Frog on a Bike Ceilidh Band

Meet the Band

Described by Cambridgeshire radio presenter and festival compere Sue Marchant as ”A bit of treasure”, Frog on a Bike are one of the East of England's top tier ceilidh bands. We also have a highly respected reputation on the wider English Ceilidh scene.


Featuring some of the most experienced folk dance musicians in the business, Frog on a Bike's vivacious energy, distinctively big folk-rock sound and driving rhythm is guaranteed to have you up and dancing.


Our repertoire is rooted in English folk music, both traditional and contemporary. We also boast two very talented tunesmiths of our own.

Despite our English leanings, we always include plenty of tunes from the Irish and Scottish tradition (we can play a mean Burns' Night ceilidh), sometimes even some French tunes are thrown into the mix just to keep things rounded! 

Cambridge and Ely Ceilidh Band - Frog on a Bike

To complete our line-up to 6, for each gig we pick a dance caller drawn from a very carefully selected handful of friendly, patient and, most importantly, experienced callers that we know and trust. They will to guide you through each dance of your event, so nobody will get lost half way through and everybody has the most amazing time!


All in all, Frog on a Bike strive to play foot-stomping tunes with verve and vigor, whilst having as much fun up on stage as you are on the dance floor.


We look forward to entertaining you at your ceilidh, festival, wedding, party, or barn dance. You will not be disappointed that you came along for a ride with these flat-land folk-rockers!

Tom - Melodeons 

Cambridge and Ely Ceilidh Band - Frog on a Bike - Tom

Tom has been involved in traditional music and dance since the age of ten, when his primary school performed at the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival. He took up the melodeon aged 12 and has played for several Morris sides – currently he is the lead musician for Chiltern Hundreds North West Clog Morris and is a founder member of Rockingham Rapper.

He was a New Roots finalist in 2005 and has driven the Whittlesea Straw Bear several times.

A founding member of Frog on a Bike, Tom composes many original tunes, most of which we play on a regular basis. One of Tom's tunes, "The Well-Hung Turkey", has been in the repertoire of celebrated ceilidh band Random for many years.

Sarah - Recorders

Sarah has been writing tunes and songs ever since she learned to talk. She sung in four different continents with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain in the 1990s, and also played in the now-defunct folk duo Full Tilt before joining Frog on a Bike.

She is also the lead musician for Rockingham Rapper, and can play Speed the Plough in 17.5 seconds – with an award from Whitby Folk Week to prove it!

Sarah wrote our May Day song "Morning Queen", which you can find on our album 'Velocipede', and one of her more recent compositions "Three Miles to Gamlingay" is in the current repertoire.

Cambridge and Ely Ceilidh Band - Frog on a Bike - Sarah

Tim - Fiddles, Mandolins & Band Manager

Cambridge and Ely Ceilidh Band - Frog on a Bike - Tim Sparrow

Our multi string player and band boss, Tim, has been an integral part of Frog on a Bike since joining us in 2014, after several years with the Cambridge University Ceilidh Band.

With an initial background in classical training, Tim soon developed a passion for folk music and has exclusively performed in this genre for many years. His focus specifically lies in the English tradition, and he is not only a skilled fiddle player but also a violin repairer.  

When he's not performing with Frog on a Bike or his other musical projects (such as Fluidic Folk and Passerida), Tim is an active Morris musician & dancer with Cambridge based Granta Blue Morris, having also performed in the past with Cambridge Morris Men, Old Speckled Hen Morris and Ely & Littleport Riot Border Morris respectively. 

Paul - Drums

Paul played his first gig aged just 13, with a band who rehearsed at the appropriately named Rock House Hotel, Bolton. In 1970, he formed Iron Maiden, who supported many top bands and recorded two albums. However, the band came to an abrupt end in 1976 with the death of guitarist Ian Boulton-Smith. The remaining members gifted the band’s name to a newly-formed band from London, who you may just have heard of!


Since then, Paul has played with many bands and as a solo artist. The original Iron Maiden recordings have been re-released under the name The Bolton Iron Maiden, which, along with Paul’s solo recordings, raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Care. Paul’s latest album, Puppet Master: The Rise and Rise of Slick Dandy, was released in 2021.

After being Frog on a Bike's go to dep drummer for many years, Paul became our incumbent drummer after the retirement of band founder, Den Smith, in 2021.

Paul really is the fire in our engine room and we love just how rock & roll we get with him!

Cambridge and Ely Ceilidh Band - Frog on a Bike -  Paul T.J. O'Neill

Garry - Bass

Cambridge and Ely Ceilidh Band - Frog on a Bike - Garry

Frog on a Bike has been Garry’s first foray into Ceilidh, and “what a baptism!”

Garry has worked with Paul over the years, so when asked if he was interested in taking over from previous bassist Phil, he thought "why not"?

After auditioning at a couple of live show, with no prior rehearsals we might add, the band was glad to welcome Garry on board. Garry is looking forward to some musical mayhem – or, as both NASA and Buzz Lightyear put it, ‘To the Stars, and Beyond!‘ (well, maybe…)

Garry has been playing both bass and guitar for many years ‘around’ the Cambridge/ Bedford/Peterborough clubs and pubs, working with various pop and rock bands, and also has a small recording facility where he has recorded, mixed and mastered a number of different projects over the years.

As well as now working with Frog, he currently plays guitar with Covers Band ‘Vertigo Band Cambridge’  and runs his own ongoing music project, ‘Ghost Repeaters’, working with various musicians as and when requested, or solo, where, for example, he performed at Cambridge’s Mill Road Fair in 2023.

Garry also has his own Youtube and SoundCloud  channels, where all sorts of tunes and songs can be found!

Phileas T. Frog - The band elder

P.T. Frog – after whom the band takes it's name  is a well traveled elderly amphibian from West Yorkshire.

He is the last of seven 'frogs' from a 1927 Leeds theatre production of Toad of Toad Hall. Made of rag and wood, each frog originally held a flame on a stick which ‘lime lit' the stage.

He was rescued from the abandoned theatre in Leeds and lovingly renovated many years later by band founder Den Smith.

At 97 years old he still refuses to retire from the stage and traveling the country. He is as much a member of the band as the rest of us.

As for the bike part of the band's name? Well, apart from a name you’re not likely to forget, it’s a subtle nod to the pioneering Edwardian folk song and tune collector Cecil Sharp, who travelled the country on his bicycle, recording the English tradition from which the band draws so much of it's repotior.

Frog on a Bike Ceilidh Band - Froggy

Frog on a Bike Festival Band

Frog on a Bike Ceilidh Band - Cambridge - The Festival Lineup

Frog on a Bike have been forging quite a reputation on the English folk festival dance scene over the last few years. We have played at festivals such as Ely, Whitby, Towersey, Todmorden, Cambridge, Sidmouth and Folk East in the past to much acclaim.

For most festivals, to give us the bigger and more driving sound that befits a larger festival crowd, we generally field a slightly different line-up to our regular private functions. This takes the form of a six piece band known as the

Frog on a Bike Festival Band.

In addition to Paul, Sarah, Tim and Tom we were previously very proud to work with Edwin & Heather Beasant, of The Ironmasters and Pilgrims Way, as our bassist and guitarist for this special festival line-up.

Edwin and Heather became involved with Frog on a Bike when they very ably stepped up to the breach as our stand-in rhythm section for Todmorden Folk Festival 2019. After this succesful collaboration, a six peice festival edition of Frog on a Bike was formed, if somwhat remotely, during the Covid lockdown of 2020-21. This line-up then toured the festival circuit for the 2022 season.

In 2023, Heather unfortunalty had to step down from the festival line-up, but we have since had the great privalage to gain the rythmic stylings of Bryan Hatt, who officialy took up the reins as our festival bassist at Towsersey 2023.

Edwin - Electric Guitar

Edwin is a musician with a varied and possibly dubious background, having been brought up in a Morris Dancing family. Steeped in the traditions of England, he sought further influences, finding inspiration in the continental and trans-Atlantic traditions, as well as through Motown and soul.

A compulsive multi-instrumentalist, Edwin plays many, indeed most things, including some that haven't been invented yet, but is best known as a talented and inventive melodeon player with The Ironmasters, for his stint as the drummer with Jabadaw and as a founder member of Pilgrim’s Way.

A hugely empathetic accompanist, his greatest strength is in instinctively bringing out the best in other people's music with exactly the right textures and rhythms.

Edwin is currently the melodeon player for Trentside Holmes Morris in Newark, Nottinghamshire and has also been known to play contrabass bugle for Chiltern Hundreds Morris and Earlsdon Morris respectively .

Frog on a Bike Festival Ceilidh Band - Edwin Beasant

Bryan - Bass

Frog on a Bike Festival Ceilidh Band - Bryan Hatt

Bryan cut his bass playing teeth on the Suffolk pub live music scene, with years of weekly gigs of driving rock and crowd pleasers.

He has more recently turned his hand to ceilidh bass playing and just loves to reinforce the rhythm of the tunes.

Bryan entered the traditional folk world over a decade ago, and nowadays dances and plays melodeon for two Cotswold Morris sides, Cambridgeshire's Coton Morris and further afield for Harlequin Morris.

Retired Members

Phil - Bass

Phil has been playing in and around Cambridgeshire since the early 70s, mostly in folk or folk rock bands, duos and trios.

He will have a bash at most stringed instruments (except for fiddle; he leaves that to Tim) plus keyboards and even a Bb tuba !!!

On 26th January 2024, Phil officially played his last working gig, after over 40 years on stage and 23 years in Frog on a Bike. 

We'll miss him, but he may well come out of retirment to play with us occastionaly

The Band Founders

Frog on a Bike Ceilidh Band - Den
Frog on a Bike Ceilidh Band - Lyn

In May 2021, we said a fond farewell and happy retirement to Lyn and Den Smith, who founded Frog on a Bike in the early 1990s and were key members for over 30 years.

Den (drums) started his drumming career in the Boys Brigade at the age of 12 and once had a long bodhran solo immortalised on BBC Radio 2's folk show as their introduction to a broadcast from Revesby Folk Day. He also worked as a professional artist and drew the band’s signature cartoon and Velocipede cover artwork.

Lyn (caller) was also Frog on a Bike’s manager and must have organised hundreds of gigs over the years. Along with Den, she was also involved with the running of Spalding folk club. During their annual Tulip Parade, she would persuade tourists to dance in the street while the folk club played tunes on the folk bus.

We wish them both well as they soak up the sun, grow lots vegetables and look after their chickens in the middle of Lincolnshire.