Default lineup: 5 members
5 piece: Accordion, Fiddle, Bouzouki/Guitar, Bass, Drums
Ben Farmer is considered a “highly talented & versatile accordion, melodeon, keyboard, bass and ukelele-ist, music teacher and workshop leader”(AndyHornby.net), who's been
playing folk music professionally since the age of 14.
He is regarded an ‘expert’ in melodeon, accordion and ukulele playing and teaching, with Folkus (Folk Arts North West), More Music and Charanga among others. “Formidable squeezing” Lancaster Jazz Festival 2014
Ben currently plays regularly with Gobble de Gook and SoLatino, as well as doing guest appearances with many others and leading the thrilling ceilidh and concert band: Sandpiper.
Dave Shooter, on bass, drives the Sandpiper’s sweat drenched groove-bus with funky hypnotic relentlessness.
He has held down many bass chairs, from 18 piece big bands and African dance bands to jazz combo’s and crazy Balkan bands and many points in between. Dave currently also plays bass in the Metermen (Meters and Booker T tunes), Gobble De Gook (post-Zappa French ska-pop) and co-leads the Initiative - big slabs of dirty, funky groovejazz.
He is a bit of an bass-fx pedal geek. In his spare time he teaches music and leads jazz groups and workshops for ages 8 to 80 and beyond.
Paul Ferguson plays fiddle and as well as playing with Sandpiper also plays in The Balkanics and a Lancaster-based Irish trad quintet. He learnt to play in pubs in the west of Cumbria, the west of Ireland and the west of Brittany as well as at various festivals across the UK and Europe.
Although his style is predominantly influenced by the Irish and Scottish traditions he is also interested in the rhythmic possibilities offered by the time signatures found in East European trad dance music.
Paul Beevers - guitar and bouzouki - has been active on the Lancaster folk scene for many years.
He has played guitar and bouzouki in numerous traditional ceilidh and dance bands, and currently plays bass in Baksheesh (groove-based Balkan tunes) and bouzouki/ mandolin in a new Lancaster- based trad quintet, as well as comprising part of the powerful rhythm section of Sandpiper. He also teaches music as a day job.
Tony Harrison started on the cornet at primary school. He found the drums and from the age of 12 he was performing in hotels in Blackpool for dancing. Tony kept an open mind, and played in a wide range of styles that include swing, brass band, thrash metal, concert band and theatre pit amongst many others.
Tony has a degree from Salford University in Popular Music and Recording and spent some years working with TV stars on shows, cruises and holiday seasons. He has spent the last 18 years as a drum tutor for Lancashire Music Service whilst remaining very active on the live music scene across many genres.