Hire Us


Justin Bateman

88 West Street
Gravesend DA11 0BL
Tel/Answerphone/Fax: 01474-325100
Mobile: 07837 211832
E-mail: Justin@balalaikalondon.co.uk

Nigel Austen

4a Border Road
Sydenham SE26 6HB
Tel/Answerphone: 0208 659 3539
Mobile: 0781 392 3154
Email: Nigel@balalaikalondon.co.uk

Bookings and Enquiries

To arrange a booking, request information or discuss any special arrangements you may have, please contact Nigel or Justin (above).

Although based in London, we regularly travel to bookings outside the area.

What we do

We are happy to present our music in a concert setting, or as background music for a variety of social functions. We are experienced in providing music for all stages of a wedding day, from pre-ceremonial, to music within the ceremony itself, reception, dinner and dancing. While we can present our music in smart casual wear, clients normally choose one of the following costumes:

  • Russian costume (matching red Russian shirts, black trousers)
  • Jewish musician (white shirts, matching waistcoats, black trousers)

We have performed with dancers, singers, storytellers, and dance-leaders, and where appropriate, will present performances in cooperation with other artistes. If your event demands it , we can offer an expanded line up, using musicians who have previously guested with the group, including a singer, Klezmer clarinet and Russian domra player. We can also perform in smaller combinations (from solos to quartets), although the full force of the arrangements is best appreciated through the full quintet.

The power of the music of Balalaika lies, to some extent, in its direct appeal to the emotions. Fiery, energetic tunes played in overdrive are juxtaposed with smouldering gypsy romances; infectious toe-tapping music which brings audiences to the dance floor, interspersed with the vigour and wild panache of Klezmer at its best. All this is played with passion, fine musicianship and an occasional hint of wry humour.

Performances consistently draw praise, both from those brought up in these wonderful musical traditions, as well as those who have discovered in this ‘unusual’ music a new resonance. Within the current interest for ‘world’ music, Balalaika represent one of the few active British-based exponents of the music of these traditions.

We have extensive experience of playing at Russian and Jewish events including weddings, private parties, nightclubs, restaurants, Bar Mitzvahs, banquets, book launches, theme nights, garden parties, corporate entertainment and concerts. We have regularly performed in the foyer of various theatres and appear regularly at the Royal National Theatre foyer. We have provided music within the homes of world-renowned celebrities, and have featured as performers at Music and Arts festivals.

As well as playing fully acoustically , we can provide amplification where needed from discrete sound reinforcement to full PA suitable for audiences of up to 500. All of our equipment is of professional quality and PAT – tested.