About The Fureys
The Fureys are one of Ireland’s all-time most acclaimed and influential middle of the road, folk and traditional bands. Fureys classics such as “I Will Love You”, “When You Were Sweet 16”, “Red Rose Café”, “Leaving Nancy”, “The Old Man”, “From Clare to Here”, “Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway” and “The Green Fields of France” have become the soundtrack to the lives of fans all over the world.
The Fureys indelible musical footprint is rivalled only by their vast collection of personal stories of their musical experiences and friendships, gathered by Eddie and George Furey along an amazing 48-year journey which shows no signs of reaching a final destination.
The oldest of the brothers, Eddie Furey left home in 1966 and travelled to Scotland at the time of the great folk revival where, with his brother Finbar, he met and shared accommodation with then unknown folk singers Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, Tam Harvey and Alex Campbell, now all famous in their own right.
In 1969 Eddie and Finbar were the special guests for the Clancy Brothers throughout the USA and Canada.
In 1972, Gerry Rafferty wrote “Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway” for Eddie. BBC Radio 1 presenter, the late John Peel made it his single of the year. In 1973 they moved to mainland Europe where they toured for a number of years, building up a huge following particularly in Germany releasing many LPs.
By 1976, George, Paul, Davey Arthur and Brendan Leeson were playing with their own band, the Buskers in Denmark. Eddie and Finbar, while touring in Germany were involved in a road accident. When their brothers got news of the accident, they immediately travelled to Germany to be with their brothers. They then decided that they should all be playing together and this was the start of the FUREYS & DAVEY ARTHUR.
They are particularly proud of their UK chart success with songs such as “I Will Love You” and “When You Were Sweet Sixteen”, which in turn helped bring Irish folk and traditional music to a completely new audience. The band made their Top of the Pops debut in 1981.
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. Joe Dolan, Philomena Begley, Tom O’Connor, Chris Rea, the Chieftains, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Liam Clancy and Sean Maguire are just a few of those who have joined The Fureys for their spontaneous sessions, each one with a story begging to be told.
Coronation Street, Royle Family, Keeping Up Appearances and Heartbeat star, the late Geoffrey Hughes, had a keen interest in Irish music and would play the Bodhran with the band. He once joined the guys for a legendary all-night session in the Europa hotel after starring in the Christmas pantomime at the Grand Opera House next door.
The Fureys also struck up an unlikely music session with Kool & The Gang, Midge Ure (Ultravox) and other music co-stars backstage during an episode of Top of the Pops. There was a BBC strike and all of the show’s artists found themselves at a loose end. Alas, there are no recordings of how this fusion of styles came across.
Eddie Furey recalls how “many musicians have told us we influenced them after hearing a record from their parents or grandparents’ collection”. Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics has credited Eddie with teaching him his first chords on the guitar while still a teenager. Eddie would return the compliment by joining Dave on stage in Paris for a jam during the latter’s wedding to Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey.
Inevitably changes have occurred over the years. Their brother Paul died suddenly in June 2002, Finbar left the band in December 1996 and Davey got a stroke in March 2014. However, George and Eddie have continued to delight audiences on their tours and releasing CDs.
The Fureys are responsible for some of the most stirring music ever to capture the public imagination. Their folk based music has received standing ovations in some of the biggest concert halls of the world and they credit their musical ability to their parents, Ted and Nora, who were well known musicians themselves. They encouraged their sons to play music from a very early age and there was live traditional music in their house almost nightly.
Their emotive songs stir many emotions, tears and laughter, sadness and joy.
A Fureys concert is always a night to remember!