The Fureys come to Barnstaple
When The Fureys make their eagerly awaited visit to The Queen’s Theater in Barnstaple on Saturday 18th March, they will treat their audience to one of popular music’s richest legacies.
They are one of the most recognized and influential Irish folk and traditional bands of all time. Furey’s classics such as I Will Love You, When You Were Sweet 16, Red Rose Café, Leaving Nancy, The Old Man, From Clare to Here and The Green Fields of France have become the soundtrack to the lives of fans around the world.
The Fureys’ indelible musical footprint is rivaled only by their extensive collection of personal stories about their musical experiences and friendships, collected by Eddie and George Furey over an amazing 45-year journey that shows no signs of reaching its final destination.
The Furey brothers were still trying to make it as folk singers in the late 1960s, when Eddie Furey shared flats in Scotland with the folk stars of the day, Billy Connolly and Gerry Rafferty (of Baker Street fame).
Eddie recalls: “It was quite a bunch living under one roof and we had a great time. I bet the neighbors never slept with all that singing and drinking. They were so impressed by the quality of Gerry Rafferty’s songs at the time that Eddie recorded his song Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway – now a Fureys classic.
Eddie and George Furey are particularly proud of their UK chart success with songs like I Will Love You and When You Were Sweet Sixteen, which in turn helped bring Irish folk and traditional music to a whole new audience. The group debuted on Top of the Pops in 1981. They ran into a problem when the show’s producers insisted that their own backing tape be replaced with one recorded by their own musicians. The Fureys weren’t ready to play music that wasn’t their own to millions of viewers. George had a solution: “When they weren’t looking, I replaced their tape with ours. No one knew I switched them.”
The Fureys jump at any opportunity to play… not just on stage. Stories of a band hastily starting a music session with fellow musicians who happen to be around are legendary. Joe Dolan, Philomena Begley, Tom O’Connor, Chris Rea, The Chieftains, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Liam Clancy and Sean Maguire are just some of those who have joined The Fureys for their spontaneous sessions, each with their own story. be told.
Coronation Street, Royle Family, Keeping Up Appearances and Heartbeat star, the late Geoffrey Hughes, had a keen interest in Irish music and played the Bodhran with the band. He once joined the boys for a legendary all-night session at the Europa Hotel in Belfast after performing in a Christmas pantomime at the Grand Opera House next door. The Fureys also started an unlikely music session with Kool & The Gang, Midge Ure (Ultravox) and other musical bandmates backstage during an episode of Top of the Pops. There was a BBC strike and all the show’s artists found themselves freelancing. Unfortunately, there are no records of how this fusion of styles came about.
Eddie Furey recalls how “many musicians have told us that we influenced them after hearing a recording from their parents’ or grandparents’ collection”. Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics started out as a stagehand in a theater in Newcastle and credits Eddie with teaching him his first guitar chords. Eddie would return the compliment by joining Dave on stage in Paris for a jam during his wedding to Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey.
The Fureys will play all their best-loved songs at The Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple on Saturday 18th March.
Tickets are available by calling 01271 316523 or online at www.queenstheatre-barnstaple.com