One of Ireland’s all-time most acclaimed and influential folk and traditional bands, The Fureys are associated with a string of classics
One of Ireland’s all-time most acclaimed and influential folk and traditional bands, The Fureys are associated with a string of classics like I Will Love You, When You Were Sweet 16, Red Rose Café, Leaving Nancy, From Clare to Here and The Green Fields of France.
The Furey brothers were still trying to make it as folk singers in the late 1960s when Eddie Furey shared flats with undiscovered fellow folkies, Billy Connolly, Ralph McTell and Gerry Rafferty, who all went on to make their mark.
”It was quite a group to be living under the same roof and we had great fun. I bet the neighbours never slept with all the singing and drinking.” says Eddie. So impressed were they by the quality of Gerry Rafferty’s songwriting at that time that they recorded his song, Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway – now one of the classics in The Fureys repertoire.
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 their music to a completely new audience. The band made their Top of the Pops debut in 1981. They ran into a problem when the show’s producers insisted that their own backing tape be replaced by a tape recorded by in-house musicians. The Fureys weren’t prepared to have music that wasn’t their own played to TV’s watching millions. George had a solution: “When they weren’t looking, I replaced their tape with ours. No one knew I had switched them.”
The Fureys will jump at any chance to play… not just on stage. Stories of the band striking up spur of the moment music sessions with fellow music stars who happen to be around are legendary. The Chieftains, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Liam Clancy and Phil Coulter are just a few of those who have joined the band for their spontaneous sessions.
Eddie recalls how “many musicians have told us we influenced them after hearing a record from their grandparents’ collection”. One such musician was Dave Stewart, formerly of The Eurythmics. Dave was working as a stage hand in a theatre in Newcastle and credited Eddie with teaching him his first chords on the guitar. Eddie would return the compliment by joining Dave on stage in Paris for a jam during the latter’s wedding to Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama.
Eddie and George also love busking. They once busked outside Carnegie Hall in New York, the morning after they had headlined at the venue playing to an ecstatic sell-out audience. A group of unsuspecting passers-by came up to them and said: “you’re really good. One day you might get to play in there.”
Tickets, each costing €33.20 plus booking fee, are available from https://www.ticketmaster.ie/the-fureys-co-meath-26-05-2022/event/18005B3BAF902F32.
(Thursday) 8:00 pm
Headfort Arms Hotel
Headfort Place, Kells, Co. Meath