Waldorf String Band for British Traditional Folk & Celtic Music.  Established 1987



21st Anniversary CD & DVD
'Live' at the Victory Theatre

Waldorf String Band, South Africa's top Traditional Folk Music Band, celebrated its 21st Anniversary by recording a ‘Live' DVD at the Victory Theatre.

Waldorf String Band started its career in 1987 and by 2008 had released eight CDs and three DVDs, which includes the enormous hit ‘Singalong Party' and an annual release of the ‘Spirit of Christmas' CD, featuring well-known traditional Christmas Carols.

The recording line-up of Waldorf String Band's 21st Anniversary CD and DVD 'Live' at the Victory Theatre still retains its rich folk flavours, and features Kathy van RensburgJohn Gnodde (Banjo, Vocals and Guitar); Rael Birns (Guitar, Vocals and Mouth Organ); Iain McAlpine (Fiddle, Mandolin and Vocals); Nippy Cripwell (Double Bass); Jimmy Smyth (Flute, Piccolo and Vocals); Alan Strang (Guitar and Vocals). They are also joined by their singing friend Kathy Van Rensburg.


Watch out for the adverts on M'Net/DSTV

Rael Birns and Alan Strang

Iain McAlpine and John Gnodde

Jimmy Smyth and Nippy Cripwell

These ‘Deeply Middle Aged' gentlemen are at it yet again … proving once more, that music is for the young at heart … of all ages. This recording - in the ‘Singalong tradition…with a lot of laughs' - is now available in music stores throughout South Africa.

Kristel Birkholtz

Iain McAlpine

Alan Strang

Alistair Coakley

"Waldorf String Band – Revival"
Uncovers the Folkin' hits of the 60's & 70's (2006)

These ‘Deeply Middle Aged' gentlemen are at it yet again …
proving that music is not just for the young,
but for the young at heart … of all ages!

Following the enormous success of the ‘Singalong Party' CD & DVD releases in 2004, outselling the ‘boy' bands for some time, Gallo released Waldorf String Band's sixth CD and second DVD ‘Best Of…So Far' in 2005 aimed yet again at the ‘forties plus' market… again achieving huge success.

Then, in November of 2005 Gallo Record Company approached Waldorf String Band with a new concept for this, their seventh recording, to be released in 2006. Gallo thought that it was the right time to revisit the ‘60s & ‘70s ‘folk music' era. Their view was to use Waldorf String Band to ‘cover' some of those well known songs, as most of the members of the band had actually lived and performed through that period.

This meant, however, that Waldorf String Band would have to move a little off centre from their well-established Folk/Celtic traditional sound in order to do this project justice. So the thinking caps went on and after much deliberation, with the assistance of label manager Derek Smith, publisher Geoff Paynter and archivist Rob Allingham, the repertoire was chosen from such an enormous pool of material. Alistair Coakley came to the assistance with his exceptional feel for new arrangements and contemporary sounds. The production started… and what you will hear is WSB ‘uncovering' some of those memorable ‘folky' hits.

Thanks are due to Alan Strang for once again bringing his astonishing backing vocals into the mix; to Kristel Birkholtz for her fine violin work; and to our old friend Iain McAlpine for adding some of his unique fiddle and mandolin sounds during one of his return trips to South Africa.

We hope you enjoy it as much as it ‘stretched' us in recording it.

"BEST OF ... SO FAR!" (2005)

Enjoy a fantastic performance of fun and nostalgia with Waldorf String Band "Best Of ... So Far!" Tour

These ‘Middle Aged' gentlemen are at it again - proving that music is not just for the youth - but also for the young at heart … of all ages!

Following the enormous success of their ‘Singalong Party' CD & DVD releases in 2004, which took Gallo Record Company and the dealers by surprise, when it outsold the younger ‘boy' bands for some time, Gallo is releasing Waldorf String Band's sixth and latest CD together with their second DVD called ‘Best Of…So Far' aimed again at the ‘forties plus' market!!!

Where there has been constant demand for their performances at corporate functions providing captivating shows of well known folk sing-a-longs and foot-tapping tunes, it has now been decided to make the show available to the public with Waldorf String Band's ‘Best Of … So Far' - ‘On Tour'.

Together with healthy doses of humour, nostalgia and lots of audience participation, they will create a show to remember - and the tour will take place over weekends.

For those of you lucky enough to see Waldorf String Band on the last Foster & Allen tour, you will remember the rousing encores they achieved during each show!! Now you will be able to catch them performing over 90 minutes of their own unique brand of music…!


Fri 15-07-05, Vereeninging Civic Theatre (Bookings at the theatre)
Fri 22-07-05, Rustenburg Civic Theatre (Bookings via Computicket)
Sat 23-07-05, Linder Auditorium Johannesburg (Bookings via Computicket)

15% discount on ticket prices for Pensioners, Scholars, Students and Children (2 - 13)

"BEST OF .. SO FAR" CD and DVD (JUNE 2005)
Click here for the playlists

The long-awaited release date for Waldorf String Band 's latest offering "Best Of ...So Far" on CD and DVD will be early June 2005 with the TV ad campaign on M'Net / DSTV commencing on 15 June 2005. One has the choice of buying either the CD or DVD.

After the immense success of Waldorf String Band's "Singalong Party" CD and their DVD of the same name in South Africa - which was also aired in Europe over Christmas and New Year 2004/5 on SKY TV's NSAT channel 837 - Gallo Record Company commissioned the production of a second DVD to coincide with the release of Waldorf String Band's next CD entitled "Best Of ... So Far". Special Guests on this DVD are Shona Robinson Dancers, and Iain McAlpine, one of the original members of Waldorf String Band, who now lives in the Shetland Islands. He can be seen playing his unique fiddle and mandolin style and singing a song he first recorded with Waldorf String Band ten years ago.

BILL DEAN: Guitarist and Vocalist with Waldorf String Band
(1995 to late 2004)

Billy's tragic death in the early hours of New Year's Day 2005 will be deeply mourned by his partners in the Waldorf String Band - John Gnodde, Nippy Cripwell, JIMMY Smyth and Rael Birns ...a huge loss to music... OBITUARY

New Release by South Africa's most popular British Folk and Celtic music band 
'Now & Then' 

Initially this recording started out as a labour of love when John Gnodde handed Rael Birns some old cassette tapes that had been lying around for a few years. They had been used as sentimental reminders of their ‘good old days' with the original Waldorf String Band. In those days John would bring along his cassette recorder and record the gigs ‘live', straight out of the mixing desk, so that the band could check out arrangements and general performance standard.

Having spoken about editing and storing them, nothing happened until after deciding in 2000 to make a few private CD copies, during the mastering sessions, it became obvious that the music had a very special feel.  Technically, to everyone's astonishment, the quality was very good indeed and it was hard to believe that the original live recordings were produced on a domestic cassette recorder. 

So, when discussing with Gallo Records the concept for this recording in 2001, the idea was brought up that they should use some of the material recorded 'then' - with the original band - together with some new recordings of the band line-up 'now' and some of the tracks from our 'Old Favourites' CD. Hence the CD title - 'Now & Then'.  

During the recording some interesting overdubs were done adding the new line-up to the original band. On these original recordings, they were able to add flute to 'The Sword of Collum Shiel', additional vocals to 'Liverpool to 'Frisco', backing vocals and percussion to 'Greenfields of France' and backing vocals and second mouth organ to 'Dirty Old Town', 'Barnyards of Delgaty', 'Paddy Doyle The Poacher', 'Darlin' Corey' and 'Spey & Spate and Coolies' remain untouched in their original state.   

With the four tracks from their 'Old Favourites' CD they added flute to 'Maggie' and additional vocals to 'Wild Mountain Thyme', leaving 'Flower of Scotland' and 'Peggy Gordon' as they were.  The new line-up recordings consist of 'Hot Asphalt', 'Dublin in the Rare Old Times', 'Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore', 'Hills of Ardmorne', 'Carrickfergus', 'Flowers of Edinburgh' and 'Fields of Athenry'.  What you are hearing is a combination of some truly ‘live' recordings made some time ago (including a couple of feedback squawks from the front of house PA system which cannot be removed), together with their latest sound. 

Recommended Play Tracks: 




PO Box 652039, Benmore, 2010,  Gauteng, South Africa. Cell +27 (0)82 452 1100. [email protected]