© 2012 Pete Fyfe


Last updated: 21st January 2015

It is with much sadness
that we have to advise
that Pete Fyfe passed
away  in 2015.

Riverdance - part 2


Spirits lifted (and copious quantities of Guinness!) we finished our set and on returning home I immediately wrote a note to check out the next morning if my suspicions were correct that Riverdance somehow involved Bill Whelan who had worked with Planxty on a previous Eurovision break scene-stealer “Timedance” in 1983. For those of you that hadn’t/haven’t experienced “Timedance” it was a joint performance coupling the music of Planxty and the choreography of the Dublin City ballet. To this day in one of those “Believe It Or Not” moments legend has it that one of the countries involved thought they were voting for the performance such was its power. For your records…Eurovision was won that year by Bucks Fizz and their controversial skirt ripping routine. I wonder what would have happened if the Dublin City Ballet had done that?


Anyhow, onto Riverdance and the influence it had on all Irish based bands. Firstly the feel-good factor affected us all and with the introduction of the O’Neill’s chain of Irish bars springing up throughout the country our ‘circuit’ was thriving. Gaz and I had been asked to ‘launch’ a ‘Plastic Paddy’ pub called Shamus (sic) O’Donnell’s (formerly and now returned to its original pub title of the Wig & Pen) in Southsea along with a donkey and a great landlord whose name unfortunately I can’t remember. Gaz never was particularly into pandering to the whims of organisers, the donkey being a prime example but we still managed to walk around the block a few times with the pub staff handing out leaflets while we played the obligatory “Wild Rover” etc. To be perfectly honest I thoroughly enjoyed the experience but then again…as Garry rightly pointed out…I would, wouldn’t I.


By now, Paddy Power (as those who got some sort of derisory enjoyment proclaimed it) had gripped the Nation and the O’Neill’s chain were in full swing.


Via an agent called Sean Brady, Gaz and I were to work the ‘circuit’ on a regular basis for quite a few years until we came to the conclusion that trying to get into London was taking up way too much time (what should have been a 40min drive often became a 2 hour nightmare!) and parking anywhere near the venues was practically impossible also bearing in mind the amount of gear we had to hump we weren’t doing ourselves any favours. OK, the money was good…but not that good and the hassle of working in confined areas with drunken students and business men was also another major concern. In the end we thought (correctly as it goes) that our performances would be better served out towards Kent and East and West Sussex. Firstly it wouldn’t take as much time getting to the gigs and secondly we wouldn’t have to put up with the boorish behaviour of many of the ‘customers’. How right (at least in part) this proved to be.