Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Furey Brothers and the Old Dyers Arms

The Furey Brothers and the Old Dyers Arms

"Often a couple of the Fureys, a famous radical Irish band, would turn up in the back room of the
Old Dyers' Arms lineup in the early 70s.Davey Arthur, second left, with the
 Fureys: Paul, Finbar, Eddie
Old Dyers Arms for the Sunday afternoon folk session and wow everyone with their pro-republican songs. Mavis always allowed a drinking 'stayback' when they played, because invariably the room would be heaving with Guinness drinkers, which meant more money in her till. It was an exciting place to be in the mid 70's
." Pauline Black from Black by Design

"The Fureys are an Irish male folk band of four brothers - Eddie, Finbar, Paul and George, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, and of Irish Traveller heritage. They have also been credited as The Fureys and Davey Arthur.

The group formed in 1978 and consisted initially of four brothers.Prior to the band two of the brothers
Finbar and Eddie Furey
toured as a duo known simply by their names as Eddie and Finbar Furey. Their brother Paul Furey had, together with Davey Arthur and Brendan Leeson, a band called The Buskers. Both were part of a successful tour through Germany called the "Irish Folk Festival", first in 1974, where they performed as The Furey Brothers and later as The Furey Family. Here they were joined by their father Ted, a famous fiddler, who was 73 at that time. Ted Furey had recorded a solo fiddle album Toss the Feathers released by the Outlet label in 1973.

In 1981, The Fureys released their most successful single "When You Were Sweet Sixteen", becoming a worldwide hit, reaching #14 on the UK Singles Chart, #1 on the Irish Singles Chart and #9 on the Australian Singles Chart. "The Green Fields of France" also gave them an Irish #1, remaining in the single charts for twenty eight weeks. They also had two Top 40 British albums called Golden Days and At the End of the Day.

Other notable songs include "Gallipoli", "The Red Rose Cafe", and "Steal Away". As of January 2008, the band is still recording and touring. In 2008 the band celebrated their 30th anniversary.

Finbar left the band to begin his own solo career and Eddie, George and Paul reformed with Davey Arthur to became a successful band. Paul Furey died suddenly in June 2002."

Seeing folk hero's free gigs at the Old Dyers in Coventry
Coventry Telegraph

THE return of folk legend Davey Arthur to Coventry for a gig in Chapelfields was a reminder of the halcyon

days when he performed free at the Old Dyers’ Arms just down the road in Spon End.

Davey and the Furey brothers cut their musical teeth at the renowned pub in the early 70s after decamping from their native Ireland. They went on to global fame, had hit records and played at some of the most famous venues in the world including Carnegie Hall in New York. But for their old Coventry pal Eddie McNulty, who put them up at his Coundon home and remained a lifelong friend, the memory of the Dyers’ sessions lingers as if it were yesterday.

The music they played was amazing and musicians came from all over the country and Europe even to play with them,” he said.
“But for all the success they have had they are still the same great guys they were back then Eddie, now 66
and living in Tile Hill Village, first met Finbar Furey at a folk gig at the Cedars pub in Coundon in the late sixties and was “blown away” by the sound of the Irish pipes.

Finbar’s brother Eddie also came over and they lodged with their new found friend in Cedars Avenue. The others, including Davey Arther, soon followed and the house became the unofficial HQ for passing folkies, while the Dyres had taken on the mantle of spiritual home. At one point Davey Arthur combined both and lived in a caravan parked outside the pub.

As their fame grew, Eddie McNulty found himself on tour with the boys.
“I even played the bodhran – a one-sided drum – on one track recorded in Hamburg,” he recalled.
Eddie, a former Jaguar worker, is still in touch with the band members and was instrumental in getting Davey Arthur to bring his “Evening with” show to the Maudslay Hotel in Allesley Old Road. Like the old days, Davey stayed over and the two pals dropped in at the Dyres to share a pint and memories."


  1. I remember my Dad- Winston Warburton- going on weekend sessions in Cov,he'd leave our home in Great Packington on a Friday and return on Sunday, looking worse for wear! He often spoke of Davey, the Fureys and The Dyers Arms with great fondness and a wistful eye. I don't know if it was at the Dyers, but he told me of an old (welly?) boot behind the bar that folk used to drink a pint from..for unknown reasons! Dad would sing regularly at home, sometimes with crowds from Cov coming over for the weekend and sitting round a big bonfire, with party kegs and smokes. Good job we lived in the middle of nowhere! He still played and sang right up until he passed. The Fureys will always hold a special place in my heart :-)

    1. I remember the parties at your dads grand times.
      He once brought a bag of magic mushrooms into the Dyers one night ,wild night ,he was a really nice guy
      Eddie McNulty