THE BAD SHEPHERDS ARE:
ADRIAN EDMONDSON (Vocals, ‘thrash mandolin’)
Ade is best known as a comedian in The Young Ones, Bottom, and The Comic Strip Presents. Though he’s no stranger to the music world having played the Monsters of Rock and Reading Festivals with Bad News, the Hootenanny with Jools Holland, Hyde Park with The Who, and he’s toured with The Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band. He’s also had a No 1 single with Cliff Richard! And as a director he made lots of music videos in the 80’s for the likes of The Pogues, Squeeze, Elvis Costello and 10,000 Maniacs.
MAARTIN ALLCOCK (Twelve string guitar, bass, vocals)
Maartin is a multi-instrumentalist originally from Manchester, and is best known for playing guitar with Fairport Convention from ’85 to ’96, and for playing keyboards in Jethro Tull for four years. Maart has played on over 200 albums for people as diverse as Robert Plant, Cat Stevens, Beverley Craven, Judith Durham, Ralph McTell and Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Iwan! Besides the Bad Shepherds, Maart also currently plays for Swarb’s Lazarus and Beth Nielsen Chapman.
TROY DONOCKLEY (Uillean pipes, cittern, whistles, vocals)
Troy has built up a formidable reputation as both a Composer/Arranger/ Musician/Performer and as a leading virtuoso of the Uilleann Pipes. He’s released three critically acclaimed solo albums, is a member of Iona, and also finds time to record and tour with the likes of Maddy Prior (he has co-produced four albums), Barbara Dickson (produced two albums) Maire Brennan (Clannad), Midge Ure, Nightwish, Lesley Garrett , Roy Harper, Status Quo, Alan Stivell, Del Amitri and many more…
ANDY DINAN (Fiddle)
Andy won the All-Ireland Fiddle Championship… twice. He’s best known for playing with Toss the Feathers and Mike McGoldrick, but he’s also supported Dervish, Lunasa, Capercaillie and solo artists Martin Hayes and Liz Carroll. He recently performed at the Armagh Pipers club Festival with Mike and Ian Fletcher with a new project involving Portugese, Brazilian and Irish music.
MARK WOOLLEY (Bodhran, darabuka, cahon, whistles)
Mark has played percussion and whistles for many years with Dan Plews, Saul Rose and Guy Fletcher as part of English folk band Dansaul. He’s also shared stage and studio time with the likes of Jon Boden, Keith Hancock, The Family Mahone and Stefan Hannigan. He currently also plays with Full House. Though a brilliant player, the real reason he was invited to join the Bad Shepherds was because of his surname – ‘Woolley’.
HOW THE BAD SHEPHERDS CAME TO BE…
Adrian Edmondson was a teenager when punk arrived. The songs of The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers were the soundtrack to his life through the late 70’s and early 80’s, and like a lot of people of his generation he was fond of playing these songs to himself at home on his acoustic guitar.
Cut forward to 2007: after a boozy pre-Christmas lunch in Soho, Ade stumbled along to Denmark Street, home of many alluring musical instrument shops, and whilst inebriated, ‘accidentally’ bought a mandolin. Surprised to see it sitting there in his kitchen the following morning he nevertheless picked it up, worked out a few chords, and started playing the same songs with a mandolin accompaniment – it sounded really interesting.
He was touring with the Bonzos at the time and he brought his mandolin along, and with Neil Innes on acoustic guitar, they had a go at London Calling in the dressing room. It sounded good, but Neil said ‘What you need are some brilliant folk musicians.’ Ade got in touch with Troy and Maart and they were both immediately up for it. As soon as he explained the idea to Troy: ‘Punk songs with a Celtic feel.’ Troy replied ‘Why not The Model by Krafwerk as well? I’ve always wanted to play that on the pipes.’ They met for a couple of days to mess about with the idea. If it didn’t work they could all just walk away. But within the first hour they knew they were onto something. In the two days they drank numerous beers, ate 2 curries and arranged 8 songs – and the band was born.
Rehearsals followed, and then, bizarrely, a trip to St Lucia to test it out (off season, cheap flights, cheap hotels, anonymity). They threw themselves in at the deep end and did 6 gigs in 6 days. Just little bars. But it got them up and running.
Then they got fucked over by their manager/promoter and had their tour cancelled, though with hindsight seems like a lucky escape (it’s not worth saying too much about him as he’s already been very quick to threaten legal action).
They regrouped, found a brilliant new fiddle player and a percussionist, and now they are touring during December, and looking forward to the festival season in 2009.