Brendan, Anne and Samantha had been involved in the band Whiskey in the Jar for a number of years but we all had a desire to branch out and put our own stamp of passion into our music, so we set up our wee trio to express ourselves with songs and tunes that had special meaning to us. We played regular Sunday afternoons at the Albion in Bolton and Leigh Liberal Club and found a vehicle where we could sing songs we'd always wanted to sing but didn't have that opportunity.
We didn't actually have a name and had arrived to play at a gig, pulling up to the Sharon Shannon set of tunes 'Fire in the Bellies'. We were asked our group name and Fire in the Bellies just came out. The more we thought about it the more the name stuck as it was so fitting to the ethos of the band.
Fire in the Bellies
After building quite a reputation playing in fairly small intimate venues, Sam moved to another area with her beau Rob, young son and new baby on the way and decided it was time to take a break and change her direction but she was pleased to know we would carry on the journey, keeping the unique, passionate way in which we had evolved.
At this stage we were so fortunate to be joined by two of the regular Fylde Coat Irish session players, Steve on the Guitar and Paul on Tenor Banjo. Also another Paul joined with a great input on the bass guitar. This period broadened our repertoire immensely and also improved our own individual abilities. New regular venues were added to our gig list and new relationships were forged with people who have joined us on the journey
After helping us along the way with sound engineering and some good advice, Bass Guitar Paul has decided to move on and we now have Mike, another ever present at the Fylde Coast sessions, and a great contribution on fiddle and mandolin.
We also welcome regular contributions from Jerry, a fiddler and a bold Corkonian and Stuart, a multi instrumentalist and all round character!
The year 2018 has seen a marked improvement with the band. The repertoire has evolved and the confidence has grown. We play regularly at new venues and are often asked to play at weddings and other celebrations. Howard Bond has joined us and brought a new dimension with a strong vocal and some intricate fiddle work.
What seems to be appealing to an audience is what appeals to us and more than anything that's the obligatory dose of craic!