The Band

Classic Cumbrian Ceilidh Band

Striding Edge play uplifting Cumbrian ceilidh music. In the last 27 years we have played over 1000 shows in Cumbria, North Lancashire and beyond. We have established ourselves as one of North West England’s classic ceilidh bands.

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The Band

Meet the band


Mike Willoughby is the lead vocalist and dance caller. He plays melodeon, bouzouki, harmonica and electric guitar.
Mike founded Striding Edge in 1995, and since then has fronted and administered the band. He lives in Ulverston, South Cumbria


Carolyn Francis is the lead instrumentalist. She plays fiddle, border bagpipes and trombone. She is also a harmony vocalist. Carolyn joined Striding Edge in 1996 and lives in Kendal, South Cumbria. Carolyn is also a unique and well-respected teacher of traditional Lakeland fiddle music.


Ben McCabe plays drums and French horn. He is also a harmony vocalist. Ben joined Striding Edge in 1997 and lives in Lancaster, North Lancashire. Ben also teaches world music and conducts a twenty-piece community band in Lancaster.


Rick Middleton plays double bass and mandolin. He is also a dance caller and harmony vocalist. Rick joined Striding Edge in 2000 and lives in Morecambe, North Lancashire. Rick is a qualified sound engineer, and produces live sound and recordings for the band. Rick also teaches traditional Chinese music.