various percussion instruments including Bodhran and spoons. Phil received a Xylophone for his 40th birthday, but we've not yet seen him play it out!

Phil is a keen singer and his portfolio of songs varies from the traditional to the humorous.

His first Ceilidh Band experience was with "The Acme Dance Company" and after they dis-banded went on to form "The Bang on the Wall Ceilidh Band" with Martin Wildig.

Phil regularly dances with several Morris Teams. Namely Sergeant Musgrave's Dance, Everards Original Anstey Morris Men and Hinckley Bullockers.

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