Who are The Fógues?
The Fógues are a four-piece ballad group who hail from the Mitchelstown area, at the foot of the majestic Galtee Mountains. The band are comprised of cousins Micheál, William and Jack Fogarty, and their friend Ted O’Brien. The four men come from houses steeped in musical tradition, and a love for performance is in their genes.
Upon forming the group in 2017, The Fógues began performing in the many small pubs scattered around the mid-Munster region, often playing to capacity crowds wherever they went. Their set was always organic, lively and energetic, earning them a reputation as great entertainers, regarded as such by young and old alike. Success at Battle of the Bands and Busking competitions cemented their position at the forefront of their local music scene.
After a jam-packed Summer of gigs in 2019, the highlight of the season came when The Fógues performed to a full house at Indiependence Music & Arts Festival in Mitchelstown, playing on the Beer Hall Stage. Neither the band nor the organisers expected the crowds that turned up, but nevertheless, the group did what they do best and delivered a memorable show. The crowd went home smiling and wanting more.
After the roaring success of their festival debut, it seemed like a sign of bigger things to come for The Fógues. In the Autumn, they set about recording their first album. The group wanted to capture the energy of their gigs on record, and also pay tribute to the small, often tight corners in which they honed their skills. With that in mind, “Long Nights in Pokey Places” was born. The song takes the listener on a journey through the eyes of the band, offering a light-hearted insight into the life of a gigging musician.
The song and album were well received, gaining a good following and regular airtime on local radio stations. Summer 2020 was shaping up nicely for the lads, but alas, it was not to be. As happened to performers the world over, The Fógues were stopped in their tracks with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of that year. Like many others, it was back to square one and things went quiet for this ballad group from County Cork.
The lockdowns provided time for both reflection and creativity. While people had time to take stock of the things that matter most to them, many people missed the joy and craic that comes with live music. In the meantime, the group set about varying their set and writing some new material. By the time the restrictions were lifted on music venues, audiences were eager to see The Fógues again, and the lads were ready to deliver.
With new songs under their belt and an exciting new set in their arsenal, The Fógues took to performing in larger venues, selling out Parish and Community Halls in the same towns and villages they had begun playing in some years previously. Though it was a change to be playing to seated audiences who listened intently to their every word, The Fógues managed to give their patrons a rollercoaster of a night. From hearing a pin drop during a slow air to jumping out of their seats for a rousing new number, the audiences engaged enthusiastically and wholeheartedly with The Fógues in concert.
Having regained the momentum they had in previous years, The Fógues returned to Indiependence in Mitchelstown to finish out the weekend in the Beer Hall Stage. The group had high hopes after the last time, but the crowd and reaction at Indie 22 exceeded their expectations. Their set at this year's festival proved that 2019's success was not a flash in the pan, and that The Fógues are here for the long haul!
As they look forward to 2023 and beyond, the group are excited to be branching out to venues further afield, including some in the UK. Their second album is in the early stages of production and looks to build on the success of “Long Nights in Pokey Places”. The Fógues are in better nick than ever and look forward to pastures new in the future.
Go n-eirí an t-ádh leo!