In 2005, at the age of 11, Declan and Hugh commenced guitar lessons with local music identity Nick Proud – the Bass player of the Hobart Celtic band The Borstal Boys. Their confidence in performing in public grew through performing at backyard family jams where they came in contact with some of their cousins embarking on their own musical paths.
This confidence manifested when on New Years Eve 2005 Declan and Hugh made their first public performance, the intro for the track “The Mary Blacksmith” for The Borstal Boys and they shared the bill with the iconic Billy Bragg.
In 2006 The Foley Artists were formed comprising Declan Foley (guitar), Hugh Foley (banjo), Lachlan Foley (mandolin) and Hannah Foley (fiddle).
Fo-ley – n. A technical process by which sounds are created or altered for use in film, video, or other electronically produced work.
Fo-ley Ar-tist – n. Foley Artists create foley sound effects.
The fledgling group was guided and inspired by Nick Proud who encouraged the musicians to improvise, have a feeling for light and shade and instilled the concept of individual musicians within the band leading a tune in unexpected directions.
The band then established an association with Salamanca Market that is still strong today involving busking every Saturday outside Irish Murphy’s. The trademark image for the band for many years was Guinness caps. The combination of the band members’ age, mix of cool modern tunes, timeless popular classics, all played with a Celtic feel along with the more traditional Irish reels and jigs made our group an instant hit with the supportive crowds of both locals and tourists.