I have seen these young guys the 1st time in 1989
making Irish music from the heart in small clubs here in Germany
many people followed them because of the fun (de crack) as they called it
and then I'm hearing Country music, Blues music and Rock n Roll
It was like our youth been giving back to us for every boxtie show.
these young hippie guy's with a crazy great father all the way from Irland
with so much love, so much fun, so much music.
these guys have been together along time,
And the engine is still running
And by the look of things, the engine is running just fine.

written on a beer mat in mcLoughlins Irish pub in Dusseldorf
Jan Bachmann. 2009 de Stern

This was a great adventure..... Noel Flukie Gorman, Sean Gallagher, (The Father)

wee stories.....part 1

In the last century a little family band of 3 young cubs was formed,
they were trained in by their father to play irish music
a few reels & jigs, the odd slow air, and 1 or 2 high pitched Irish tear jerkers.
They entered the odd competition and played only at old peoples homes
and hospitals, it really was a blast....
by the way Pauric played guitar with James on the tin whisle
and wee Johnny had a mandoline given to him by his Grandpa (GAGA)
It was the perfect little skiddley diddley dee world. . . . . . . .
The twins were drafted to the local marching band,
Pauric had to learn the accordian and James remained on the whistle.
Wee Johnny was way too small at this time,
and there was no real call for a marching mandolinist..
The average age for the marching band was 14 -18,
anyway.... As wee Johnny was now a redundent and idle mandolinest,
he started drum lessons in the Oznaum house
with the legendary Jimi Gallagher from Omagh.
Jimi was an honourable member of the Irish Military Music Academy.
A great teacher, and hardy as nails.
He "lessoned" johnny for nearly 2 years
without a drum or stick, learning on a green Bagpipe box
with a pair of wooden sawn off spoons,
shouting repeatedly "if ya can bounce them spoons on wood son...
ya'l have na bother with sticks & skin".......

As it happened, an opening in the marching band came along as one of the drummers left,
When the kids became 16-17, some of them started to drift away. 
Johnny had his first audition, in front of all the other members and parents.
Mary Burns was the bands music teacher, she was great, and a class musician,
She ask's Johnny for the rolls, and blast's into the Dawning of the day
the 12 year old with the 2 spoons in hand... got the gig
a pair of sticks was bought and the uniform was made.

A few years of that was enough,
Running up and down the country, marching up through Glenties,
Parading around Athlone or Dublin and it pissin rain,
It was no craic, especially for its ageing contenders.
Playin the Dawning of the day & Roddy mcCorley soon became a pain... 
Although... oddly enough, The Magh Ene band really were quite good
But the uniforms were wild looking.

* * * * * * * * 

If i had a pound for everytime i was asked........

Where did the name come from....
Where did yis get the name.....
Why are ya called Boxty
How do ya spell
What is it..

So the times were changing,
Pauric James were now in secondary school.
Doc martins, loafers, spatz & brouges were the prefered footwear now,
The Gola & Admiral trainers were in the bin
along with the Moses sandles and the wellys.
Pauric and James become Ska heads they come home with The Specials LP's
Brendan mcGloin was hangin round the house in the same Ska-wear ,
Johnny was still only in 6th class,
but they all start talking about makin up a band,
obviously not with accordian and whistles.
none of them knew what they wanted to play,
but still told everybody they were starting something up.
Pauric spent the last few years playin piano box accordian,
he said he would try piano, even though Johnny was a drummer
Brendan wanted to be a drummer too, James liked the idea of the bass, 
Johnnys choice was limited to a banjo or a mandoline.
So he took up guitar.

The sanyoy 4 in 1 was the biz..... A record-player, radio & cassette player...
with a big red record-button, it had a little microphone on a 40ft lead.
you could record yourself anywhere in the house.
the lead would even let you down to the bottom of the garden,
the microphone had a pause button on it, this was great for saving tape..
The sanyoy was Ska by day and Pascal Mooney by night.
This recording machine was everything to us,
an amazing piece of kit, regarded with respect.
The very 1st boxtie recordings came from this machine
and still play the best......
Michael cunningham got a lend of it for a roller disco in Belcoo,
that was the last we saw
of it.

So its dinner at the Gallagher house one fine day,
Brendan mcGloin and GAGA included,
Mary say's with great interest in her voice
"OK Boys why dont you enter the next Opportunity Knocks with this new so called band" 
"yeah" Sean says,  thats a great idea..
get up of your arse's and do it for the craic....
So who's the singer ..... and who's going to play this
and who's going to do that, 
What instruments have you all in mind. 100 questions,  
anyway Mary had a propostition.....
We will help ye out and buy some equipment,
but under 1 condition...... and its this simple

"The band has to be called BOXTY"
Ah mother of the devine jaysus, your joking "No way, ah no, you are joking... No way did we want to be in a band called BOXTY.........
THAT SPUD STUFF fek-it that stuff we were rared on .
AHHH NO WAY... COME OF IT. NO-WAY,, its always boxty this boxty that.

But getting instruments and stuff for free could anybody refuse that..
We had already thought about other names like "Sons of Thunder"  
"X-S-nrg" "The floating Gabrials"  Red Led.

Needless to say, we took her up on the offer,
We took it thinking ! we'd be able to change it down the road sometime,
well maybe a few months after the competiton,
but it wasnt to be, and we didnt win either, didnt come close,
We were asked to play at small local events and old peoples homes mostly.....
the Nurses would take out all the hearing aids, sit back and enjoy the craic,
the old ones couldnt hear us but used to laugh there ass's off at us trying out
ZZ TOP and Ozzy... but a gig was a gig. 
All the other little benefits here and there came slowly, School discos and the odd pub.

* * * * * * * *
Heres a little bit of Irish folklore.

Paddy Farmer spoke these words on a live broadcast
for Radio Eireann from a mobile unit on the streets of Bundoran 1977.

They say it was invented by a Belcoo Fermanagh man, by the name of John Farmer back in the 1700s.
Invented so that it could be cooked, stored and furthermore easily hidden from the Redcoats.
And in those times, the only thing worth taking from a man was his house or his spuds,
and them Redcoats made great efforts in seeing to both.

So as legend has it.
A fella by the name of John Farmer came up with this idea
and been that he spent most his life fishing eels on Lough MacNean,
he was well experienced with the ways of salt.
Knowing he could preserve eels in a salted box for long periods of time.
he reckoned he could do the same with the spud.
So... his task was, to find a way, where he could, cook it, hide it and preserve it.
After much planning, his plan turned out to be very simple!
First he’d grate the spud, then mix it with flour to bind,
finally, he spooned it on to a hot frying pan in a large circular shape.
frying it on bothsides, his result was basic, a thin spud-dish simply cooked on bothsides . 
and by having them cooked flat, he could stack them high in the salt boxes.
The box could store up to four dozen pieces and could be kept in one of these boxes for quite a long time.
The salt served two purposes - preserving and adding flavour.
These old salt boxes could be buried for a number of weeks without the boxty spoiling.
So when the Redcoats came looking for the spuds, all they would find was a selection of auld bad spuds,
while all the good ones were cooked into boxty and safely hidden or buried.
Farmer wrote the letter T on each box ,to represent the sign of the cross, to bless it from all harms way.
The T was written in ash just like on Ash Wednesday.
The makin of boxty soon “caught on”. in areas around Leitrim, Cavan and parts of south Donegal.
There’s even a place high on the hills of Leitrim called Boxty Cloone,
“as good a place to ate it you’ll ever find”.
And then ye can boil it, make a loaf out of it,
but the most popular is the pan fried boxty salted with a bit of butter.
It’s the one we all know, and I have a lot of fond memories of making it and ate’n it.
So that’s it, that’s Farmers boxty story for ya.
The box with the T.
I was told that story by my own Grandfather when I was a small cub back in 1918,
it was Christmas and the great war had just come to an end.

Paddy Farmer .....Up Belcoo

Paddy Farmer is Pauric James & Johnnys Grandfather

The Boxtie family.

brendan mcgloin*, john flanaghan, johnny mulreany,
seamus moore, michael christie, flukie gorman, don ponasbys,
pauric tansey, fergal o'kane, pat mcgowan, marc mcguire,
kenny mcguire, kenneth macdonald, James mcNamee^,
michael mcguire, ziggy heilek, ivan dichavich, frank german,
lin dittman, paolo fratini, johnny le thang, phil duffy, raymie gallagher,
sven demandt, simon hunt, paul wurly, seamus gallagher, sean dorian,
michael christie.

all these guys are drummers,
each 1 here incredible and fantastic rhythm men,
professional in what they do and how they do it.
there are many more 1 nite stand drummers too which we havent named,
for the reason of leaving someone out..
but all the named drummers here played 7 nights and over
thats enough for anyone to claim that they played with someone.
for us and for them.

The piper & The fiddle
John Eamon Flanaghan an incredible musician uileann-pipes,
fiddle, whistle, guitar. A great guy with all Ireland medals for his music.
James mcNamee^ 1 of the finest fiddle players you'l get to hear,
a fluent player of the world famous Donegal style.

brendan mcgloin* handed in his sticks for a mallet & chisel,
becoming 1 of irelands leading mason and carvers,
so from been a great rock drummer to been a great rock cutter,
his pieces of art are continualy bringing him global success rock on brendan. 
Brendan also presented former President Mary McAleese with a piece of his work..

Bass men
What key are we in
Sean Gibbons, Stephen Gallagher, French Patrick Cereghatti,
Seanan Brennan,
Guus Strijbosch von emmen

Sound men and road runners
ken page, paul tighe, fergal drum, sean mccauley, gordon regan, hugh mcnamee,
herman, murph, sticky u-nen, danny clarke

All these guys were highly qualified in general beer-drinking, shots, shorts,
speed pinting, rolling rollys,
also great at pool and playing poker .
Getting well sauced while the band was playing was also common practice
And few of them were seldom able to pack the van
(but the craic was good...and they were good craic). 
Great times with great friends.


The Boxtie photo achive