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.
They feature five string banjo, chunky acoustic guitar, double bass, stripped down drums (sometimes even a suitcase) and brilliant four part harmonies.
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’.
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.
"Thank you all so much once again. You were truly awesome x."
– Wilma Murray, 22 May 2019, wedding in Edinburgh
"Guys 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, 16 March 2019, wedding in Edinburgh
“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 December 2018, corporate event in London
Addicted To Love – Robert Palmer
Ain’t Nobody – Chaka Kahn
American Boy - Estelle
Atomic – Blondie
Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-lot
Back In Black – Ac/dc
Backstabbers – The O’jays*
Baggy Trousers - Madness
Beggin’ – Frankie Valli
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Blazing Saddles (theme) – Mel Brooks
Blue Monday – New Order
Boom Shake Shake Shake The Room Vs Shake Your
Body Down To The Ground – Jazzy Jeff & Fresh
Prince + The Jackson 5
Born Slippy Vs What Time Is Love – Underworld & Klf
Breakout – The Foo Fighters
Breaking The Law – Judas Priest (swing Style)
Bring Me Sunshine – Morecambe & Wise
Bustin’ Loose/flashlight – Chuck Brown And The
Soul Searchers Vs Parliament*
California Love – Tupac
California Soul – Marlena Shaw
Caspar’s Friendly Ghost Town – The Specials (ghost Town With Caspar The Friendly Ghost Lyrics Magically Superimposed)
Close To You – The Cure
Counting Flowers On The Wall – Statler Brothers (from Pulp Fiction)
Crazy In Love – Beyonce & Jay-z/the Chi-lites
Da Funk – Daft Punk
Django Unchained (theme Song) – Luis Bacalov
Dance Wiv Me – Calvin Harris/dizzee Rascal
Don't Stop Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
Don’t You Want Me Baby – The Human League
Dr Beat – Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Enter Mr Sandman – Metallica Meets The Chordettes
Everybody' Talkin – Harry Nilsson
Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
Firestarter – The Prodigy
Flash Gordon – Queen (swing Style)
Foggy Mountain Special – Flatt & Scruggs
For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder C/o Sammy Davis Jnr
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
For Your Love - The Yardbirds
From Russia With Love (title Theme) – Matt Monro
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 Meets The Hives
Hot In Herre – Nelly
Hypnotize – Notorious Big
I Feel Love – Donna Summer
I Like To Move It – Reel To Real (madagascar)*
I’m Sexy And I Know It - Lmfao
Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
Iron Man – Black(-grass) Sabbath
Islands In The Stream – Dolly Parton/kenny Rogers
It’s Not Unusual – Tom Jones
I Wanna Be Your Dog – The Stooges/iggy Pop
James Bond Theme – The John Barry Seven
Jolene – Dolly Parton
Just A Gigolo/i Ain’t Got Nobody Medley – Louis Prima
Jump Around/rappers Delight/babys Got Back -
House Of Pain Vs Sugarhill Gang Vs Sir Mix-a-lot
Killing In The Name Of – Rage Against The Machine*
Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
Last Night A Dj Saved My Life – Indeep*
Lay All Your ‘bluegrass’ On Me – Abba
Let’s Dance – David ‘bluegrass’ Bowie
Let’s Do The Timewarp Again – Rocky Horror Picture Show
Light My Fire – Shirley Bassey
Little Green Bag – George Baker Selection
Living For The City – Stevie Wonder
Love Me Tender - Elvis
Loveboat Theme – Disco Salsoul Orchestra (can Be Sung In German As ‘das Liebes Schiff’)
Mas Que Nada – Sergio Mendes *
Mundian To Bach Ke (knight Rider Mix) – Punjabi Mc
Muppet Show Theme & Mahna Mahna – Jim
Henson/sam Pottle Meets Piero Umiliani
Music To Watch Girls By – Andy Williams
New Pollution - Beck
Night Fever – The Bee Gees
Nine To Five – Dolly Parton
Pick Up The Pieces – Average White Band
Polkaface – Lady Ga Ga
Rawhide Theme - The Blue Brothers
Regulate/i Keep Forgetting – Warren G Vs Michael Mcdonald
Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash/tom Jones
Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Seven Nation Army – White Stripes
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
Sharp Dressed Man – Zz Top
She Said – Plan B
Spanish Flea – Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass
Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
Stonehengian Rhapsody – Spinal Tap And Queen
Straight Down The Middle – Bing Crosby
Song 2 - Blur
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Star Wars Imperial March ‘bluegrass’
Theme/cantina Theme/bushes Of Love *
Swingtime For Hitler (our Swinging Version Of ‘springtime For Hitler’ From The Producers) – Mel Brooks
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
Tell Me When (quando Quando Quando) – Englebert Humperdink
That’s Amore – Dean Martin
The Next Episode – Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg
‘theme From Shaft’ – Isaac Hayes *
Timber – Pitbull Ft Keisha
The Bear Necessities – Jungle Book
The Final Countdown – Europe (a Stylophone-led Spectacular)
The Message – Grandmaster Melle Mel (& The Furious Five) *
Theme From ‘the Pink Panther’ – Henry Mancini
Tainted Love/brand New Combine Harvester
(‘tainted Harvester’) – Gloria Jones/soft Cell Vs Wurzels
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scot Heron
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Volare – Dean Martin
Walk On The Wild Side/i Wanna Be Like You/sex
Machine – Lou Reed Meets Jungle Book Meets James Brown
Welcome To The Jungle – Guns’n’roses (in A Proper Country Style)
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Word Up – Cameo-grass
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
Young Scene – Keith Mansfield
You’re The One That I Want (from Grease) – Angus & Julia Stone Slow Version
You Got The Love – Candi Staton Vs Frankie Knuckles