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KISS THE BLARNEY is (or possible are - I can never quite make my mind up about the grammar of bands) a  traditional (ish) Irish band, specialising in, and occasionally veering away from,  traditional and contemporary Irish folk music.

We play everything from the stomping chorus songs such as the Wild Rover and Black Velvet Band to the more gentle and reflective laments for times gone by (Rare Auld Times) or the longing of those who have had to leave their homes for places dimly remembered through the mists and mountains of time.

The band is led by the singing of John and Arthur, supported  by John's  bass and guitar, ornamented by Arthur's fiddle, melodeon, mandolin, flute, accordion and sax and driven mightily along by Robbie’s guitar and banjo.  Oddly enough, we don't actually play all these instruments at the same time - a certain amount of pic'n'mix goes on which adds even more variety to the show!  

As well as the songs, dance tunes and airs drop in and out of the set - the band has a history of playing for ceilidhs and barn dances as well as shows where the songs predominate.  

Belfast-born John was with Murphy's Marbles for 4  years, playing Tramore and Dungarvan Irish music festivals and the  famous Cheltenham Irish Week in the "Guinness Village" at the race  course for 3 years running.

He played in the backing band for Sean Cannon of the  Dubliners when on tour.  Both he and Arthur worked with the Cheshire ceilidh band Peak Folk for several years providing the music for ceilidhs and barn dances  where Arthur, as well as playing melodeon,  called the dances in his own inimitable style.

Robbie plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and various other instruments with strings. This may lead to the occasional surprise, to the rest of the band as well as to the audience, but we savour creativity in all its forms...

He started off playing classic rock in Kent, gradually evolving northwards to study music and  play in  varied bands, from pop to folk  and country to heavy metal.  As a session player he's played and sung at festivals throughout the UK and Europe as well as on TV. He likes real ale, pork scratchings and Airedale terriers.

Arthur, who had been busy running ceilidhs and bossing dancers around, was hankering for picking up his fiddle again.  He started playing folk music in Yorkshire folk clubs back in the late sixties, formed a barn dance band in a moment of madness (and the Wirral) in the late seventies, had a small excursion into country music before veering sideways into Cajun in the eighties and Zydeco in the nineties.

There's a whole somewhat scurrilous history and a bit more of his music at www.arthurmarshall.co.uk), which will, however,  tell you ivery little about narrowboats... He has spent most of his waking life attempting to get some sort of noise out of every instrument ever invented except drums and banjos.  Is now wrestling  with a trombone, and, although the trombone usually wins, that doesn't stop him playing it.

With the Blarney, he plays  fiddle, accordion, sax and flute, with the odd burst of mandolin and guitar for the sake of variety.   There are occasional bursts of harmonica just to prove he can.  We won't talk about the trombone.

So that's the band.  As ever, you can use the Contact page to get in touch with us, or email from here. Hope to see you soon...