About the Band

Teannaich are a 5 piece rock ceilidh band who have been playing their unique twist on Scottish music for ceilidh dancing since 1996. The band is made up of the musicians: Jon Bews – Fiddle, Mike Ross – Cittern, Colin Cairncross – Drums, Jonathan Kemp – Bass & Mark Neal – electric guitar.

The band met in Edinburgh while many of them were studying at The University of Edinburgh (where three of the band went on to obtain PhD’s) and despite their diverse musical backgrounds they quickly started to find common ground. As well as many years of performances around Scotland and England, the band have toured widely with overseas trips to Russia, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland and more.

Teannaich released their 2nd album ‘Energised’ in November 2016, following on from the 2001 release ‘Lucid’. With this album the band have brought the energy of their live performances to the recording studio, making a CD which is both great for listening or dancing. Check out the media page to hear some of their music.

Teannaich mostly play for ceilidh dancing although they also play for listening audiences (who sometimes end up spontaneous dancing…), and as such their music is all arranged to make for great dancing. They always continue to push the boundaries, however, with intricate arrangements and improvisations which blend influences from rock, funk and jazz along with great traditional Scottish and Irish tunes and their own compositions.

The Band Are:

  • Edinburgh-born fiddle player Jon is well know on the Scottish traditional music scene and has toured extensively with the bands Bùrach, Gallus, Malinky and officially rocks. He is is the new member of the band, having joined in June 2014. He also currently also plays with the bands Cantrip and The Last Battle.






  • Mike plays cittern (like a large mandolin with 10 strings) in both the traditional Scottish fashion but also with a twist, sometimes using an over-driven guitar amplifier and playing things which you might never believe could come from the instrument. Mike is also a prolific writer producing many of the original tunes which can be heard in Teannaich’s music.

    Mike is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Centre for Medical Education at The University of Edinburgh.


  • Colin provides the beat to get you energised and your feet tapping. As the caller for the band at ceilidhs Colin uses his skill as a trained actor to expertly communicate how to do the dances if there are people who don’t know how to do them.





  • Jonathan hails from Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife. After starting with flute at school he took up the guitar when he was 13. The blues was his first inspiration in developing his own style.

    A degree in Physics with Music from Edinburgh University was followed by a PhD in acoustics where he met Mark from the band. Soon folk, funk and blues guitarist Jonathan became a bassist for Teannaich and developed a funky style of playing that includes using the bass to double the traditional melodies played by the lead instruments.

    Currently Jonathan is module coordinator for Scottish Music, Electronic Music and Physics of Music at St Andrews University and researches in the field of musical acoustics.

  • Originally from East Kilbride Mark came to Edinburgh to study at the university. Having gained both a degree and a PhD in musical acoustics he now works as a full time musician, music teacher and sound engineer in Edinburgh.


    Mark plays in several bands around Edinburgh covering both Scottish music and many other styles. In Teannaich Mark takes much enjoyment from bringing many of these different styles together, bringing in influences from rock, funk and jazz as well as a deep love for Scottish traditional music. As well as playing Mark teaches guitar to a number of pupils both in classes and one to one instruction as well as running workshops at music festivals.


    Mark also manages the band and is the person to talk to if you are interested in booking us for a gig. With a background in sound engineering and recording Mark is responsible for much of the sound equipment that the band uses leading us to having one of the most professional PA systems of any ceilidh band.