Blackthorn Band

If you are looking for lively, melodic Celtic tunes and a good singalong, Blackthorn are for you. All the band are multi-instrumentalists, and can provide a varied and traditional feel to the music.

...Everyone had a brilliant night and loved the music and dancing...

...The ceilidh itself was a fantastic success and everyone was wishing they could carry on dancing all night...

Listen to Blackthorn Band

Blackthorn Band's Bio

If you are looking for lively, melodic Celtic tunes and a good singalong, Blackthorn are for you. All the band are multi-instrumentalists, and can provide a varied and traditional feel to the music.

Blackthorn’s music is led by strong flute, whistle and fiddle melodies, backed by guitar and bouzouki rhythms and contrasted with the sounds of concertina and their many other instruments. They have performed at many folk and arts festivals including Sidmouth Folkweek where according to “Blackthorn were one of the best bands on offer during the whole week. ..Have them back next year!

Blackthorn perform their melodic brand of Irish, Scottish and English traditional music at festivals, folk clubs, weddings and functions and private parties. Founder members Fergus and Mannie McClelland have been performing traditional music for many years, and also play in ceildh band ThingumaJig. Philippe Barnes – a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards joined in 2001, Alex Percy – also a member of young upcoming folk band Beltaine, stars of several major festivals, joined in 2003 and the line up is completed by the return from the USA of Sarah Mooney.

“Far From Home” – Blackthorn’s debut album, and a collaboration with whistle maker Phil Hardy – was released in March 2004, their second “The River That Runs Below” came out in 2008.

Mannie McClelland – Concertina, Bodhran, Dance calling

Fergus McClelland – Vocals, Bouzouki, Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Melodeon, Banjo

Alex Percy – Guitar, Fiddle, Bass

Sarah Mooney – Flute, Low Whistle, Guitar

The band is also available with as a larger line-up with the addition of Philippe Barnes on Flute, Whistle, Guitar, Bodhran.



  • Londonderry Air
  • For Ireland I’d not Tell Her Name
  • Carolan’s Draught
  • Carolan’s Concerto
  • Give me Your Hand
  • Women of Ireland/Legacy


  • Love Will you Marry Me/Byrnes
  • Alexander’s/Off to California
  • Joe Cooleys/Fairy Hornpipe
  • Cronin’s/Flowing Tide
  • Dance of the Honeybees
  • Harvest Home/Boys of Blue Hill
  • Homebrew/Homeruler/Kitty’s Wedding
  • King of the Fairies


  • Banks of Loughgowna/Roaring Barmaid
  • Bill Harte’s Favourite
  • Calliope House/Da Brig/Foula Reel/Glasgow City Police Pipers
  • Clare Mann/Rolling Waves/Stan Chapman’s
  • Cock of the North/Hundred Pipers/Majot McKie’s
  • Morrisson’s
  • Eavesdropper/Out on the Ocean
  • Gander in the Pratie Hole/Humours of Ballymore
  • I want to be Near You
  • Out on the Ocean/Tripping Upstairs
  • Oyster Girl/Guid Man
  • Maid Behind the Spinning Wheel
  • Old Hag you have Killed Me/Shandon Bells/Kesh
  • Hullichan Jig/Mucking O’ Geordie’s Byre
  • Planxty Johnson
  • Banish Misfortune/The Blarney Pilgrim
  • Sweets of May/Dingle Regatta
  • Kathleen Hehir/Atholl Highlanders
  • Tom Billy’s/Coppers & Brass
  • Gold Ring

March / Mazurka

  • Marie’s Wedding
  • Sonny’s Mazurka Set
  • Shoo the Donkey (Warsoviana)
  • 42nd Highlanders/Bonnie Lass of Fyvie
  • Scotland Brave/No Awa/Rowan Tree/ScotBrave
  • Tipperary/Pack up Troubles/Dolly Grey
  • Slieve Aughty/New Caledonia/Thistle of Scotland


  • Chieftains 3 Polkas
  • La Russe/Jenny Lind
  • Johnny Leary’s Polkas
  • Maguire’s Favourite/Maggie in the Wood
  • Murphys/£42 Cheque/John Ryan’s
  • Tip Top/Quaker/Walter Bulwer’s
  • O Sullivan’s Polka Set


  • Blanchland Races
  • Botton of the Punchbowl/The Duke of Perth
  • Dashing White Sargeant/My Love She’s But a Lassie Yet
  • Dorset Four Hand/Jimmy Allen/Salmon Tails
  • Haughton House
  • Humours of Ballyconnel/Golden Keyboard/Speed Plough
  • Far From Home/Foxhunters Reel
  • John’s Reels
  • Junior Crehan’s/Revies No9/Music in the Glen
  • Kicking up the Carpet
  • Lad o’ Beirnes/Branholm
  • London Lasses/Torn Jacket
  • Merry Blacksmith/Silver Spear
  • Miss Thompsons/Westwind
  • Mountain Road/Cooleys/Jacksons No2
  • Musical Priest/ Wise Maid
  • Nancy
  • Navvy on the Line/The Charlwood Reel
  • Nine Points of Roguery/Star of Munster
  • Paddy Taylor’s/Old Blackthorn/Frank’s Reel
  • Revies No9/The Boy in the Gap
  • Sally Gardens/Mason’s Apron
  • Sleep Soond/Galley Watch/Spirit of Whiskey
  • Soldier’s Joy/Fairy Dance
  • Starling on the Wall/Miss Monaghan/Ladies Pantalettes
  • Trip to Herve’s/Trip to Windsor
  • Trow’s/Spootiskerry/New Rigged Ship
  • Jacksons No 1/Jacksons No 2
  • Sally Gardens/Masons Apron
  • Whinham’s Reel/The Herd on the Hill/Because he was a Bonny Lad

Circle Dances/Horas

  • Havanagila
  • Djatchko Kolo


  • Orange and Blue/The Smith’s a Gallant Fireman
  • Mudgee/Rigs of Marlow


  • O Keefe’s/Denis Murphy’s
  • John Kelly’s / Going to the Well for Water
  • Merrily Kissed the Quaker/Con Cassidy’s

Slip Jigs

  • Snowy Path/Foxhunter’s Jig
  • Rocky Road/Another Jig/Foxhunter’s Jig


  • Henry McDermot Roe
  • Hewlett/Planxty Irwin
  • Si Bheag Si Mhor/South Wind/Fanny Power
  • Margaret’s Waltz
  • Tommy Bhetty’s/Munster Cloak
  • Tramps & Hawkers/Banks & Braes
  • Neil’s Waltz/Fakenham Fair
  • Catalina


  • All for me Grog
  • Banks of the Sweet Primroses
  • Black is the Colour
  • Black Velvet Band
  • Brown Eyed Girl
  • Bonny Lass of Fyvie
  • Carrickfergus
  • Cliffs of Dooneen
  • Cunla
  • Cockles & Mussels
  • Come All YOu Fishermen Bold
  • Curragh of Kildare
  • Dirty old Town
  • Fields of Athenry
  • Galway Bay
  • If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  • I’ll Tell me Ma
  • Irish Rover
  • Island of St Helena
  • Isle of France
  • Jock Stewart
  • Johnny Sands
  • Jolly Beggarman
  • Just as the Tide was Flowing
  • Leaving of Liverpool
  • Loch Lomond
  • Mairis Wedding
  • Mermaid
  • Moonshiner
  • Murshin Durkin
  • My Lovely Rose of Clare
  • Neat Little Bunch of Rushes
  • New York Girls
  • Nutting Girl
  • Paddy Lay Back
  • Peter’s Dream
  • Rambling Rover
  • Sally Gardens
  • Sally MacLennane
  • Seven Nights Drunk
  • She Moved Through The Fair
  • South Australia
  • Star of the County Down
  • Sweet Nightingale
  • Sweet Thames Flow Softly
  • What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor
  • When You Say Nothing at All
  • Whiskey in the Jar
  • Wild Colonial Boy
  • Wild Mountain Thyme
  • Wild Rover
  • Yarmouth Town


Dear Pete
Just to say that it was really great having you guys play at our Medieval Fete! It added that important ingredient of atmosphere – it was SO great to have the live music. What you provided was exactly what I was looking for. …. It was a perfect day and you guys were the icing on the cake! Thank you!!!”


“Dear Pete, Mannie and the rest of Blackthorn Band
Just a quick note to say a massive “Thank You” for playing at our wedding at Northease Manor. It really provided a perfect finish to a perfect day. We really appreciate you learning “My Lovely Rose of Clare” for our first dance and thought it sounded beautiful. The ceilidh itself was a fantastic success and everyone was wishing they could carry on dancing all night (ourselves included!) We are very glad we chose you to play on or special day and hope we have many more occasions in the future with dancing and music like this. Kind regards….”

“Pete et al,
I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for our S. Patrick’s evening last Saturday. Everyone felt that it was a great evening and that the band were amazing! So well done and thanks again for a lovely evening.”

“Hi Pete
I wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you all for Saturday night. Everyone had a brilliant night and loved the music and dancing. You were great so thank you very much!”

“Dear Pete
I would like to thank you for helping to make my birthday celebration on 15th Nov such a wonderful night to remember. The music was excellent and together with Mannie calling made dancing hard to resist. Those who didn’t venture onto the floor said how entertaining they found the whole evening. Stuart & I are delighted to have discovered your band. We will be on the lookout for any live performances in and around London. Please pass on our thanks to the other members of the band.”

“Pete and other members of Blackthorn
I just wanted to thank you so much for such a fabulous evening at our wedding at Winchester House, Putney on 13th September. You exceeded every expectation and managed to pack so much life and enjoyment into the evening despite the late start. I hadn’t imagined that so many people would want to dance and you coped brilliantly – there were family and friends dancing that have never been seen anywhere near a dance floor before. All the messages from our guests have said how much they enjoyed the music and dancing. We had a number of folk fiddlers and ceilidh veterans in the crowd so consider that praise indeed. Once again many thanks and hope to come across you somewhere in the future. Best wishes”


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