The Coostie Folk

The Coostie Folk are a 5 piece folk band from the Scottish Borders.

With roots in the Small Hall Band, all of us have been taught by Harris Playfair and some by Ross Milligan, Carly Blain and Lucy Cowan.


We are strongly influenced by the likes of Blazin’ Fiddles, The Unusual Suspects and Junction Pool, as well as drawing on a wide variety of musical genres. This really helps give us a unique sound.

Meet the Band

Rory Hamilton

Nineteen-year-old guitarist, Rory Hamilton is the band's frontman. Rory really brings the sound of the band to life with his funky chords and energetic playing style, achieved with tutelage from Ross Milligan.

Rory is currently in his Fourth year of a BSc in Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath, and juggles his degree with being a strong presence in the University's Rugby League team and Musicals Society, as well as playing in the band and working.

Rory is known for his distinctive style and super enthusiastic calling at ceilidhs, accompanied by excessive dad jokes.

Equally at home playing Highland Pipes or singing, Rory brings a vast range of versatility to the band. 

Madeline Cawthorn

Fiddle player extraordinaire and exceptional vocalist, Madeline has been with Coostie since day one.


Having been taught by Lucy Cowan, Madeline got selected for the "RANT" 4/4 project, culminating in a performance at Celtic Connections in 2017. Madeline has also been taught by legendary Shetland Fiddler, Jenna Reid

Currently in Second year of a degree in Music at the University of York, with a view to studying Music Therapy at Postgraduate level.

Will Derries

Drummer and Sound Engineer, Will, ensures the smooth running of the band.

Will joined the band after being invited to a session at Harris Playfair's in 2016, where his drumming caught the attention of Ewan, Rory and Maddy. Since then, Will has been a core member of the band.

In his third year of the BSc Audio Engineering course at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Will provides the PA and sound to the band. 

Will and Rory often bounce off each other in the rhythm section, experimenting with styles and rhythms whilst keeping the band tight. When Rory can't make a gig, Will assumes front-man duties.

Charlie Birkett

Fiddle player, Charlie Birkett, joined the band as a full time member in Summer 2018, having intermittently played with the band before this. 

Charlie brings a strong playing style to the band, complementing the group dynamic very well.

Charlie has been taught by Carly Blain, who herself learnt from Harris Playfair. Charlie's hard and precise playing style has no doubt been influenced by Carly's similar playing philosophy.

Charlie is currently in Second year of a Folk Music degree at Leeds Conservatoire.

Ewan Steady

Guitarist, Banjo player, Whistle player, Mandolin player and Vocalist, Ewan Steady, was the third founding member of Coostie.


 Ewan is regularly found playing a variety of whistles and mandolin in the band. This really gives the band a unique sound, with profound harmonies throughout the melody.


When Rory can't make a gig, Ewan assumes responsibility for playing guitar, and takes this role with ease, certainly putting his own stamp on the music.

When he's not with Coostie, Ewan is the front man for Indie Rock band, 'Just Suppose', and studies Music at the University of Huddersfield.

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