Mention an Irish musical duo and chances are the first names that come to mind are Foster and Allen. Over the decades, they have become Ireland’s premier easy listening and country music duo and they bring their magical blend of Irish music to MECA on Friday 23 November at 6.30pm.
Both came from musical families and had started playing instruments at an early age. Tony Allen’s family loved music and encouraged Tony’s interest in it from a young age. In 1968, he turned professional, playing guitar and singing on a national level with many well-known Irish bands. While Mick Foster began playing the piano accordion at age 13. In 1964, at 17, he won the first of three All Ireland Accordion Championships.
Upon meeting they had the idea of playing "easy listening" music with a touch of traditional Irish instruments, and in 1975 the famous duo were formed.
They began working the local music circuits of Ireland and England and their reputation grew and grew. They recorded their first single ‘The Rambles of Spring’, on the CMR record label, owned by Donie Cassidy, with whom Mick and Tony have recorded up to the present day.
Their second hit, ‘A Bunch Of Thyme’ was recorded and topped the Irish charts in 1978. It wasn’t until 1982 that the single was released in the UK where it received huge airplay and their number 18 chart placing meant a prestigious Top of the Pops appearance.
They did their first concert tour of the UK in 1983 and this tour was boosted even more by the release of another huge hit, ‘Maggie’. In addition to tour of Ireland and the UK, Mick and Tony have toured the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania. They have even had their own television show on RTÉ, the Irish national television station.
Foster and Allen, supported by a very talented line up of musicians, produce the unique "easy listening" sound which has make them so famous world-wide. In 1996, the duo made their US debut with their single ‘After All These Years’, and phenomenal listener response drove continuous airplay across the country. Their popularity has continued to flourish and fans often travel long distances to catch their shows as they tour the country.
Over the years, Foster and Allen have released over twenty-four albums, including 18 Gold Award-winning albums, and eleven videos, all of which have charted in many different countries. This remarkable duo have a musical pedigree that is unsurpassed and Mick Foster and Tony Allen’s careers have lasted more than 30 years and they’re still going strong, with album sales in excess of 18 million.
Foster and Allen continue to scale new heights after over three decades in the music business. Their new TV show ‘The Foster and Allen Show’ on Showcase TV, SKY Channel 191, commenced on 24 September. They are the first Irish music act to have their own weekly TV series on SKY television.
Their new album’ THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION’ has just been released and includes a collection of all their hit songs and 12 new recordings. Foster and Allen are as busy as ever and are now on a 26 date UK tour with their new show.
Tickets to see Foster & Allen are £19.50 plus booking fee from the Swindon Visitor Centre (Central Library) on 01793 495527 or from the website: www.swindontickets.co.uk