THE BAND

PHIL TAYLOR

 

Phil Taylor co-founded Whiskey in the Jar as long ago as 1989, and has remained at the helm of one of the UK's longest running and most succesful Irish bands.

 

Phil plays guitar and is the bands lead singer.  His  reportoire is influenced by some of the great irish bands such as the Clancy Brothers, the Dubliners and the Wolfetones, and the singing of the legendry Irish ballad singers such as Paddy Reilly, Tommy Byrne and Ronnie Drew.

SAMANTHA COURT

 

Sam joined the band in 2013 and bought an exciting blend of songs and instrumentation to the band, she plays fiddle, guitar, whistles and bodhran as well as some great songs.  She's been singing since the age of eight when she stood on the tables at her granddad's funeral for two hours singing away.

 

She joins her father Phil in the band, and Phil is very proud of the fact that Samantha can take the band forward for another twenty five years.  Samantha can be seen around the pubs too, singing country and rock classics as well as her own songs too, she is a very talented songwriter in her own right.

STEPHEN BIRD

 

Stephen and Phil had played together in Lancashire based folk bands The Tacklers and Flash Company for ten years before starting Whiskey in the Jar as a duo in 1989.  Steve stayed in the band for around ten years before work got in the way, but is now enjoying a second spell with us, he is very welcome too.

 

Steve plays mandolin and banjo and leads the bands polkas, jigs and reels, and lends a tuneful addition to the songs too. All in all a great all rounder.

SEAN LOURAM

 

Sean joined the band in 2015 replacing Brendan as a driving force in the accompaniment of our songs, he plays with real energy and loves adding his voice to the choruses too.

 

He's the first accordionist in the band for around twenty years when Ian Grime graced the band in the mid 1990's, he's a nice guy too and really gets our audiences in the mood.  By day Sean runs pleaseure cruises on the canals of West Yorkshire, and a bed and breakfast too.

PREVIOUS MEMBERS OF THE BAND

 

JAMIE KNOWLES        

2000-2015

 

BRENDAN COMER      

2005-2015

 

PAUL WALSTER          

2012-2013

 

JEFF BICKERTON        

1999-2012

 

STUART THOMPSON  

1998-2005

 

FRANK MALLON          

1998-2000

 

STEVE BIRD                  

1989-2001

 

IAN GRIMES                 

1996-1998

 

SEAN MORAN              

1993-1996

 

TERESA GOWAN          

1992-1993

 

GEORGE HARVEY          

1991-1992

 

 

 

JAMIE KNOWLES

2000-2015  Fiddle.  Jamie Knowles is one of the most knowledgable fiddle players of his time, but it takes more than good theory to be a great fiddle player.  The band still benefits from his expertise as he helped current member Samantha to progress quickly with her fiddle playing to a stage where she has taken that role in the band.  Jamie now spends much of his time organising the concerts at the Globe in Glossop, one of the regions' premier venues for folk and roots music.

 

BRENDAN COMER

2005-2015  Banjo, Mandola, Bodhran and Song.  When Brendan joined the band in 2005 he brought with him an array of fine songs and stories, but most of all his enthusiasm for performance added great energy to the band.  When called upon, Brendan also acted as master of Ceremonies and Caller for our ceilidh nights as Mr Grumpy's Ceilidh Band.

PAUL WALSTER

Paul joined the band in 2012 following Jeff's retirment and fitted in expertly with his upright electric bass and was an instant hit with those who folowed the band around our gigs. Mixing band life with a young family is always hard, and Paul's time with the band was limited, but he did leave an impression as and still stands in from time to time and its always a pleasure having him around.  

JEFF BICKERTON

Jeff was almost an ever present from the day he joined the band in 1989 to the day he retired 24 years later, and provided the band with a steady beat for every one of those performances (around 1000 in all).

 

The biggest accolade we could give jeff was the fact that so many other bass players we met along the way rated Jeff's playing so highly, we certainly were very lucky to have him around the band for so long.

 

STUART THOMPSON

There are banjo players and banjo players, and Stuart is among the best, in his time he set some of Manchester's finest young musicians on their way too.  We first met Stuart a Droylesden Folk Festival some years before he joined tha band, when he did join in 1998 he and Frank made a formidable partnership when leading the bands' tunes.  Stuart was certainly a hard act to follow.

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STEPHEN BIRD

Banjo and mandolin player Stephen Bird co-founded Whiskey in the Jar as a duo in 1988 with Phil Taylor, and remained at the heart of the band until 1998 when work and family commitments called him away.

 

Stephen had played alongside Phil in the Tacklers Folk Group prior to joining the band, and it's great that he has been able to rejoin the band in 2015 to resume the musical partnership and the friendship. 

FRANK MALLON

((Frank - far right)  When Frank suffered a stroke on New Years Eve 2000, the band lost the services of one of the most respected and like fiddle players ever to grace the stages around the Manchester Irish scence.  

 

Frank was the consumate professional and he bought some of his skill and expertise to the band, our one regret was that we never had the opportunity to record Frank playing with the band.  Frank died a few short years after he was forced to leave the band, but we haven't forgotten his contribution to our history. 

IAN GRIMES

(Ian - right)  Of all those who have played with Whiskey in the Jar, it has to be said that Ian Grime embodied all that is good about our music, our desire to perform, and our respect for our audiences.   He was always smiling, so we called our ceilidh band after him following his sudden death in 1998, and Mr Grumpy's Ceilidh Band still carries his memory.  

 

Ian played accordion for the band, as well as singing some great songs. He was a long standing member of Chorley based Blue Water Folk but when they folded we were the lucky band to secure his services.  Well sung Ian.

SEAN MORAN

Talk about coincidences, we were looking for a new band member and one turns up in the last gig of our Irish tour in 1993.  Leitrim man Sean Moran lived in Manchester and added penny whistle, accordion and fiddle to the band, a fair sprinkling of songs too.

 

Sean's talent on whistle earned him the 'All Irelend' title during his time with the band, he certainly has lost none of his expertise judging by his performances at our reunion concerts at Chorley Little Theatre in the past.

 

 

TERESA GOWAN

(Teresa - second from right)  We knew when Teresa joined the band in 1992 that we would only have her services for a year or so before she left for the United States of America, but what a twelve months she gave us.  What a talented fiddle player she was, fast and furious as well as tuneful and addictive.

 

On the bands full tour of Ireland in 1993 it was said by our audiences that she had 'taken coals to Newcastle' and they loved her, and it was at her last performance with the band at O'Carolan's Lounge in Mohill, Co Leitrim that we met her successor Sean Moran, what a replacement.

GEORGE HARVEY

In the early days of Whiskey in the Jar we 'conformed' to the standard Manchester Irish scene need for 'Country and Irish' music, and the addition of George Harvey on electric guitar gave the band the authentic sound required. 

 

George's guitar was featured heavily on our first recording 'Whiskey in the Jar' live, but by this time the feeling within the band was we wanted to pay more traditional Irish music.  When George left the band we lost a good friend, but our friendship remains and its always good to see him when we play gigs in and around Chorley.

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OUR SET LIST includes the following songs...

All for mi Grog

Black Velvet Band

Bold O'Donohue

Bucket of Mountain Dew

Courtin' in the kitchen

Belfast Mill

Black Velvet Band

Danny Boy

Dicey Riley

Fields of Athenry

Galway Girl

God Save Ireland

Grren and Red of Mayo

Gypsy Rover

Hills of Connemara

I'll Tell mi Ma

Johnosn's Motor Car

The Irish Rover

Leaving of Liverpool

Little Beggarman

On the One Road

Rattlin' Bog

Seven Drunken Nights

Step it Out Mary

Town I Loved so Well

Wagon Wheel

Wild Rover

and lots more....

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