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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | July 6, 2020

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50 years on: The Wolfe Tones come to Brisbane

50 years on: The Wolfe Tones come to Brisbane

| On 02, Jan 2014

To celebrate half a century of playing music, the Irish folk legends, The Wolfe Tones are touring Australia this month.

From their humble beginnings in rural Ireland, they have gone on to perform in front of wild fans all over the world.

The band was formed by brothers Derek and Brian Warfield in 1963 after they were discovered by a Canadian television talent scout, signalling the beginning of their rise to fame.

In true Irish fashion, the now trio (consisting of Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle and Tommy Byrne), use a variety of folk instruments including the banjo, guitar, tin whistle and bodhrán – a traditional Irish drum.

Not only is their music world-renowned, but so too is their message as The Wolf Tones are often described as ‘Irish rebel music’; many of their songs about Irish history and republican political views.

Some examples are ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’, ‘Rifles of the IRA’ and ‘Men Behind the Wire’.

However, you don’t need a university degree in European history or an opinion on Irish politics to enjoy this band.

The Wolfe Tones: Image courtesy of

The Wolfe Tones: Image courtesy of

Their music is traditional and lively with thick Irish accents present in their singing.

Supporting The Wolfe Tones is singer-songwriter Duke Special (whose real name is Peter Wilson) who has opened for several well-known acts such as Crowded House and Snow Patrol.

Based in Belfast in Northern Ireland, Duke Special’s sound is quite a contrast to The Wolfe’s Tones traditional tunes.

Duke Special plays alternative pop music with a very strong modern flavour with Wilson himself usually playing the piano while singing.

However, like The Wolf Tones, Duke Special uses a variety of instruments on stage including cheese graters and egg whisks but also conventional instruments such as saxophones, drums and guitars as well.

Fans of tradition folk music should definitely enjoy what is truly a musical milestone as there are few artists who can claim to have been performing for 50 years and still going strong.

The Details:
The Wolfe Tones live 50th anniversary tour
Where: The Tivoli, 52 Costin Street, Fortitude Valley Brisbane
When: Sunday 19 January, doors open 7pm.
How much: $66
More Info: For tickets visit