Oliver Kane

Oliver Kane Band Story

Perhaps you,ve seen and heard it all before


Welcome to my anthology page,

The Eccles Showband

My first memories of music,are of wiping away tears by singing how much is that doggie in the window, Later i was to learn how to play accordion,then a guitar, Then the big step, join a band, and the first band i joined was called the Eccles Showband.
Based in Dunmanway Co Cork, This band played at various functions and dance halls in the southwest of Ireland, it was my first step on to the bridge, Precariously i was swept along in the spirit of things,almost getting into serious trouble as a result of my securing band equipment,
It was a short music affair of playing music, But with the bouncing around of ideas new tunes and songs ect,
Listening and trying to repeat what i heard on the reel to reel tape recorder.
Wearing out the the dial chord on the wet and dry batteried radio, for the words of some song or other,
Usually a white noised piece of Radio Luxemburg broadcast,usually top of the pops, After this it was off to London, get a job, save the bob, buy the git, dream a bit, learn the chords, take to the boards,

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The Fontana Showband,

The next band i joined was The Fontana Showband.
I became the replacement for Rory Gallagher.
This band achieved some success. and during the time i was in the band we recorded two L P.s .
Tours of The U K followed and a stint in Germanys famous Star Club. Hamburg.
This was probably the most prestigious place to perform in at the time.
The Beatles had also giged this venue.
It became an honor to be able to say. i giged it. The Fontana Showband Played each and every Irish dance hall in all the major cities of the U K. where ever an Irish Community existed.


were based in north London

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Based on the success of the L.Ps The Fontanas changed name to

The Irish Freedom Fighters

The Irish Freedom Fighters.
Released two L Ps. The first one entitled Irish Rebel Songs, sold over half a million albums in its first two weeks of sale,
quickly earning the band the coveted silver disc,
This album was the fore runner for several other groups to do likewise, Bands like The Wolf Tones, The Barleycorn, and several others, The Wolf Tones and the Barleycorn achieved success, but none rivaled the original album sales of the Irish Freedom Fighters,
The band traveled through Scotland intensively, and also undertook tours of the U S
After receiving tremendous accolades at every point, they appeared on T V shows in Albany N Y. and did coast to coast broadcasts on Radio.
The tours became a feature of annual expectation for the fans, in New England. The outbreak of troubles in Northern Ireland put an end to the band, venues in Northern Ireland became off limits, and several Gigs in Scotland were picketed by loyalists, all shouting Fenians go home.and other un-mentionable chants
THE IRISH FREEDOM FIGHTERS were no stranger to controversy.

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The Impact Showband

The Impact Showband. Was the next band i joined.
It was a total turn about from playing Irish rebel ballads, to the latest in rock and soul music.
Featuring three brass instruments, guitar, organ, bass, guitar, and drums.
The Impact like wildfire whipped up a storm everywhere they went,
Playing both American and British Air force bases,
The Mecca Ballrooms cartel soon wanted the band, and soon the band became openers for some great music acts like.
The Remo Four, Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Swinging Blue jeans, The Walker Brothers, Kenny Ball, The Pedlars, The Animals, Jim Reeves, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, a never ending list.
A lot of styles were imitated by the band, So a decision was made to record an album.
Which became the only one recorded the band.
entitled Ireland Swings, by the Impact Showband.
During the first tour of Ireland playing The Associated Ballrooms group of venues, The band fell apart. due to managerial problems. Four of the boys just up and left.
Back to the big smoke of London Town. The boys soon found a new venue.
And a new band was formed

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The New Currency

The New Currency. was the next band i joined.
Which in effect saw three different set of personell changes.
This set of bands played most of its time as resident band in the Arranmore Ballroom, Balham, south London.
I had a great time with this band, It was a concrete, whiskey and fun time.
Only one single was recorded.
That was a cover version of a song called Approaching Lavender.
by Gordon Lightfoot. and became the B-side, a cover version of a song. entitled. Roly by Raymond Frogatt. These tracks were recorded at Jones recording studio Wimbledon.
Most of the time was spent rehearsing. While the object was to get the band to replicate top of the pops.
And everything else popular at the time.
As resident band we played support to all the big Irish Showbands who came over from Ireland.
Bands like.
The Dixies. The Airchords. Larry Cunningham. The Capitol Showband. Ollie Maloney. Kevin Flynn and the Editors.
Some of these were nice to work with.
Other bands especially if they had a record out.
Would act as if they were Super Stars.
We used to call them another ( shoulder chip band ).

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Frankie McBride and the Highwaymen

Frankie Mc Bride
Was the next band i joined.
We were based in Monaghan and Tyrone.
Frankie had a very good reputation as a country and western singer.
He had two hit records in the U K charts.
Five Little Fingers. which reached the number three spot, followed by another huge hit.
entitled Burning Bridges.
Frankie had worked for the Soloman organisation.
Who was responsiable for the emergence of Tom Jones.
Also the first real effective Pirate radio station. Radio Caroline
We played all over Ireland, to audiences of two to three thousand people per night.
Numbers of a lesser figure would indicate a slip in the bands popularity.
It was hetic and violent time, as the north of Ireland was a flame in turmoil.
Night after night on the way home from the gig. where ever it may have been.
We would be sujected to body searches, By both the British army, and the various Loyalists Militias.
All of the equipment would be taken out of the waggon, checked sometimes, and then we would hear them say, ye can start packing it now boys.
After the shooting dead of the Miami showband, i was happy knowing i was right at the time'when i left the band and called it a day.

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The Paddy Waggon

The Paddy Wagon Was the next band i joined.
A band formed by the McGettigan brothers from San Francisco.
This was a great band.
The McGettigan brothers had a dream to come to Ireland form a band.
Record some music. get a hit record. get on the Radio and T V.
They had an alloted time slot of a year. to achieve this.
But as things turned out it was achieved in six months.
Two singles were recorded.
The first recording was called a song entitled.
The Ghosts of the Molly Maguires
This is a song about the down trodden workers in America.
All about their fight to achieve a union for the workers.
On the B -sid was a song by Creedence Clearwater entitled Lodi
The next single was unplanned.
Entitled Sunday Bloody Sunday.
The song told the story of the massacre in Derry city by the british army.in 1972
It was written By Maurice McGettigan. himself a decorated vietnam hero
In its first few days it out sold all other records at the time.
Reaching the number one spot. Where it remained for weeks.
The band donated the proceeds of this record to the relatives of the dead and injured
The PaddyWaggon had achieve its objective. it was time to call it a day.

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The Big Four

The Big Four, Came together after the the Paddy Waggon ended.
Along with John Lehane, i decided to form a duo called The Half 8.
Then on a chance meeting with old friends Oliver Tobin and Finbarr Ring.
A new turn of events came into being.
Initially we were five, along with Tom Fox from Belfast.
we toured the East coast of America, as the Big Four, When the tour ended, Tom Fox returned to Belfast.
Now as a four piece, We played all around the counties of Cork / Kerry/ Waterford / Tipperary.
Soon we had a pretty repectable fan base built up.
So much so, that bands like.
Big Tom and the Main Liners, the Brendan Shine band. The Smokey Mountain Ramblers.
Had their management carefully check our gig schedules.
so as not to clash by playing too near our venue.
They had all learned the cost of doin so, by having small crowds.
If the Big Four were any where near.
They would have a bummer gig.
The Big Four were a fun band, doing some crazy antics on stage.
And we had to be crazy. as most of the places we played were freezing cold .
and when the crowds filled out the hall.
condensation would drip all over us from off the courrigated iron roofs.
No recordings of the the band were made during the two years of the bands excistence.
But we made a lot of friends.
And we still keep up the relationship to this day.
we had a motto on all of our publicity posters
The Big Four allways meet to please you.
The Big Four are allways pleased to meet you.

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The Kane Band

When the Big Four came to the point of no new way to turn. Oliver went a-head and formed the Kane band.
The first Kane band was a four piece.Consisting of Tadgh Dinneen. rythm guitar/vocals. Oliver Tobin. bass.
Don Browne. drums. and Oliver Kane himself on lead guitar/vocals.
This band was a light-weight. as regards what Oliver had in mind musically. so the decision was made, to revamp. And a more modern version of the band emerged.

With Don Browne on drums. and Christy Hurley on bass. the new band Kane was born.
It was a heavy rock band. and away ahead of its time. Basicaly a three piece. drummer. bass player. and lead guitar.
The band forged it way into places where this type of music was never played before.
The band played all over Ireland.
Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Killkenny were the fan strongholds. One of the most popular gig for the band was The Subway. an underground bar in McCurtain Street Cork.
This was the in-place of Cork City at the time.
The Boomtown Rats would do alternating saterday nights with us.
Our programme consisted of covers of Deep Purple. Pink Floyd. Gratefull Dead. Chicago. Status Quo. also alot of originals and such like.
The Kane Band did two tours of Holland.
Then Oliver released an original album entitled All My Own Work. on the Polydor label.
This was followed by a single release a song entitled Lets Go Riding on a Rainbow.

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Oliver Kane

The decision to work as a solo artiste came about during a tour of Holland, this again was a different version of the band.
Comprising of Don Browne on drums, Francie Conway on rythm guitar and vocals, along with Mike Grady on bass,
Gigs got very scarce for the band after the initial burst. All the members took on day jobs to survive.
Oliver returned home to Ireland, and continued to work solo, and all along the way colaborating with lots of different bands and musicians.

The West Cork Band

The West Cork Band. consisted of some musicians and singers.
Who colabrated to gig together as duo's trio's
Whatever combination it took to get the gig.
The band members as are follows.
Bass & Vocals......................................................Mick O'Donovan.
Guitar & Vocals....................................................Patrick'Donovan.
Guitar & Vocals....................................................Paddy Noonan.
Vocalist's..............................................................The Lawlor Brother's
Guitar Keyboards Accordion & Vocals.................Oliver Kane.
Guitar Bass.and Vocals.........................................Gerry Lane.

The O'Donovan brothers had their own band Country Pride.
Paddy Noonan plays in the Country Pride Band
The Lawler Brothers are a duo based in Bandon Co Cork.
Gerry Lane at the time, had his own band Drive-Shaft.
The West Cork Band. recorded one album, consisting of cover versions,
and some originals by Gerry Lane and Oliver Kane.
The West Cork Band.album was recorded in the Flor Griffin Studio Ballinspittle, Co Cork.

Celtic Fusion

Celtic Fusion. a touring band. Two guys from Limerick one guy from Cork.
The version of Celtic Fusion i played with lasted a month, which was a miracle in its self. knowing my own limits of endurance.
Don O' Connor............Vocals & Drums.
Daithi O' Connell...........Vocals & Violin.
Oliver Kane....................Vocals,Guitar & Keyboards.
Celtic Fusion, toured all over Sweeden during May 1994.
A few live recordings done during the tour excist.

The Oliver Barratt Band

The Oliver Barratt Band. i toured with this band , and also did some gig's at home also.
The band members at the time were.

Christy O' Connell..............Lead Guitar & Vocals.
Paul Moore.......................Drums
Oliver Barratt....................Lead Vocals & Bass.
Oliver Kane.......................Pedal Steel / Fiddle / Guitar & Vocals.

The Roving Irish

The Roving Irish. Certainly a touring band. a band made up of four friends.
all played in very different combinations.came to gether to do a promotional video.
And out of nowhere an offer of a tour of the USA ensued.
Roy McCarthy.........................Lead Guitar & Vocals.
Billy Kirwan............................Bass & Vocals.
Don Brown.............................Drums.
Oliver Kane...........................Accoustic Guitar/ Fiddle & Vocals.

The Traveling Dinglebury's

The Traveling Dingleburys. Now here is a band i could write a book on.
The sole purpose of this band was to enjoy the music, and all the trimming's
Gary O ' Dwyer...................Guitar & Vocals.
Jim Casey............................Banjo & Vocals.
Oliver Kane.........................Fiddle & Vocals.

Band pic'ts for now. story to follow.

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