Finbar Furey

Finbar was born in Dublin's Coombe district, and brought up in Claddagh Road, Ballyfermot. The Furey family were genuine travelling people and life was happy but beset with hardship. It left its mark: "I like people who had a tough growing op," he says. "They know about life." "Our parents started us off in music when we were very young," he says. "My father played the fiddle and the pipes; my mother played melodeon and five-string banjo. She was a wonderful singer as well... I can remember when we moved into our new house in Ballyfermot. My father singing in the empty rooms. We lived and breathed music." "Strangely enough, I can't remember ever learning to play an instrument... As far back as I can remember, I could play music. There were always instruments in the house. When we were kids, we had no TV, so we had to make our own entertainment. We'd just pick up the instruments and start to play and sing." Finbar readily admits to not having had much of a formal education, although he went to school in Ballyfermot, to the De La Salle Brothers. "I went there for an hour. We only went to school when we were caught." It wasn't long before music totally dominated his life. Around 1958, he started appering with his brother Eddie, and his father, Ted, in O'Donoghue's bar alongside Ronnie Drew who later went on to form The Dubliners. "It was the place bands went to play," he says. "Ronnie would sing a few songs, my father would play the fiddle, I'd play the pipes and Eddie would play the guitar." Eventually these informal sessions ensure that O'Donoghue's bar became part of Irish musical folklore. For the next few years Finbar and Eddie Furey toured the Folk Clubs, Colleges and Universities througout Britain and Europe, building up a large following for their haunting music. They became folk legends across the continent and introduced a whole new generation to the wonders of Irish music. Without realising it at the time, they also pioneered a pathway for many new wave Irish traditional and contmporary bands that were to follow. From playing to audiences of a mere 200 people, The Fureys soon found themselves headlining concerts and playing to thousands of people on major european tours, particularly in Germany. Indeed, Finbar and Eddie were instrumental in establishing Germany's very first "Irish Folk Festival Tour." As their reputation spread wider, they consolidated their succes in Canada and the USA, and took Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Switzerland in their stride. Before long, they were established as a hosehold name throughout Australia and New Zealand. When the younger brothers Paul and George joined the fold, several years later, success and appeal remained as strong as it ever was. With the success of their live concert appearances, it was inevitable The Fureys would soon reap their own reward and enjoy a string of best selling records all over the world. It happened with such gems as WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN, I WILL LOVE YOU EVERY TIME WHEN WE ARE ONE, LEAVING NANCY, TARA HILL, GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE, RED ROSE CAFE and THE LONESOME BOATMAN, which have gone on to become their own trademark, alongside such albums as Sweet Sixteen, Golden Days, The End Of The Day, Claddagh Road and Winds Of Change. In Britain they become one of a mere handful of Irish folk groups to make it on to TOP OF THE POPS. In 1993, with The Fureys at the height of their international popularity and after nearly thirty years as the group's front man, lead singer and driving force... Finbar decided the time was right to take a break, for the time being at least. It was the ideal climate in which to step aside and go out on his own to pursue his solo career, to present his definitive one-man show and to explore new pastures as a singer, producer and writer. "I enjoy writing," he says. "I really know where the inspiration comes from... Either write a song in ten minutes or don't write it." "The words and the melody come to

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