The Feathers were formed in 1987 after Dave Smylie met Pete
Carberry in Manchester's Bouzouki By Night. Joined by Michael
McGoldrick, Angela Usher and Martin Moylan, a session at The
Bridgewater Bar in Stockport followed and since the Mancunian
second-generation Irish group have become legendary on the Celtic
Eddie Sheehan replaced Martin
as guitarist and in 1988 Paul Usher (drums) and Dezi Donnelly
(fiddle) joined. Founding members, Angela and Pete left before
Chris Cormac (banjo/mandolin) made up the 5-piece.
Their debut recorded album, "Columbus
Eclipse", focused more on their traditional Irish influences
with many brilliant instrumental tracks and was released in
1989 to widespread acclaim.
The 1991 follow-up album, "Awakenings",
(which is also known as "Rude Awakenings") changed
tempo and helped earn them a large following in Europe, mixing
traditional with rock. Sean Reagan temporarily replaced Dezi
on fiddle and in 1992, with Jim Krawiecki, 'The Tossers' made
their debut performance at Manchester's Apollo Theatre, selling
out the 2,000 capacity venue.
Toss The Feathers have, with differing
line-ups, since gone on to play all over the UK, Ireland, and
the USA. It was in mainland Europe though that they enjoyed
their greatest success, practically living there in the early
1990's before returning home to Manchester. Dezi rejoined for
a short stint and Eddie Sheehan left before the release of their
brilliant 1995 album,"The Next Round".
'The Tossers' have always had
a large following and have been able to survive various line-up
changes since as well as accomodating solo success from Michael
McGoldrick. (He is replaced by Paul Daly when not available).
Toss The Feathers' unique mix
of traditional Irish music with rock will continue to win many
new followers (they have also recently toured Asia). TTF are
Manchester's most exciting Celtic export since Phil Lynott and
must be seen live.