Fearnley was the last guitarist for the Nipple Erectors, the London-based punk band fronted by Shane MacGowan. In August 1982, MacGowan brought Fearnley in to be the accordion-player for a group to play Irish traditional songs fuelled by the punk ethos. The Pogues took off into international renown and ditched 12 years later after the ejection of their lead singer.
Fearnley left the Pogues in 1993 and formed the group the Low and Sweet Orchestra which released the critically acclaimed album ‘Goodbye to All That’. After the demise of the Low and Sweet Orchestra, Fearnley co-founded ‘a band of one-man-bands’, Cranky George, with brothers Kieran and Dermot Mulroney. The Pogues reunified in 2001 and played around the world until 2014.
Cranky George‘s debut album – Fat Lot of Good – came out in October 2016.
Towards the end of his thirty-year career as accordion-player for the Pogues (with a break to emigrate and become a dad), Fearnley wrote a memoir of his experiences during the formative years of the band, called Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Pogues. The book was published in 2012 in the United Kingdom by Faber and Faber and in 2014 in the United States by Chicago Review Press. Here Comes Everybody is also available as an audiobook, read by the author.
In 2016, Fearnley composed the score for the independent documentary, Rebel Rossa, directed by Williams Cole. The film is a personal investigation into the life and legacy of the Irish rebel, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, by his American great-grandsons, told within the context of the controversies leading up to the centenary of the Easter Rising in Ireland.
Here’s the title track from the score: The Fools The Fools The Fools:
Click below to listen to ‘Hey Ho’, a song Fearnley recorded a number of years ago with John King (one half of the Dust Brothers producer duo responsible for the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique and Beck’s Odelay).