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Tel 01202 434280 Alex or Noeleen
murphyslore@aol.com

Meet the Musicians

Gill and Richard are our lead (or tune) players on fiddle and accordion and they lead the line extremely well. Both strong players, they come together beautifully for rich melodies and harmonies. They are underpinned by Noeleen and Alex on guitar /whistles and Bass/ Mandolin, who provide a full and driving rhythm to keep the whole together. There's nothing really clever about what we do, it's just 'full' and makes for an easy and exciting dance experience. With Richard and Noeleen you also get two great vocalists, so the band perform traditional songs between dances giving an added dimension to the evening.

pictures courtesy of Ben Stoney Photography

Noeleen

Noeleen Ryan-Smith

Guitar, vocals, bodhran, whistles and caller

Born in Plymouth of Irish parents, folk music is in Noeleen's blood and she learned her first songs at the knee of her accordion playing father. She started her musical career learning the recorder at the age of seven, which naturally progressed later to the whistle. She has played the guitar from the age of eight and also learned viola, but did not discover her singing voice until sixteen, initially singing in a church youth group. She was also an award winning ballroom,latin american and 'disco' dancer when young, till knee problems prevented her from furthering this particular talent. After years of singing in musicals and cabaret shows, both solo and in duos, she rediscovered her folk roots when Bob Smith asked her to join 'The Highly Strung Band', the forerunner of Murphy's Lore. She added the bodhran to her range of instruments and is now also calling for the band on a fairly regular basis. Noeleen finds playing music is much needed stress relief from her day job of secondary school teaching!


Gill

Gill Collins

'Sonic' Fiddle

Gill has been playing the fiddle since she was 13, also learning piano and the clarinet. Her mother was a singer and piano teacher and both Grandfathers had played the violin. It was all too easy to pick one up one day and she took to it straight away. In 2004, she heard about an Irish music session in a local pub, turned up one night and hasn't looked back since. "There are an endless supply of tunes, the audience can't sit still when they hear the music played and I get to play standing up for the first time!" she says.

We were made aware of Gill by our good friend Titch of 'Black Sheep' fame, she initially 'depped' with us, but became our regular fiddle player in 2008 and we haven't looked back since. Her enthusiasm is boundless!!


Alex

Alex Smith

Bass guitar, guitar, vocals

Brought up on a feast of folk music from an early age as Dad played in the local ceilidh band 'The Old Pull and Push', he broke with tradition during his rebellious teenage years and moved to the 'dark side' of electronic music. He began experimenting on keyboards and then guitar, and found himself playing with local band Small Time,Big Time. They had a near brush with minor stardom, most notably with an appearance (badly) at The Mean Fiddler and with more success at The Rock Gardens (twice). Well that's how he remembers it!

He was invited to play guitar by his Dad, Bob Smith in 'The Highly Strung Band' and is now a firm 'born again folky' although he still has a soft spot for eighties electronica and indie music. He gained some training in music whilst learning violin at an early age, but his guitar and keyboard techniques are mainly self-taught (he did a good version of Gary Numan's 'Down in the Park'!).


Richard

Richard Wirdnam

Accordion

Venerable and wise accordion and keyboard player. Over the years he has been involved with many local dance and folk bands most notably 'Diggory Venn'. Richard is also a prolific composer of original and excellent tunes which reflect his diverse interests and influences, ranging from English Morris, through Celtic to East European Klezmer for which he has particular love. His original composition 'Estampie' which has a Breton feel has become one of our favourite ways to end the night. Also known to sing a song or two when in the mood (most weeks) and has a penchant for corny old jokes!! Always seen with a smile on his face. Also joined us us permanently in 2008 giving us an extra dimension.

Julian

Julian Gurr

Our regular caller, Bodhran

Julian bought his first mandolin in 1989 before a six-month trip to India, simply because he thought it would be lighter and take up less space than his guitar (he was right!) Little did he realise that this was the first step along a completely new musical path. His love of traditional music extends to the dancing for which much of it is intended, and he is our most regular caller. It also led him to form the duo "Four Hand Reel" with Andy Stone now sadly defunct. He has also in the past written about Celtic music for Folk on Tap, The Living Tradition, and Irish Music Magazine.
He brings massive energy to a nights dancing and is possibly best known for his use of the scissor kicks during his favourite, end of night 'Serpent Dance'

This our usual line up, although we have a small pool of reliable and talented musicians who are very able to fill someones shoes, often bringing a small piece of their repertoire and style to the evening


Peter

Peter

Accordion and Keyboards

A quirky, talented box player. Has a vast knowledge of all things, especially music and PA - Just don't get him started! Covers for Richard and gigs nearer Southampton.

Steve

Fiddle and Vocals,

A great and energetic fiddle player who also sings and has a love of traditional music. He can be seen and heard in many guises ably supporting other ceilidh bands, as well as performing with local 'comedy' outfit The Polly Morris Band. A regular at local folk clubs as a solo performer but also known to duet with his Mum Ruth, who was the original Sara in 'Sinnermen and Sara' fame

John Reeks

Guitar

John occasionally helps out as a guitarist when Noeleen calls and we need a 5 piece band and he is not engaged with other acts. A great player who also plays with 'Celtic Confusion' and Swing Your Partner. In previous years has played with 'The Waifs and Strays' and 'The Bushwackers' He is well known amongst the local folk session scene.


Ceol agus craic!

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5 Aug 2017

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11 Aug 2017

Milford. Private - Wedding ceilidh

12 Aug 2017

Bridport Folk Festival weekend. A Half of Murphy's will be performing on The Dagger Stage. 12.55 - 13.25pm

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Review

"I must say the most enormous thank you, we had the most amazing time dancing to your band - you absolutely made our wedding the most special day ever. xx
Lois and Angus after their wedding ceilidh. June 2017

"We had another fabulous evening with Murphy's Lore. Such a brilliant band. Enthusiastic and constantly helpful, patient, and FUN!
Jan after Church Parish Social evening. May 2017

"Thank you Murphy's Lore, we couldn't have done it without you! We raised the fantastic total of £1,409 ! Great result ! Next time, a football stadium!!!!!!
Margaret after a fundraiser Barn dance. April 2017

" A massive thank you to Murphy's Lore for an incredible night! I can't count the number of people who came up to me during the night, and afterwards, to praise the band and Julian's calling. It all seemed to run very smoothly thanks to your expertise. We really enjoyed hearing the band's own compositions and loved that final dance where we spiralled in and out, it was fantastic! Thanks again for a truly memorable night.
Joanna after her and Davids Joint birthday Barn dance. April 2017

"Thank you so much for an amazing evening. We've had endless compliments about you. It was a huge success & loved by all xx
Josie after her wedding Ceilidh. March 2017

"Many thanks for a brilliant night.. We had a great time and my 100 year young Mum wishes she could have danced some more !!
Jeff after his Mum Maisie's 100th Birthday Barn Dance. Feb 2017

"We had a fab time! Thank you!....You guys were ace, we had a fab evening. That serpent dance was bonkers...Haven't had so much fun in ages, thank you!....Thank you Murphy's Lore. Brilliant, very funny and entertaining night. Everyone had smiles on their faces all night...
Judy,Sally,Sarah and another Sarah,after Dorset Rock Choir New Year Party.Jan 2017

"Hi guys, Just to say a massive thank you for Saturday night!! Very good comments passed around at the weekend and at class tonight about yous and your talent, even if some were staying put at their tables they really enjoyed the music!! My family and I especially loved it (they were the ones never sitting down!) and everyone got up to sing and dance at the end together which was really lovely
Katherine, after McDonnell-Haynes Irish Dance end of year Social. December, 2016

"What a fantastic evening. Thank you all for a very memorable and outstanding night of music and dancing. It was everything that we hoped it would be and more. All ages and abilities had a fabulous time and we thought you expertly made the event a complete success. The atmosphere was fabulous and the everyone had a terrific time. We will continue to recommend you to everyone we know.
Suzanne and David, after their joint birthday.November 2016

" I had to write to say the biggest THANK YOU to you and the rest of the band. You were absolutely fantastic and although it did start slowly, by the end, I think people would have gone on all night...they were enjoying it all so much. We have had so many people complimenting us on a such a fabulous party. I can guarantee, if the opportunity arises, we will be asking you to do any other parties we organise, and will be recommending you to others.
Ross, after Andrea's birthday ceilidh. October 2016

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