SOLO & BAND NEWS
Sun 19th May
The Cross Pipes
DMcF Acoustic Trio
at 4pm for a
couple of hours
It's Free! - have a pint and a laugh and listen to us run
through a load of songs
- and then have the rest of your Sunday evening off - what a
lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
The Cross Pipes, Otley, 36
Westgate, LS21 3AS
Fri 21st & Sat 22nd June
Festival - Duncan 'solo'
Sat 8th June YORK,
York Folk Weekend - The Black Swan (outdoors)
DMcF (Electric) Band
approx 2.30pm on the Saturday afternoon
- a full folk-rock set from dMb
Sat 4th May
- DMcF (Electric) Band
An Otley Festival Fundraiser 'Special' -
other acts also playing - McF Band to do a full set to finish
off the night!
Festival appearances in 2013
(Duncan McFarlane Band -
so far, include...
Maryport Harbour Festival (May), Beverley Festival
(June), Cleckheaton (July), Wold Top Moonbeams
Merry Tom Festival (July), Addingham Moorside (July),
Hardraw (July), Otley (September), Ingleton
...with others still to be confirmed... and one night stands at
Fulford arms, York, The Swan Addingham, Retford & more...
See the full dates in our Gigs Page.
We are also proud to announce that we are
already in Chris the Landlord’s
diary for our traditional Christmas spot for 2013!
Fri 6th Dec 2013
Korks , Bondgate, Otley –
- Duncan McFarlane Band
(electric) – an Otley Folk Club Xmas special!
acoustic fare from
Duncan, solo (or duo with fiddler Anne)
Bradford Folk Club, Bideford Folk Club, Bude Festival, Bamfest (Bedale),
Denholm Folk Club
See the full dates in our Gigs
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
'Poachers Bold' - the brand
new CD by the dMb
'electric' now available!
leccie band CD 'Poachers Bold' - Twelve tracks, our usual
mix of Trad songs & tunes with McF compositions too.
Recorded at Long Fox Studios - we're currently selling a limited
edition at a mere £10 at gigs.
You can also buy it now via the Paypal link on the CDs page of
Just a few clicks away, this special collectors edition can be yours!
Anne's finest fiddling yet - Geoff in cracking form - some well
crafted new arrangements
- even a sampled 'Blacksmith belting an
anvil!' - So get in touch!
We must also mention....
The superb artwork, courtesy of Bowes-based artist Duncan Storr - check
out his album cover work for 'Hawkwind' (amongst others)
and book covers for such as 'Dick King-Smith' ('The Sheep Pig'
author - which became the major film 'Babe')
Check out his work at
June 28th 2012:
The dMb were on Mike Harding's BBC Radio Two show last night!
Catch it on BBC iPlayer all this week - first song on the show!
Here's the link...
Here's what he said about us...
‘Absolutely great stuff; The Duncan McFarlane Band there with
‘Bed of Straw’ from their CD ‘All Rogues & Villains’
and that CD by the way is chock full of great stuff like that,
really powerful playing and singing.’
– Mike Harding, BBC Radio Two, Folk & Roots Show, 27th
New contact mobile
From 22nd June 2012, should you need to contact the
band/Duncan for gigs or info,
Duncan's mobile number has now changed to 07905 275599
April 12th 2012 update:
Second op over and gone - everything moving slowly on the road
to recovery. Expect the Band and 'solo' musical activities to
from (probably/hopefully) July onward - we've dates ahead in the coming year that now
look like being 'on' for us for certain - and I can now start
for more bookings once more - hopefully some of the cancelled
ones will be rebooked now I'm on the road to mending!
Thanks for all the calls/mail/well-wishes/support during the
months I've been poorly - now I'll make it up to you!
The full band will be at Wold Top Moonbeams Fest (July), Hardraw
Gathering (last w/e July), Otley Fest (Sept) and Ingleton Fest
for sure - watch out for more! Hugs - Duncan
Jan 16th 2012 update:
Appointment with my Consultant today - a second op (gen anasthet
etc) has been ordained as 'urgent'.
Was sent straight 'upstairs' for my pre-op - now let's see how
quick the NHS call 'urgent'!
Gigs still suspended for the time being.
Thanks for all the well-wishes - please keep watching the
website for the latest....
Or join me on Facebook for more immediate updates. Cheers -
1st 2011 update:
Following surgery that
didn't go well, Duncan has been in and out of hospital twice
already, another bout to come!
As a result, all gigs by him are cancelled, initially till the
end of the year. Many apologies, hope you understand it's
Please keep a weather eye on this and related sites as regards
the hopeful resumption in the New Year - all being well. Cheers!
Nov 7th update on
the article immediately below.....
I've been on a waiting list for an operation at St James',
Leeds - They've only gone and called me in for surgery on Friday
So I am unable to do the dates with Vin that were planned....
Oct/Nov 2011 -
Duncan has been 'learning from a master' whilst doing
driving and support-act duties for the great Vin Garbutt
on his extensive touring haul - Following in a long line of
former 'Vin drivers' in such a support role as Bob Fox, Alistair
Russell & Flossie Malavialle!
So far, from Sowerby Bridge to Blandford Forum (near Poole in
Dorset) and the impressive Huntingdon Hall in Worcester - what a
More to come - look our Carlisle (Football Club) and
Sale (United Servicemen's Club), on the 11th & 12th of
Vin points out what happened to one former 'driver'! (When we
were at the picturesque Cotswold village of Burford)
(Click on pic to enlarge)
Scarborough Open Air Theatre gig - Aug 2011
- the DMcF (electric) Band played a huge stage on the
same bill as Jim Moray, Demon Barbers, Bellowhead & more!
(Click on pix to enlarge)
DMcF acoustic band played at the prestigious
opening of Yorkshire's new art gallery, the Hepworth, Wakefield
on Sun 22nd May
The Beeb and Press will be covered the opening.
Feedback re. the
DMcF acoustic band CD arriving daily...
I've been giving the CD a first listen today. Sounds very good -
well recorded - has a nice atmosphere, like the songs.
Good harmonies and the acoustic approach give it a timeless feel
which I think works very well for the choice of material.
Crickmore, Producer, BBC
Enjoying the album very
much. Good words.
We need a name for songwriters who love the tradition...
'songwriter' doesn't tell us we are not James Blunt.
Catch you about, Cheers, Pete Morton
Just thought I would let
you know Joe Rusby likes your album. I played it to him
whilst we were in the van yesterday.
He said at points you sounded like a cross between Nick Jones
and Martin Carthy. Hope you're keeping well, Matt Nelson
Love the new album...really appreciate (& applaud) your 'single
take' approach ...that's what I call REAL RECORDING!
Nigel Paterson (mandolin, The Halliard)
Duncan & Steve
performed two songs 'live' on BBC Radio Leeds on Sun 5th
Sept - 'Three Gypsies' and 'Turn the bones around' - to promote
the impending 19th Otley Folk Festival. The programme
(D'Urbervilles Show') will be streamed on Radio Leeds website
for the following week. There's a picture from the night via the
line-up have released a new CD. It arrived from the
manufacturers on Thurs 16th Sept 2010.
It's called 'Marked out in pegs' (those of you
familiar with Dunc's 'Turn the Bones Around' will recognise that
and you can buy it from the band at gigs or via PayPal from
this website... just click on the CD & Samples tab,
The official launch will be at Otley Festival 16-19th
- with the acoustic band playing most, if not all, of the album
at the Methodist Hall on the Saturday eve from 7.15pm
Here's some of the cover artwork...
Front of booklet...
The CD has 12
tracks and besides Dunx on acoustic gtr & lead vocal,
Anne Brivonese on fiddle & vox, Steve
Fairholme on melodeon & vox and Gerry McNeice
on stand-up bass & vox.
The album was engineered, mixed and produced by Matt
Nelson (in between his Kate Rusby tour duties!) then
mastered at Clipstore Ltd - see
Meantime, here's a blast from our past! Hah! A 'live' rec from a
pub gig the band did in the Junction, Otley.
It's my fave Richard Thompson song - We don't do many 'covers' -
and this was from 2005! - hope you like it...
I misunderstood - 'Live'
Shrewsbury Fest 09 saw the Duncan
McFarlane (electric) Band on the Main Stage
on the Saturday afternoon from 4pm till 5pm
Then later, we finished the night of on Stage Two from
The above two pix -
Main Stage, Shrewsbury Festival 09 - DMcF (electric) Band
...and this pic
from Shrewsbury Festival 09, Stage Two - where we were last on,
finishing the Sat night off with a bop!
Try this link....
Hopefully it'll take you to a clip that's
been posted on You Tube by the good folk from
the Wrotham Arms (Kent)
...though they recorded in Kirkby Fleetham in Nov 08. I'm told
that the Wrotham regularly hold what they call the
'Woodshed Sessions' - named after my song and the tale
around it! Bless 'em!
first issue (Jan/Feb) of 'Rock
'n' Reel' in 2009!
Featured yet another track from our 'All
Rogues & Villains' CD - this time, 'Rakish Young Fellow'.
Our Dec gig at Korks, Otley
saw all four members of
'Luigi Ana Da Boys'
in the same room as one another
for the first time if 25 years at least! L-R they are Geoff
Taylor, Rob Steeles, Dave Roberts & Duncan McF
Hardraw, July 08
- saw Gerry McNiece
join the DMcF Acoustic Band on stand-up
Older items of interest...
the honour to play at Nic Jones 60th birthday party - Jan
First shot, L-R Steve, Anne, Duncan, Phil Beer
(click photos to enlarge)
Group shot, L-R Duncan, Paul Gough, Nic Jones,
Phil Beer (almost hidden!), Anne Brivonese, Steve
Fairholme, Robin Garside
Review from 'The Living Tradition' - An extract
from the review reads as follows....
'Duncan has an obvious feel for the tradition and a
deep-rooted belief that it
has a place in the current folk scene, aspects which he puts
across with lively
showmanship. His own songs show a canny grasp of, and
response to, the
tradition, while his intrinsic seriousness of intent and
approach is often
laced with a healthy irreverence that happens to be hugely
The Penny Hedge, Whitby -
Whitby has a little folklore custom that takes place on
Ascension Eve at low tide. It's called the 'Horngarth' or
'planting of the Penny Hedge'.
I wrote a song about the custom's origins about three years
back - see my 'Songs' page for the story and lyric.
The ceremony took place at 9am (Wed 24th May), the hedge
built by Bailiff for the Manor of Fylingthorpe, Lol Hodgson,
together with Tim Osborne of Staintondale
who sounded the traditional three blasts of a ram's horn.
Lol called out 'Out on Ye' in keeping with the custom.
& George Papavgeris finish off the final concert at Gainsboro
Sidmouth Folk Week 06 - What another great time there. After
last year's success for us in the Ham Marquee as a support act,
we were actually worried about being the top name in our given
concert up at the Bulverton Marquee. No need to have been though.
We were well attended - despite the final published programme
missing the band out altogether and advertising the gig as me
Some blunders had already happened re publicity for our Sidmouth
They had a picture labelled DMcFband in early publicity flyers
that wasn't us at all.
Then the 'free programme' was distributed around the folk scene
and we were pictorially misrepresented a second time,
despite my sending them a set of pictures to choose from. Aaargh!
Worse still, we were billed in a marquee (a good walk out of
town) on the Thursday night at the SAME TIME as the great Seth Lakeman
was to take to the mainstage in the town centre's 800+
seater Ham Marquee. We'd have liked to have seen him too! Sigh.
We had a good 'un! - and so did the lively and large
crowd we drew too!
worth a listen! - Watch out for the podcast called The
Banburyshire Brolly. Have a peek at
The site has been lovingly prepared
for 'folk and acoustic' lovers (er, that's of the music I
mean!) by stalwart 'Longdogs' folkie, Harry ('Jules').
The DMcFband (electric) got an airing on show 'three' - they
played our 'Jug of This' - many more plays
crash 2006 - A slight altercation with ice on a bend in a
frozen valley up in Scotland has meant my trusty gig-wagon came
to grief in an earth mound and a crash barrier - perched nicely
atop a steep (very!) slope at the bottom of which was a very big
and totally frozen-over Loch. Michael-Caine-in-Italian-Job-style
I told my passenger (Lady Pamela) 'Don't anybody move....I have
Couldn't drive anywhere for a while - no car! But apart from
one broken finger, more importantly, we lived to play another day!
Cecil Sharp House - Dunx 'solo' gig Feb 06
went well - thoroughly enjoyed the feel of the place.
Huge thanks - to Bernie Gilmour! Our usual electric-band
drummer, Nick, was unavailable for the New Year's Eve gig we played
the Dales at the Green Dragon in Hardraw. Up to the wicket
strode Bernie and played a magnificent innings with no rehearsal
He just had a good long listen to our 'studio' and
our two 'live' CDs and more than kept his end alive! Cheers Bernie!
SIDMOUTH FOLK WEEK!!! The DMcFband (electric) were
such a success at this event in 05, that they were invited to
return and play at Sidmouth Folk Week 2006!! Duncan was also asked
to appear there as a solo artist and, in fact, was recorded playing
two songs and being interviewed by Lester Simpson as part
of Lester's 'Song-writer's Special'!! He used the recs for his
programmes on the Beeb and Web apparently.
Folk Club Christmas 'special' on Fri 16th Dec in Korks Wine
Bar Big Back Room
An extended set from the DMcF band 'electric' and a smattering
of special guests - including that old soak Robin Garside!
Despite Duncan losing his voice (yes, poorly again!) at the soundcheck,
the gig went ahead!
How did we get by...? Well......
Anne and guest Robin G sang some of the songs, a larger number
of instrumentals than usual were played,
but we were MOST indebted to Tony Suttil from local band Witney
Gin - he manfully sang Dunx vocal parts
for much of the evening!
Well done that man! Cheers Tony! What a star!
Festival - Dunx 2005 gig over
in Morecambe led to a festival booking from his performance that
Booked as a solo artist, he took Anne & Geoff from the
DMcFband (acoustic) to Glasson Festival, June 30th,
for a set at Glasson Dock, LANCASHIRE. On bill as well as us...Martin
Carthy, Johnny Dickinson and more...
Gainsborough Festival 05 - yep! A grand festival. Had a
great time, thank you one and all.
I recommend this one whole-heartedly! And I'm not only back there
solo in 06, but the band has been invited too!!!
Playing 'live' on BBC Radio Leeds
There was a 3 hour folk special on August Bank Holiday Monday 05
- featuring an interview with Richard Thompson!
Duncan (also with Anne & Steve from the band) played three
songs during the show, 'Can't Go There', 'Mary Read' and 'Bed
It went on air from 1900-2200hrs on 92.4, 103.9 and (in Wharfedale)
95.3 FM and also on DAB and was webcast online at
It was then 'streamed' on the web for a week on that site.
FOLK WEEK 05
It was the pinnacle of our short career (at that point) and we had a
great time. An official attendance of 807 in the Ham Marquee (stayed
from start to finish!) and we won many souls over. Big thanks
to all those concerned, the workers, the paying public, the townsfolk,
but particularly to Gordon Newton for taking the risk to put us
on (on the strength of the CD alone). I believe we proved worthy
of our place, judging by the crowd's response, the CD sales and
the plaudits when we emerged among everyone. I feel we didn't
let you down Gordon. There were big smiles everywhere! Thanks
20th April 05
Duncan recorded a session for BBC Radio
York's Wed night folk show
with Anne from the band on fiddle - the programme was streamed
on the web for a week
I toddled off at the end of May to Chippenham Fest 05
for much ale, a good sing-song wherever possible - and for the
third year running was asked to help out the musicians accompanying
Otley Dance side 'Flash Company' - though I prob'ly put 'em
off a bit really!
Duncan close second in Folk Award
Duncan was nominated in 2004's 'Alternative' British
Folk Awards on the international folk website
'Mudcat Cafe' in the 'Best Folk Club Singer' category alongside
the likes of Steve Tilston.
When the public voting was over, Dunc got a 'special mention'
for coming a 'close second'.
Grand! Thanks to all those that voted!
2004 - Duncan
on tour with one of Oz's finest singers!
Duncan accompanied Australia's Margaret Walters (one
half of Walters & Warner) on a few
of her UK tour dates, playing guitar for her as she promoted her
latest CD 'Power in a Song'
- see the 2004 list on the gig page for details of the dates
played as a duo. Link to MW's site on the links page.
Fri 14th Nov 03 - supported Martin Carthy at the Grove,
A full support (for me) had been booked for a few months but then
I found out that the 'regime' and 'policy' had changed.
However, the new regime there
were, in the end, kind enough to let me do four songs. All went well!
Thanks to MC Sam and all concerned.
Another 'live' appearance on BBC Radio!
On Mon Dec 1st 03 I was interviewed and performed live on the
BBC GMR folk prog with Ali O'Brien at the helm.
I sang Turn 'The Bones Around' and 'Bed of Straw' live, then Ali
played the programme out with a 'demo' of the
song 'Woodshed Boys'
- a rough mix straight from the recording
studio (where we'd been working on our debut
studio CD with the 'electric' format of the band.)
The prestigious EFDSS quarterly magazine, 'EDS' has
published my 'Bed of Straw'.
At Chippenham Festival, a chap tapped me on the shoulder
as I sat down having done
two songs in the Festival Folk Club. 'Would you mind stepping
outside with me for a few
minutes?' says he. I duly followed him out - scared! He said he'd
heard (and enjoyed!) me
doing my 'Bed of Straw' at the Fest Folk Club there. It turned
out that he's a major hand
with the EFDSS magazine. He asked if they could publish it - lyric,
story, dots n' all - in a
forthcoming issue. We exchanged details - and Lo! It appeared
in Autumn 03 edition as
promised! In a full page spread, they've printed the lyric, the
musical notation for the melody,
the story behind it, and there's even a picture of the Stone Skulls
that inspired the song.
I'm rather proud of this achievement to say the least!
BCB 96.7FM. TIM MOON'S RADIO FOLK PROGRAMME
From Bradford. 8 till 10pm every Monday. Repeated Midnight Tuesday
till 2am Wednesday.
Might not reach Hull and York (except on webcast) but does serve
a good lump of our area.
I might have known I'd open my mouth and put my foot in it!
In good faith I sent out emails to my mailing list asking for
action re. the axing of BBC's regional folk programme.
I've received one back (quite rightly!) from Tim Moon pointing
out his 'local' show is still doing the business.
For those able to receive it, the details are above. Thanks Tim!
But I still hope you'll all still plague the BBC with letters
to get the broader reaching show back on air AS WELL!
We need all our outlets don't we?
DUNC ON BBC RADIO 2
'Three Drunken Maidens' from my debut CD was played on BBC
Radio Two's 'The Mike Harding Show'.
Right after my hero Nic Jones
(doing Little Pot Stove) and on a show that also featured
more 'greats' such as
Richard Thompson, Eliza Carthy & Dick
Gaughan! This 'local' musician feels honoured!
Then, on Thurs 6th March I was studio guest on BBC radio's HENRY AYRTON SHOW. I performed four (not the scheduled five) songs in
the end - because I talked too much! The show went out on Radio
Leeds, York, Sheffield & Humberside (maybe a bit beyond too!)
between 9 & 10 pm It was nerve-racking - but fun! Henry &
engineer Brian were so warm & friendly - such great blokes!
A pint with Brian afterwards was essential though! Here's a shot
of me playing in the BBC studio.....
MY NEW OAKWOOD GUITARS
I'm playing a guitar made by 'wonderful' OAKWOOD INSTRUMENTS
They made two of their 'Tempest' design with neck design modified
to my specifications (they're only too keen to help
with things like that!). The back and sides of one in Mahogany,
the other in Rosewood. I was supposed to decide
between them, but, unable to decide, I've bought 'em both! -
Link to Oakwood on the'Links' page.
A GOOD REVIEW IN A PRESTIGIOUS MAGAZINE IN THE USA
The USA's prestigious national Folk Magazine 'DIRTY LINEN' has
a review of my 'BED OF STRAW' CD in the current edition.
It's very complimentary indeed! You can read it in my review
section. I was having a good week!
So I thought I'd just pop out for a lottery ticket! It didn't
Aint that nice.....
After doing a support spot in Harrogate to Robin Laing, I
emailed him to ask for the lyric to a 'Christmas' song he did
- so I could use it at the school where I work in our Christmas
concerts. Not only did the lyric arrive by return email, but he
kindly posted (first class) the CD it was on, so I could get the
tune right too! (I had said that I would 'fake that' from memory)
What a very nice guy! The song went well. Cheers Robin! He,
in turn, has asked for the lyric to my song 'Not PC'
Aint that nice.....(again).....which ends up more like
- Wouldn't that've been nice!
.I've also just got feedback from t'other Wed night when I
did a support spot to Alistair Hulett at Otley Folk Club. I'd
had good chat and a drink at the bar with him and found him a
very personable chap. I enjoyed his set immensely (he said
he enjoyed mine too) and we swapped CD's at the end.
He was kind enough to give me a 2-CD set of 'Roaring Jack' albums
- his former band in exchange for my solo CD. Then he was led
off into the night, to his billet for the evening, by the Club
Organiser, Steve. They sat up a while - drinking, talking and
playing each other music. After Steve played him the Duncan McFarlane
Band 'Live' CD, Alistair got all enthusiastic - talked of putting
a band together again and setting up a tour of Germany, Australia
and such - and how would we like to tour with them, doing the
support? Sadly Steve had gauged the 'feel' of the band correctly,
and said it was most unlikely. They've mostly got 'commitments,'
both work & family. That means the band will always be a willing
semi-pro outfit, never likely to be able to pursue that kind of
project. All except me of course! I'd give my eye teeth to go
OLDER STUFF - I've left these anecdotes etc here just in case they're of
recording! The DMcFband (electric) played The Junction Inn,
Tues 1st Feb 05 - This gig was recorded 'live'! - Our band
played their first ever gig with it's current line-up at the Junction
back on Jan 29th 2002.
The gig was recorded and our 'Live One' CD was the result. We
recently heard that landlady Jude is leaving the Inn and we are
unlikely play there under the 'new regime' - they may not have
live music there at all in the future!.
Good luck Jude, wherever you go next - thanks for giving us our
To mark our last appearance at the Junction, we asked ace local
sound engineer Rod Holt to record the evening.
When he's had a chance to evaluate the recordings, we'll see if
we've enough good takes to give Jude a farewell CD present - and
add to those we can sell of course! Big thanks to the jam-packed
house for their voices!
Tsunami benefit gig on Sat 15th Jan 05, Korks, Bondgate,
Otley - Otley's appeal raised around £15,500 - which BUPA have
pledged to DOUBLE!! £31,000!!!!!!!!!!! Well done everyone!!!!!!!!!!!
The DMcFband (acoustic) band played along with many other local
folk artists in a special concert to raise money for the Tsunami
Disaster Relief Operation. Much money raised! I'll post the amount
here when I get to know it - thank you for your support!
Steve missed it as he was away on holiday - but it was also notable
for being Geoff's first ever gig on cittern - which he played
on EVERY song in the set! Nice one Geoff!
Hardraw Gathering '05 - July
was hasty rearrangement of this event. One set of organisers bowing
out, another set taking the reins at short notice.
The mini-folk-fest based around the Green Dragon Public House
(up at its lovely setting by Hardraw Force!) STILL went ahead
in '05. Landlord Mark Thompson handed control to Steve Fairholme
(he that hath run the successful Black Sheep Otley Fest these
past umpteen years).
Last year's event, which was almost exclusively 'concert-based'
from start to finish, was dropped in favour of a more 'participation-based'
format. There was a 'folk-club' style concert in the large
back room on the Friday evening and a similar concert (featuring
Julie Felix) on the Saturday evening.
At ALL other times over the weekend there were sing-a-rounds,
musicians sessions and dance teams on the go.
These took place for FREE! (well, a 'donation-bucket' got
passed around!) in the subsidiary rooms, main bar and outside
in the grounds (where there's a bandstand!) and were 'loosely
led' by well known names from the folk scene.
The Gathering has a NEW website for '05 up at
www.hardrawgathering.com (NOT .co.uk as it was in previous years)
The DMcF Band were invited to go up and lend a hand so we
were pleased to get up there and help out at what shaped up as
a relaxed and participant-friendly gathering. Same sort of arrangement
for 06 - so why not come and join us all for a jar!
news in 05 that the great John Peel passed away.
I was always an avid listener way back when he started on Radio
One and now, grown older together, tuned in to Home Truths on
Radio Four as a matter of course.
My old seventies rock band Luigi Anada Boys sent him our (vinyl)
LP way back around '77.
Of course, he played tracks from it even though it wasn't 'fashionable'
at that punk-orientated time (and I quote from the review of us
in 'Melody Maker' of our album) to be 'virtuoso musicians'.
He usually introduced us as a 'presumably a bunch of itinerate
waiters from Leeds'
Bless you John as you spin sounds in your heaven - and my
heartfelt condolences to his family at this all too early loss
of British Music's Champion.
Grand mention for us/me on the BBC Radio Two Folk & Acoustic
(on their News Page, right after a bit about Bob Dylan!) It read....
FEATURES DUNCAN McFARLANE BAND [14/07/04]
They may be fairly new to the scene, but English folk-rockers
The Duncan McFarlane Band are already media stars: tracks from
their debut CD Woodshed Boys are currently being featured
as background music in ITV's Emmerdale*; tune in on
August 3rd for a scene where their tune Jigalo issues
loudly from a shed and causes complaint! Though the band is flying
the flag for full-on electric folk, front man McFarlane also plays
traditional music, writes songs and tunes, and has recently accompanied
Margaret Walters of Sydney-based duo Walters & Warner on tour.
The band is receiving top reviews in the UK and US for both their
CD and live appearances. * Actually, it was the fourth
appearance of DMcFband music on the TV show!
The DMcFband (electric) debut studio CD was recorded and
finished late 04 and early 05
THE COMPLETE LYRICS AND AUGMENTED SLEEVE NOTES
ARE ON THE 'SONGS' PAGE - under 'Woodshed Boys'.
Our special guest 'line-up' on the CD - Alistair Hulett,
Alistair Russell and Maggie Boyle.
Swarbaid gig - Many thanks to all concerned with the Swarbaid
gig at Korks, Otley on Nov 26th 04
- A resounding success that raised £850 for Swarb and his family.
Big hugs to our guests... Alistair Hulett, Janet Russell and Artisan.
Also to our local club regulars Hannah, Nick and Gerry - great
spots from all concerned.
My hat's off to my leccie band for finishing the night off - particularly
as I had been unwell all day and actually lost my voice
into our set and they coped SO well with me calling out a rearranged
set 'on the fly'.
They brought us home via more than our usual proportion of instrumentals
- and by our Anne taking on more lead vocal.
Our finale of Swarb-era
Fairport numbers saw Ally H and Janet back on stage tackling Mais
Si Tu Dois Partir
(Janet leading the vox) and those two, with
our Anne, making a grand fist of Matty Groves with it's 19 verses!
These songs were performed without prior rehearsal (other than
one acoustic run through for the band but NOT the guests) - remarkable!
There was a huge roar from the crowd when the 'end' instrumental
section kicked in
- grand stuff!
Geoff and Anne soared on guitar and fiddle - and
Nick was magnificent on it - especially as this had been his
attempt at it with a drum kit in front of him!
Thanks to Chris and his staff for giving their time and the room
- Rod Holt (likewise) for his PA and a great job of it! - Anne
Martin (front of house, raffle and tickets)
Lastly - the paying public - thank you one and all for coming,
staying, playing your part....and paying!
£850 raised!!!! Cheers!
Huge thanks also to all at Amnesty International for their
wonderful evening of music and dance on Oct 30th 04
The evening was a roaring success - made money for the cause -
and we thoroughly enjoyed our stint.
The DMcFband played at Harewood House in August 04 - twice!
Electrically - down in the walled garden - and the acoustic format,
two weeks later, in the courtyard.
HOLMFIRTH Festival - Sat 8th May 04
The DMcFband (electric) had
the 'National Launch' of their 'Woodshed Boys' CD at
- a special concert in the Picturedrome 1-3pm on the Saturday
afternoon - joined by their guests on the CD!
RAUNDS Festival 04
The DMcFband (electric) deputised for Little Johnny England
at RAUNDS Festival in Northamptonshire on Sat 1st May 04.
LJE pulled out two weeks afore it due to one of 'em being unavailable
I believe. So we were called up as eleventh hour replacements.
Then we learned that our drummer Nick was unavailable! We drafted
in an old friend, Dave Budd.
He learned the set in a week! - had two rehearsals - and we played
a blinder anyway!
Thanks Dave - and all those dancing!!! Feedback from the organisers
has been ecstatic!
We had a ball, and it looked like everyone there did too! - with
the exception of the ONE lady that
verbally attacked our lass on the CD sales stall with... 'What
have YOU done with Little Johnny England!'
- as if we had anything to do with it! Pictures on the 'Pictures'
page - click below
DMcFband (acoustic) appeared
at Cleckheaton Fest 04 (Fri & Sat) -
made new friends - sold CDs - had a wonderful time! Thanks to
Saddleworth Fest 04 the DMcFband (electric)
opened the main Sat night concert with a resounding (successful!)
thump! 'Grand' said the sound man, 'at last, a REAL band!'
The acoustic band had an enjoyable stint in the cafe that lunchtime
- even paraded round it's gangways for the last jig.
We also picked
up a young percussionist - well done that wee lad!
Thanks Ali & co for the fantastic time we had!
OUR DEBUT STUDIO CD LAUNCH PARTY
The 'electric' DMcFband had a
special 'local' launch party at Korks Wine Bar, Otley on
Thurs 25th March.
(In the 'club' bit at the back) Doors
opened at 8pm and it was a full
Sadly, many were turned away due to the fire regulation
We played a 45 min first set - had a break, then restarted - joined
onstage by Maggie Boyle.
She played flute and sang with us for the entire second
set (some 50 mins)
It went VERY well! The band played out of their skins,
Maggie was superb - and the audience lapped it up enthusiastically.
The 'National Launch' at planned for
Holmfirth Festival, May 04.
CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL 03 APPEARANCE for the DMcFBand (acoustic)
The DMcFband (acoustic) had a wee gig
at Cambridge Festival in 03!!!
Our Cambridge Festival Club Tent appearance went exceptionally
well! Only trouble was, it seemed to fly by all too fast!
Our 30 mins came and went in what seemed like a second!!!
Hope the actual 'organizers' heard us - and offer us a 'proper'
booking for next year - electrically preferably!
I'm sure we'd knock a few people out!
DMcFband (electric) at Otley Festival 03 .....with
special appearance by the one and only Maggie Boyle!
The final Sunday night concert opened with a bang! We rocked the
Civic Hall with a cracking 50 min set culminating with Maggie
walking on unannounced (to a rousing reception!) for the last
song (Bedlam Boys). Only the sound engineer and I knew in advance
(well, I had to arrange for an extra mic!). With no soundcheck,
no rehearsal other than singing along to our Live CD - Maggie
showed us all how it's done. Thanks Maggie!
BBC message board
A message appeared on the BBC 'Folk & Acoustic' message board
after Holmfirth Fest 03 re. the Duncan McFarlane Band's Holmfirth
Festival appearance - VERY positive! More good raps followed.
One of the later entries makes reference to my 'Woodshed Boys'
- now the chap either mistyped, or misheard at the gig - as he
refers to it as a tribute to James Cox - naw! - It's Harry obviously!
Holmfirth Fest 03 appearance with Chumbawamba
The DMcFBand thoroughly enjoyed their bash in the Picturedrome
on the last night of the festival. We felt we were on good form
and were very well received by a packed house. Not only did we
get an encore (not a bad feat for a support band!) but Fest Organiser
and MC Dave Eyre told the audience at the end of our session that
we were the first 'name' he was re-booking, there and then, for
'04 - and (he told 'em) for twice this years fee! I reckon we
must have done alright by him then!
Update - months later.....
We were delighted at last year's fest to be 're-booked' ONSTAGE
having just done our support to Chumbawamba in a PACKED Picturedrome!
Not only were we given an encore - but the MC (who also books
the 'acts') told the crowd we were his first booking for 04 -
they all cheered! A few months later, I heard that he was
no longer associated with the fest - there goes our booking
we groaned! Ah well! But eventually,
I heard from the 'new' person in the job - we were
IN! Thanks very much to Finola, Kate
and all concerned - we were mighty pleased
to have been given the opportunity
Who is that lady walking ahead of that man? And
why are they both smiling?
Well, it was her visit to Leeds
'02 - I got to play (music!) in Millenium Square as part of the 'welcome'.
The good lady had the sense to stay inside the
Civic hall at the time - only emerging after I'd vacated the stage!
Oh how we
Otley Festival 02 Weekend . . .
. . .has sadly been and gone. Enjoyed it immensely - with
the exception of the 'first-on-in the-first-Fri-concert' bit.
Started that one rushed and ill-prepared (my good lady had a bad
fall just before and my intended preparation went out the window
- dashed there late! scraped a 1min. soundcheck just as the public
were let in - Bad form Dunc! Sat to compose myself only to find
I'd left half my important 'bits and bobs' back in Leeds in the
rush. Still, played an absolute storm (an appreciative, enthusiastic
full house was the giveaway!) at the second venue that evening
40mins. after finishing the first one. ! From there my weekend
went from strength to strength - particularly enjoyed my band's
marathon 2.5hour set (late night too!). We could've taken the
scheduled break - but both we, and the full house were 'well into
it!' Cheers to all those that attended, enjoyed, bought CD's,
signed the mailing list - and gave us/me such good feedback -
a resoundingly successful weekend!
Here's what the Otley programme notes (they wrote 'em, not
me!) had to say about me as a solo artist . . .
Otley is justifiably proud of it's stable of local talent.
and Duncan is up there among our top rankers. He is a brilliant
guitarist, playing a steel strung guitar finger-style predominantly
in C modal tuning, which sometimes brings delightful echoes of
Nic Jones. He sings much traditional material, and mixes in contemporary
classics by the likes of Richard Thompson & Dougie MacLean.
His own compositions are in the traditional idiom, displaying
an imaginative & well-researched choice of subject matter
in a lyrical and charming style.
Whitby Hiring Fair, Festival Week & a Clan re-union.
I took part in the hiring fair - picked spot 10 out of 12
from the hat - sat for 3 hours listening to nos. 1 - 9 then went
on for my four songs - did Bed of Straw, Turn the Bones Around,
Not PC and Can't Go There. Did the best I could, did
OK I believe! Got some extremely positive feedback and many promises
of bookings! Let's hope I get picked for Whitby next year eh?
Meantime I spent a large chunk of my week in the company of Margaret
Walters (of Walters & Warner) - over from Australia and eager
to meet up with me. I recognised her from 100 yards - looks like
my Aunt Anna! And I look like her brother apparently. The 'email
tale' of how I came to find out her maternal grandfather was one
Duncan McFarlane from Glasgow (and my family all from Ayrshire)
is somewhere below. Needless to say I was awestruck to meet a
probable distant relation - and even more 'made-up' when she got
up and sang harmony with me when I performed their Anderson's
Coast at the festival folk club on the last night. What a
great privilege for me!
Thanks M - keep in touch!
Busman's Holiday! (Aug 02)
Took the family to Whitby for a week -
supposed to be a break from everything!
Took a guitar (naturally) - wrote four new tunes! - even more
unforgivable though, was the fact that I went to six folk clubs
in the area in seven nights! I think I've got some future dates out of it too.
WHIRLWIND HOLIDAY 'TOUR' of N.YORKS & CLEVELAND!
Sat 27th July - White Swan, Mickleby
Sun 28th July - Guisborough Folk Club, at the Rugby Club,
Guisborough - full booking promised!
Mon 29th July - Saltburn Folk Club, at the Victoria
Wed 31st July - Whitby Folk Club, at The Plough - full
Thurs 1st Aug - Cutty Wren Folk Club, Zetland Hotel,
Fri 2nd Aug - Bayfolk, The Dolphin, Robin Hood's Bay
- full booking obtained for October.
I come in second and third!
Word came through that two
of my songs were 'placed' in Plymouth Folk Festival's Songwriting
Competition. 'Bed of Straw' came
second in the Traditional section.
'Not P.C.' came third in the contemporary section. I'd read
about the competition in a national music magazine - 'Making
Music' - which can be picked up for free in most music stores
- sent off a CD with three tracks on - and hey presto!
what will come of it? 15th July '02
Cleckheaton Festival July '02
Has been and gone - and what a great time I had too! The
rain held off (after chucking it down all week leading up to it)
and the atmosphere was first class. I had a Friday night
concert spot - just after the interval, and immediately before
the brilliant (top of the bill) Mundy/Turner.
Even though I started
off a bit nervously, the third song in found me relaxing into
it - and from there I felt right at home.
From the feedback
I got all weekend, I played a great set! (Not my words!)
Saturday found me doing three concert spots in three different
venues - all went very well. I made a lot of friends, sold a good
CD's and got tons of good feedback and support from people
in the street, through stewards & organisers and (satisfyingly)
from fellow performers.
For someone like myself (after 18 months, still relatively new
to this scene) it was heartening to receive plaudits from folk
that I admire - established artists - the likes of Robin Garside, Mundy/Turner,
John Prentice and others.
Most of all, I'd like to say (through this small outlet) a public
thank-you to Geoff Pickles and his entire team
- they were ALL
so friendly and helpful.
Sunday, I had no official commitments - but I returned for the
entire day - bar the last (late!) singaround. I attended sessions
and the afternoon singaround in the Wickham - playing and
singing just for fun! Twas too! Thanks everybody!
Big thanks to Three's Company
Yup, many thanks to Maggie Boyle and Damien Barber for the
support gig at Haworth. They gambled on this relative 'unknown'
and I gave a good account of myself if the feedback from those
there was anything to go by. I was a new face to most - and quite
a few took the trouble at the interval to give me a pat
on the back - thanks to you, too.
New songs '02 - June
Latest two efforts - 'Can't go there' (all about disgracing
oneself - something I seem to achieve at alarming regularity!)
- and 'The Bones' - life seen through a game of dominoes.
Both gone down a treat at Robin Hood's Bay Fest and at Pool and
Otley club nights.
HOLMFIRTH FESTIVAL - An Apology - honestly, not my fault!
Played at Holmfirth festival - the whole weekend - had a
great time - made many new contacts - sold some CD's - but sadly
got moved from my one main-stage opportunity. Arrived to find
a programme change - a mistake in timings meant I was off to an
outpost instead of being in the main Sunday afternoon concert.
Apologies to anyone who turned up to see me - there weren't any
notices to correct the 'move' that I saw anywhere.
Kate and her team gave me a good 'run' in a few different venues
though - very kind considering I'm an 'unknown' - and I met a
good few exceptionally nice folk - everyone there was kind
I was particularly pleased to hear Dave Burland mention me in
his summation at the end of his Saturday night concert. Something
along the lines of. . . 'What a great night we've had, must thank.
. . (lists names of those on just before him, ending with).
. .and that chap that was on earlier (struggles to remember
name). . . he was pretty good, er, (gets prompted)
yeah, Duncan McFarlane!' Maybe next time - the main stage, eh?
BIG, BIG THANKS to those that came to Pannal Memorial Hall
27th April 02 - well over a hundred came to see my concert
there - they sang their hearts out and made the atmosphere absolutely
Anne played fiddle on the entire second set and we all had a great
night. Definitely the best evening of my (short) folk life-span
New songs '02 - Jan
Finished a new song called 'Not
PC' - about computers - my first effort where I'm not playing
guitar - or any instrument for that matter! Sang it at Otley the
other week and Kev Collier asked for a copy of the words -
I take that as a big compliment.
Also just finished one called 'Rawfold's Mill' concerning Luddites
out Cleckheaton way in 1812. The electric band christened
it at their Jan 29th Otley gig. We've also got our electric version
of Canadee-i-o (that we're quite proud of) to run by you. Bass
player, Tony, tells me Dave Vermond thought the arrangement was
a good one - no finer endorsement needed as far as I'm concerned.
Concerning the CD. . .
The sleeve notes claim the tracks were recorded 'live' - voice
and guitar together. Well, I must confess that's NOT true! Shock,
horror! - There are two overdubs of a second guitar part (both
on the same track) - both of some fifteen seconds or so. This
completely flattens the claim - what a cheat and liar the
The songs were recorded as claimed, but late in the mixdown stage,
Alistair (Russell) the decided the intro on one track would benefit
from a little 'something'. As I had no guitar there - I used one
of his to play the required tune (A Martin! How green with
envy was I?). I repeated the dose in the middle of the song.
Which song was it? I suppose 'muso-types' will spot it. Will anyone
E-mail from various people. . .
(shameless name-dropping? - but still, possibly, interesting -
1. I'd e-mailed John Warner & Margaret
Walters to ask about recording Anderson's Coast.
I was overjoyed to have Margaret e-mail back apparently
delighted to have contact with a McFarlane. Her maternal
grandfather was a (same spelling) McFarlane - a pioneer photographer
from Glasgow - Duncan Alexander (same as me!). My own family all
hail from Ayrshire - pretty close! I wonder if we're not related?
In the days immediately after the mix-down of the
CD, I got an e-mail form Alistair Russell at
It read - 'John McCusker was here and had
a listen to a few of your tracks and gave everything the
thumbs up, you'll be pleased to hear'
I received an e-mail from Julia Jones (Mollie
Music), having sent a courtesy copy of the CD to Nic Jones
- my all-time hero.
She let me know the CORRECT credit for the tune
of Boys of Bedlam. On the CD I've credited it to Nic but she tells me it was composed
in Halliard days by
Dave Moran - with minimal input from Nic. Here's a chunk
of it. I'm sure Julia won't mind as it may point any people who are interested
along the correct path.
this is purely for information if you're interested - the song
one of the broadside collections, Harkness, Preston Library possibly
can't remember now) and was just one of the many broadsides that
Halliard and subsequently Nic put tunes to. The Boys of
Bedlam was first
recorded by a group called The Farriers, good friends of The Halliard,
attributed correctly. The Halliard did record the song, along
broadsides, but the album never came out because they wouldn't
agree to the
signing over of all their publishing to the record company, so
never brought it out. The misconception that both words
and tune were
traditional then occurred when Tommy Gilfellon recorded it and
listed it as
Trad. Maddy Prior later thought she would right the mistake
the tune to Nic. It wasn't until about 4 or 5 years ago
that Dave and Nic
bothered to register the Halliard songs under Mollie Music - so
the first nor probably will be the last to unwittingly make the
Anyway, that's what the oral tradition is all about!'
Concerning getting started in all this. . .
If Mark Longster of MillFolk (Pool in Wharfedale) hadn't made
me more than welcome
- then positively steered (pushed!) me into doing MORE - I wouldn't
be doing ANYTHING!
later note... That post was placed on this site in 2007 - sadly,
since then, my good friend and mentor, Mark, has passed away.
I'm leaving that statement on here as it still holds true - I
owe him so very much!
RIP Mark - I will never forget you - Dunc
also. . . if Steve Fairholme (ace squeezebox
cruncher & organiser of Otley Folk Festival)
hadn't shown a lot of faith and trust in me, I'd have given
up - thinking I wasn't cut out
for performing. Two better folk for getting 'beginners' going
- with a (friendly) boot up
the backside - you'll never meet.