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Tel 01202 434280 Alex or Noeleen

Meet the Musicians

Gill and Richard are our lead (or tune) players on fiddle and accordion and they lead the line extremely well. Both strong players, they come together beautifully for rich melodies and harmonies. They are underpinned by Noeleen and Alex on guitar /whistles and Bass/ Mandolin, who provide a full and driving rhythm to keep the whole together. There's nothing really clever about what we do, it's just 'full' and makes for an easy and exciting dance experience. With Richard and Noeleen you also get two great vocalists, so the band perform traditional songs between dances giving an added dimension to the evening.

pictures courtesy of Ben Stoney Photography


Noeleen Ryan-Smith

Guitar, vocals, bodhran, whistles and caller

Born in Plymouth of Irish parents, folk music is in Noeleen's blood and she learned her first songs at the knee of her accordion playing father. She started her musical career learning the recorder at the age of seven, which naturally progressed later to the whistle. She has played the guitar from the age of eight and also learned viola, but did not discover her singing voice until sixteen, initially singing in a church youth group. She was also an award winning ballroom,latin american and 'disco' dancer when young, till knee problems prevented her from furthering this particular talent. After years of singing in musicals and cabaret shows, both solo and in duos, she rediscovered her folk roots when Bob Smith asked her to join 'The Highly Strung Band', the forerunner of Murphy's Lore. She added the bodhran to her range of instruments and is now also calling for the band on a fairly regular basis. Noeleen finds playing music is much needed stress relief from her day job of secondary school teaching!


Gill Collins

'Sonic' Fiddle

Gill has been playing the fiddle since she was 13, also learning piano and the clarinet. Her mother was a singer and piano teacher and both Grandfathers had played the violin. It was all too easy to pick one up one day and she took to it straight away. In 2004, she heard about an Irish music session in a local pub, turned up one night and hasn't looked back since. "There are an endless supply of tunes, the audience can't sit still when they hear the music played and I get to play standing up for the first time!" she says.

We were made aware of Gill by Titch of 'Black Sheep' fame, she initially 'depped' with us, but became our regular fiddle player in 2008 and we haven't looked back since. Her enthusiasm is boundless!!


Alex Smith

Bass guitar, guitar, mandolin,stompbox and backing vocals

Brought up on a feast of folk music from an early age as Dad played in the local ceilidh band 'The Old Pull and Push', he broke with tradition during his rebellious teenage years and moved to the 'dark side' of electronic music. He began experimenting on keyboards and then guitar, and found himself playing with local band Small Time,Big Time. They had a near brush with minor stardom, most notably with an appearance (badly) at The Mean Fiddler and with more success at The Rock Gardens (twice). Well that's how he remembers it!

He was invited to play guitar by his Dad, Bob Smith in 'The Highly Strung Band' and is now a firm 'born again folky' although he still has a soft spot for eighties electronica and indie music. He gained some training in music whilst learning violin at an early age, but his guitar and keyboard techniques are mainly self-taught (he did a good version of Gary Numan's 'Down in the Park'!).


Richard Wirdnam

Accordion and Vocals

Venerable and wise accordion and keyboard player. Over the years he has been involved with many local dance and folk bands most notably 'Diggory Venn'. Richard is also a prolific composer of original and excellent tunes which reflect his diverse interests and influences, ranging from English Morris, through Celtic to East European Klezmer for which he has particular love. His original composition 'Estampie' which has a Breton feel has become one of our favourite ways to end the night. Also known to sing a song or two when in the mood (most weeks) and has a penchant for corny old jokes!! Always seen with a smile on his face. Also joined us us permanently in 2008 giving us an extra dimension.


Julian Gurr

Our regular caller, Bodhran

Julian bought his first mandolin in 1989 before a six-month trip to India, simply because he thought it would be lighter and take up less space than his guitar (he was right!) Little did he realise that this was the first step along a completely new musical path. His love of traditional music extends to the dancing for which much of it is intended, and he is our most regular caller. It also led him to form the duo "Four Hand Reel" with Andy Stone now sadly defunct. He has also in the past written about Celtic music for Folk on Tap, The Living Tradition, and Irish Music Magazine.
He brings massive energy to a nights dancing and is possibly best known for his use of the scissor kicks during his favourite, end of night 'Serpent Dance'

This our usual line up, although we have a small pool of reliable and talented musicians who are very able to fill someones shoes, often bringing a small piece of their repertoire and style to the evening



Accordion and Keyboards

A quirky, talented box player. Has a vast knowledge of all things, especially music and PA - Just don't get him started! Covers for Richard and gigs nearer Southampton.


Fiddle and Vocals,

A great and energetic fiddle player who also sings and has a love of traditional music. He can be seen and heard in many guises ably supporting other ceilidh bands, as well as performing with local 'comedy' outfit The Polly Morris Band. A regular at local folk clubs as a solo performer but also known to duet with his Mum Ruth, who was the original Sara in 'Sinnermen and Sara' fame

John Reeks


John occasionally helps out as a guitarist when Noeleen calls and we need a 5 piece band and he is not engaged with other acts. A great player who also plays with 'Celtic Confusion' and Swing Your Partner. In previous years has played with 'The Waifs and Strays' and 'The Bushwackers' He is well known amongst the local folk session scene.

Ceol agus craic!

Follow us...

1 Dec 2023

Salisbury - Church Christmas social- Private.

2 Dec 2023

Murphy's Lore Trio Returning to Steam Town Brewery, Eastleigh - A Saturday again for some folky tunes and songs. Come on down for some Craic - not just Irish but lots of great tunes and songs.

9 Dec 2023

Murphy's Lore Trio The Westbourne, Bournemouth 8.30 start.

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"A and L were telling me how it was one of the best nights ever, as they fell asleep! ... Thank you ! What a wonderful evening, MUCH appreciated by everyone !
Helen and Paula after Paula's retiremnt ceiidh.September,2023

"A big thank you for an excellent evening. We really enjoyed ourselves!
Sandra, after a barn dance for Ferndown RBL.September,2023

"We had a fabulous evening, thank you!...Thank you - it was brilliant....Thank you so much, we absolutely loved it x
Kay, Lizzie and Laura after Laura and Tom's wedding. September,2023

"Thank you so much! We had such a good time! Everyone said what fun it was! x
Jody and Simon, after their 'rewedding' barn dance. August,2023

"Thank you for another great night, great music from brilliant musicians and a great crowd..... It was a great night thank you all xxx....A brilliant evening, thank you! x
Jimmy,Leslie and Nicole after Jimmy and Christina's second family and friemd barn dance. July,2023

" Thank you so much for making our evening such a success, last Saturday! Many people commented on how good you were. Hopefully, I'll see you again, somewhere, in the not too distant future. x
Lesley, after a birthday barn dance. July 2023

" A huge thank you for playing at our wedding and helping make it such an incredible evening - You were all brilliant! x
Jonathan, after his and Mikki's wedding. July 2023

" Thank you so much for last night. I had a wonderful evening and have received lots of lovely comments from my guests. Noeleen did an amazing job, as did you all. Please pass on my thanks and I will look out for you at the Folk Festival.
Carole, after her birthday Barn Dance,May 2023

" just wanted to properly say a huge thank you for a wonderful evening on 5 May. Everyone there thoroughly enjoyed it and so many good comments on the band. Noeleen was brilliant in her calling and got everyone on their feet. Thank you again, your communication and contact prior to the date made it all stress free (apart from weather worries ! which of course all turned out ok) and if we hold another Ceilidh in the future you will be first on the list.
Susan, Tolpuddle Events Committee, after their Coronation Ceilidh. May 2023

" It was terrific! Loved it,as did all our guests. Thanks to Murphy's Lore
Michael, after his and Christina's wedding. April 2023

" It was an amazing evening, laughed and danced so much.. fabulous music/ singing .. looking forward to the next time x
Dawn. After a fundraising ceilidh for MND run by Louise prior to her running a marathon. February 2023

" Had a fantastic night!!! Thoroughly recommend this band
Sam. After her birthday Barn Dance. February 2023

" You were wonderful - what a great band!
Kevin, After Burn's Night Ceilidh, Woodgreen. January 2023

" (Mc)Murphys never let us down either! Brilliant evening - food and music could not have been better. Roll on March!
Shelagh, After Burn's Night Ceilidh,Milford On Sea. January 2023

" Absolutely amazing!!! Thank you so much for an awesome night!....Loved your music, and your patience walking us through the dances beforehand. It was a good fun evening and Theo was full of the Buffalo Gals dance even before he did the "arching" dance
Lorri and Susan after Lorri's surprise Birthday do. October 2022

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