King Kontra

King Kontra

King Kontra are an exciting, unique and innovative band formed especially to play for contra dance. They present a blend of high energy American, Irish and original music set in a fusion of jazz, traditional, rock and western swing influences. After wowing audiences and dancers up and down the country the band brought out their first album ‘King Kontra’ Since forming specially for the 2011 Chippenham festival the band have gone on to play major festivals across the country including Shrewsbury and Whitby as well as the top contra club venues. 2015 brings a busy year including Sheffield Contras and, Lichfield, Whitby and Towersey Festivals followed by a US tour.

Matt Crum
Piano and soprano sax
Geoff Cubitt
Caller, Percussion and feet
Vere Foster
Pete Smale
Guitar, bass and 5 string banjo
Ian Wilson
Mandolin, mandola, tenor banjo and accordion
King Kontra at Chippenham Folk Festival 2011 - Band

” It was especially delightful to have King Kontra string band playing
for the dance. They are a band focused on playing for dancers and
ensuring the music they make supports exciting and enjoyable
dancing. Having King Kontra as the band made a big difference to the
experience – I really appreciate that.”
Seth Tepfer

King Kontra Big Band

Take the energy skill drive and imagination of King Kontra as your base. Add a three piece horn section, expand the strings and include full drums and you have an awesome powerful line up that is the King Kontra Big Band. More ceilidh than contra don’t miss this band at their forthcoming events.

Dave Greenwood (Steamchicken):
Tenor Sax
Oli Mathews (Cupola/Dance Cupola)
Alto and soprano sax
Tim Yates (Blackbeard’s, QP,)
Rachel Bolton (Celebration Barn Dance Band)
Barry Malin (Peeping Tom)
King Kontra String Band

King Kontra String Band

This year brings a new exciting offering from the King Kontra collective. Original members Vere on fiddle, Ian on mandolin and banjo, and Pete on guitar are joined by amazing double bass player Al Harris to create that special string band sound. Expect a perfect fusion of the drive, energy and originality of King Kontra with steadier authentic Western Swing, Old Time and Irish. A great blend of original and traditional material played by masters of their instruments.

Ian Wilson (Peeping Tom, Dance Cupola):
Mandolin, Banjo
Vere Foster (Belzebub, Morris Convertible)
Pete Smale (Peeping Tom, Celebration Band)
Al Harris (Umps and Dumps, Six Hands in Tempo)
Double Bass

King Kontra Music

King Kontra at Chippenham Folk Festival 2011 - Dancers

Up & Coming Events

10th March 2023
King Kontra with Adam Hughes calling
Unicorn Ceilidh
Annual Contra Dance

23rd June 2023
King Kontra with Charlotte Rich Griffin calling
Alcester Contras

28nd October 2023
King Kontra with Lynne Render calling
Leeds Contra

Past Events

26th August 2018
King Kontra String Band
Towersey Festival

2nd December 2017
King Kontra with Geoff Cubitt calling
Leeds Contra

21st October 2017
King Kontra String Band
Mumpers dance club in Derby

18th March 2016
King Kontra
Alcester Contra

30th August 2015
King Kontra
Towersey Festival

26th August 2015
King Kontra Big Band
Whitby Folk Festival

22nd-28th August 2015
King Kontra
Whitby Folk Festival

20th-21st June 2015
King Kontra String Band
Lichfield Festival

19th June 2015
King Kontra
Lichfield Festival

25th April 2015
Sheffield Contras

22nd November 2014
Leeds Contra

14th November 2014
Alcester Contras

1st November 2014

24th August 2014
Shrewsbury Folk Festival

23th – 26th May 2014
Chippenham Folk Festival

26th October 2013
Leeds Contras

22nd September 2013
Loughborough Polish Club

21st September 2013

17th – 22nd August 2013
Whitby Folk Festival

14th June 2013
Alcester Contras

9th March 2012
Alcester Contra Club

29th October 2011
Leeds Contras