DUNCAN McFARLANE first, then a bit about the band's personnel
and history follows...
of Scottish parentage Feb 1954 at R.A.F. Cosford, Wolverhampton - an
long in one place.
in Uxbridge, Middlesex; Germany; Acton; and
Aged 15 or so, struggled
to master C, F & G7 etc. for hours
on end in the bedroom
using my dad's battered old nylon strung guitar.
performed (in a duo with Tot Taylor) at Ely Folk Club at the
Old Fire Engine House, 1971.
First guest ever
seen - Martin Carthy!
Started saving up for a guitar of my own!
guitar - worked all summer of 1972 at Butlins, Ayr.
Saved the wages and bought my very first 'own' acoustic guitar!
- A Barnes-Mullins
Dunc at Dunure
harbour, just down the road from Ayr, 1972
Ed. - Went to Middleton St. George Teacher Training College
between Darlington and Stockton Sept 1972
electric guitar was put in my hands. Subsequently sold the acoustic guitar,
starts in earnest (OK, Leeds!) - Arrived in Leeds 1974,
semi-pro pub-rock and
college-circuit band called Luigi Ana Da Boys. Played up to five times a week all over the country!
- and there's a young Geoff (from the current band) on
1977 Recorded an L.P.
(on vinyl!) of my songs, Feeling the Ceiling
with Leeds band Luigi Ana Da Boys.
Oft-played by John
Peel on his show on BBC Radio One,
he usually introduced us as
a bunch of itinerate waiters
The LP sold 1000 copies in Yorkshire alone!
sample track of that CD on our CD page.
Here's a scan of one side of that record's label which has been
'stuck' to the side of my guitar case for years!
In 2007 I saw a vinyl 'collectors' website selling a pristine
copy of that album for £1600 and some!!!
Luigi in 1979 and performed, for many years, semi-pro in pub-rock
bands including Sharp Practice, The Way, A New Opera, Another
1987 - became a dad - and sometime later, got a possible
album design done for me!.......
retired from rock due to persistent back trouble!
Who needs to tote speaker cabs and amps??
finally purchased another acoustic guitar! Camped at Whitby Folk
Festival - attended guitar workshops. Returned every year since.
being in rock bands all those years - never stopped listening
to folk - or attending concerts.
New years resolution - get back into playing music -
back where it started for me - folk!
Attended many 'sing-arounds'/singers' nights/acoustic clubs in
West Yorkshire and beyond....
searching for a 'home'.
1999 attended a sing-around at Millfolk, Pool-in-Wharfedale, as a solo performer
- was made very welcome - returned virtually every week on
Thursdays for a couple of years.
1999 played half hour solo support spot at a Sat night concert
Millfolk, Pool. - Thanks Mark!
Praised that night by a lady claiming to be an agent (though she didnt give me her card!) Was advised to spread
my wings further a-field!
Subsequently tried floor spots as a solo performer
at several more local folk clubs such as
Bradford, York, Ripon, Harrogate, Keighley and Skipton.
was some immediate response:-
Booked for a concert
at the Black-a-Moor, Ripon
.Offered first professional solo booking at The
Grove, Leeds, Feb. 2nd
where over eighty people squeezed in!
things escalated a little:
I supported 'leading'
artists such as -
Bill Jones, Damien Barber, Vin Garbutt, Martin Carthy, Jackie
McShee's Pentangle, Emily Slade, Munday/Turner, Last Night's Fun and the New House
. . . . and picked up various solo professional bookings
around the country!
I also appeared solo at festivals such as Robin Hoods
Bay Folk Week-End,
Whitby Festival '01 (half hour demonstration concert
each day on the Oakwood Instrument stand, then at that
festival's 'hiring fair' in '02)
- subsequently got booked for Saddleworth
Festival and Harrogate Folk Club. I then got more festival
Caversham, Holmfirth & Otley Folk Festival - where I
also ran a workshop for 'guitar in C modal'.
A shift of regular attendance - Otley Jan '01 to Otley
FC on their Wednesday night meets.
The Pool club organisers went
there every week too and encouraged me to go to Otley as well.
The format there proved more amenable to my finger-picking style
(room less noisy than the bar at Pool!) and I made Otley my 'home'
as the folks there were more or less the same clientele plus other fab new friends
I met there!
As a result, the Otley Festival '01 saw the debut of the Duncan
McFarlane Band - and there
was I trying to get away from the band thing!
Still, I only have
to take my acoustic guitar, that's a blessing!
The band has subsequently gone
from strength to strength - and also formed an 'acoustic' offshoot.
Cambridge! - In 03 the DMcFband (acoustic) were invited
to, and subsequently played
half hour slot in the 'Club Tent' at Cambridge Festival!
Dates keep coming - when you're done here, try the 'Gigs'
button to see the extent of it all!
Debut 'solo' CD 'Bed of Straw was released on the
20th September 01 and later,
in late '03, the
my self-penned 'Bed of Straw', had its lyric and
music published in the prestigious
EFDSS quarterly magazine.
CDs of the DMcF Band (both electric AND acoustic line-ups)
have now been recorded and released
- see the CD page
Radio airplay - Tracks from 'Bed of Straw' and the (electric)
DMcFband's 'Live One' CD soon received both local and
international radio airplay
and music from 'Bed of Straw' was
featured on BBC Radio Two's Mike Harding Show.
In the years since, tracks from various McF CDs have been played
- and indeed, 'live' McF performances have been made on many a
from Canada & USA, to Italy & France, as well as several BBC &
Independent, regional stations!
Second! - Duncan came a 'close' second in the Mudcat Alternative
British Folk Awards 04
in the Best Club Singer/Performer Category
First band studio CD - The DMcFband (electric) produced
their first studio CD 'Woodshed Boys' in 2004
followed our debut 'Live One' CD (2003)
2005 - The electric band played several notable festival
gigs, highlights being when we....
headlined at Whitby's Moor & Coast Festival
to 800+ in the Ham Marquee
on the final Friday evening of Sidmouth Folk Week 05!!!
We were asked back to headline a concert at Sidmouth 06
because of our previous year's success!
We also released our second 'Live' CD - guess what!? - called 'Live
2006 - Duncan was asked to perform (solo) at Cecil Sharp
House in early 2006 - a privilege and honour!
The band, by now, plays several festivals a year - and Duncan
continues to play fests and folk clubs 'solo' too
(though often takes
various members of the band to play acoustically with him on these
2007 - the band's follow-up second 'studio' album 'All
Rogues & Villains' was
released on Sept 20th
Sales are still going well (home and abroad!) - bookings keep coming
in - Folk Programmes such as
BBC's Leeds, Shropshire, Derby & Wales
are featuring tracks from it - Radio airplay abroad from Italy
to Alaska too! -
our new album is getting highly-commended reviews...... click
the reviews tab at the top!
2008/9 - 'Parts beyond the seas' - Duncan was invited to
perform 'live' on a French radio station - then (a few months
apart) two separate jaunts gigging in Denmark!
2009 - The electric band played the massive Stage One
at Shrewsbury Folk Festival - a performance that was
simultaneously broadcast on the worldwide web!
2010 - More and more festival work - and a new CD, this
time the 'acoustic' band studio-debut.... 'Marked Out In Pegs' -
released Sept 17th
Martin Ward replaced Tony Rogerson on bass guitar in July that
year. We played around 12 festivals again this year.
2013 - Our third 'electric' band studio CD is released,
June 2013 - And some 12, or so, festivals for us again this
Now a little something
DUNCAN McFARLANE BAND personnel...
Duncan McFarlane obviously! - acoustic & electric guitars,
cittern, mandolin, bass guitar, vocals - then there's...
born and bred Anne Brivonese on acoustic & electric fiddle &
- lives & teaches in Leeds
On drums, Nick Pepper - Southern origins - supports Fulham FC
- no comment! Lives & works in wood, in Leeds
On electric guitar (sometimes acoustic gtr, cittern & mandolin),
Geoff Taylor - a Leeds lad! Worked in printing since 'e wor a
On melodeon & vocal duties, Steve Fairholme - Otley
resident & man-about-France (as often as possible!)
We've got new 'boy' Martin Ward
on the bass guitar (since July 2012) - the only change since we
Mart's a York resident, though a Leeds lad originally. Be wary out
there - he's often found in Lycra, out on the open road!
See below for his predecessor....
On bass guitar from our inception in 2001 up until 2012, was Tony Rogerson - resides in Otley,
just be a Southerner! Works in computers for Yorkshire Water
when he isn't doing long walks in the mountains!
He retired from duties to concentrate on a new relationship, long
walks, many holidays (many!) - and remains our good buddy -
Bless ya Tony! xx
HISTORY - The Duncan McFarlane Band exist in two
formats - electric AND acoustic.
The electric version was formed
for a 'one-off' pub gig (in the Junction) as a fringe part of
Otley Folk Festival 2000.
I'd been trying to get away from the
'band thing' and perform solo for a few months by then,
fancy playing a 'pub gig' atmosphere as just 'one-man-and-a-guitar'
so amongst others,
I drafted in Anne (fiddle) and Geoff (electric
The band blew the place apart (!) and we were re-booked by the
landlady for the following January 01.
The original makeshift line-up wasn't able to carry on, so two new members,
Tony & Nick,
were drafted in for this second occasion.
They'd learned the songs via my home recordings!
A surprise to them all was that Steve turned up with his melodeons
having spent his Christmas holidays learning the songs from those
- it was to be a seat-of-the-pants affair -
The band members were literally introduced to those they hadn't met
Surprise, surprise! We played well - The packed house loved it! We
were offered more bookings!
Once again, believing this too was to have been a 'one-off', I'd had
the gig recorded by Rod Holt on his new 24 track mobile digital
system. The 'Live One' CD that emerged from that night still sells
like hot cakes! (Details: click the tab at the top for the CD page)
.....and the band
keeps getting both booked, and better and better...honest!
Our rhythm 'powerhouse' Nick & Tony have played
in bands together before,
notably in the Upsiders with one Dave
Geoff has been playing lead guitar in bands
with Duncan since at least 1977.
So b****y long ago, we can't remember
when exactly it was!
As mentioned above, just the one change in personnel since we
started in 2001 - Martin replacing Tony on bass guitar in 2012.
The Duncan McFarlane Band (acoustic) came about
by default also.
I took to playing some of my 'solo' bookings
with Anne Brivonese (from the band) on fiddle.
I found it easier
having someone else there as a foil!
Before long this moved on
to us asking Geoff to 'have a go' on an acoustic with us 'for
fun' one time.
Steve soon 'eased' in as a natural progression
- and there we were!
Geoff, having stolen my Oakwood hand-made cittern from me (for two
years!), also played that
and his acoustic guitar at acoustic band gigs....
After two years of pretend-ownership, he eventually bought the cittern from me!
Emulating the leccie band, we recorded a live performance of the
- and the CD of that gig sells extremely well too!
(Details: click the tab at the top for the CD page)
A high spot for this format of our band 'life' came
when we were invited invited to play
a half hour in the Club Tent
at CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL 03!!!
But since then, Geoff 'retired' from playing acoustic instruments to
concentrate solely on being a leccie guitar player.
A couple of years later still, Otley stalwart Gerry McNeice joined
the acoustic McFs on double bass and backing vocals.
The 'accie' band released its debut studio CD in September 2010
(Details: click the tab at the top for the CD page)
The accy band lost Gerry to the sheer amount of work
he puts in on his own solo and band pursuits - and all the PA work
he's taken on as one of folk's hard-working Soundmen.
He has not been replaced and the acoustic dMb carries on these days
as a trio comprising of Anne, Steve & Duncan,
although sometimes Mart joins us on bass.