The Wolfe Tones

ALMOST half a century after forming, The Wolfe Tones are still at the top of their game, renowned as the world’s most popular folk and ballad group. Brian Warfield, one third of the group talked to DEBORAH JACKSON (who was very busy this week!) about their legendary career.


After being in the industry for 48 years, how do you manage to stay ahead of the curve?

The Wolfe Tones are unique in the sense that we don’t really follow trends.  We have a distinctive sound that more or less sets trends that have been copied by many Irish folk bands all over the world.  The fact that our music relates to the Irish situation attracts it to the Irish people and those people across the world who like a different style of music to Global Pop.  Our music will always have an appeal to anyone who has a little Irish in them.


What’s been the most embarrassing thing to happen on tour or on stage?

We were booked to play at a world title fight in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The promoter gave us the go to start the show, so we blasted off but in the middle of the first song the fighters came out and the ref requested the singing to cease.  It was all on cable TV. We could not believe that someone had got the timing mixed up.


What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming tour to Australia?

That’s easy, the people.  I think the old nature of Irish hospitality has penetrated deep into the Australian personality. In my experience of Australia I have found them to be the most generous friendly fun loving people I have encountered.  I just love you, what more can I say?


The Wolfe Tones play Melbourne’s Forum on March 19, Sydney’s Enmore on the 20th, Perth’s Burswood on the 25th and Brisbane’s Tivoli on the 26th.