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"The greatest thing to come out of Barnsley,
since the A61 to Sheffield"

Jarvis Cocker, musician

"Always enjoy the boys from The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican. When the North goes independent I am suggesting ' Too Good To Be Jus' is our national anthem. Great fun"
Jason Manford, comedian

"The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican are very, very funny... parodists extraordinaire. One of the hardest working and best live acts on the planet ATM. Bringing light to dark corners and joy to babes and toothless mumblers alike. Lovely stuff."
Mike Harding, comedian, folk-musician, author & broadcaster


Put on yer finest knitted gladrags, style your barnet, put on your dancing shoes and bring your finest singing voices, as we cordially invite you to witness the Greatest Show On Earth (in tank-tops). 

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Founded in Barnsley Rock City in 2006 by their outspoken and energetic ringleader, Scott Doonican, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican are on a mission! Far from being your typical folk ensemble, this cult-like collective of like-minded knit-wear enthusiasts are determined to follow in their spiritual father’s immortal footsteps and keep his legacy alive. Scott and his brothers-from-other-mothers, Alan Doonican, Mo-Jo Doonican, Dave Doonican and Rt. Rev. Jeremiah Rickenbacker Doonican III, have quite the talent for Bar-Stewardizing other famous people’s songs with new satirical comedy lyrics, on folk instruments. To complete their outrageously understated image, the Doonicans have become instantly recognisable in festival fields and venues up and down the country for their immaculate hair and their stylish choice of sexy knitwear, and instantly memorable for their lairy, no-holds-barred, anarchic live shows.

A group that is both perpetually on the move, ever-evolving and joyously independent, they have played over 1300 side-splitting shows to date, and have brought smiles and belly-laughs to audiences across the UK; from Barnsley to Barnstaple, from Glastonbury to Glasgow. They continue to wow audiences with a fine selection of their greatest hits, including the likes of “Jump Ararnd”, “The Lady In Greggs”, "The Devil Went Darn To Barnsley", "How Deep Is Your Glove?", "Paint 'em Back", "Goat Yoga", and “If I Could Punch A Face… It’d Be Justin Bieber’s”.


Over the last 18 years, The Bar-Steward Sons have written and recorded eleven studio albums, independently released over 40 live recordings, successfully crowd-funded nine separate independent vinyl releases, played on top of mountains, wowed-festival goers across the length and breadth of the UK, had six different beers brewed and named in their honour by four different breweries (one of which, 'Doonicans' is a SIBA Gold and Silver award-winning part of the brewery's core range of ales), they have sold-out seven consecutive shows on a Mississippi paddle-steamer on the Norfolk Broads in less than 20 seconds, hosted their own sell-out music and comedy festivals, written & performed in their own musical, are featured in the Experience Barnsley Museum Music Archives, hold the bar-takings record for at least ten theatres, have been the recipients of six different individual awards as voted for by the public in the Barnsley Music Awards, played to 20,000 people at Fairport's Cropredy Convention (twice!), the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury Festival (twice!), recorded collaborations with the likes of Frank Turner and Eliza Carthy, and even scaled the dizzy heights of a #1 and a #2 single and a #2 album on the iTunes Comedy Charts (plus a National chart position in the Top 100)!  That's not too shabby for a daft little unsigned comedy folk band from Barnsley, who manage themselves, eh?

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The Bar-Steward Sons promo pic 2023.jpg
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Since February 2024, the band have become something of a 'flexible collective', meaning that they can function as a fabulous five-piece band, but can also work very comfortably as a four-piece, three piece, a duo and also with Scott Doonican as a solo performer. This exciting development, keeps their act as fresh as ever, has allowed them to clock-up even more shows, and with all members having the ability to play a multitude of instruments, the sky is pretty-much the limit for Barnsley's favourite sons heading into a colourful future.


As well as notable appearances at festivals and venues across the UK, including Glastonbury Festival (pictured above), Fairport Convention's Cropredy Convention, Cambridge Folk Festival, The Levellers' Beautiful Days Festival, Bearded Theory, Rebellion Punk Festival, Kate Rusby's Underneath The Stars Festival, Wychwood Festival, Warwick Folk Festival, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Towersey Festival, Watchet Live, Wickham Festival, Camper Calling, Lindisfarne Festival (and many, many more), they have been versatile enough to tour with, support or share the same bill as many of the world's finest live acts from a wide range of genres (from folk and jazz to punk and metal), including (in absolutely no particular order:

Levellers, Fairport Convention, Frank Turner, Lulu, The Darkness, Chas & Dave, Bill Bailey, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Flaming Lips, The Hives, The Selecter, Roy Wood, The Wurzels, Gipsy Kings, Shed Seven, The Blockheads, Afro Celt Soundsystem, Dreadzone, Mike Harding, Toyah, 3 Daft Monkeys, Richard Thompson, John Otway, Richard Digance, Graham Oliver (Saxon), Nizlopi, Tom Robinson Band, The Wildhearts, The Sweet, Focus, Chumbawumba, Simon Friend (Levellers), Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, Maartin Allcock (Fairport Convention/Jethro Tull), Tony Christie, Carter USM, T'Pau, Bananarama, Matthews Southern Comfort, Ben Ottewell (Gomez), Martin Carthy, Level 42, Billy Bragg, The Pretenders, Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls (The Wonder Stuff), Dub Pistols,  Mark Chadwick (Levellers), Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets), Danse Society, Patti Smith, Spiers & Boden, Dave Pegg & Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention), Lil' Jimmy Reed, Primal Scream, Urban Voodoo Machine, Jeremy Cunningham (Levellers), Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Seth Lakeman, Warmduscher, The Undertones, Chris Difford (Squeeze), Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Skindred, The Proclaimers, Lulu, Kate Nash, Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Show Of Hands, Sound Of The Sirens, Hugh Whitaker (The Housemartins), Amyl & The Sniffers, Jane's Addiction, Haircut 100, Gilmore & Roberts, The Bay City Rollers... and even Dick & Dom!

The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican can’t wait to bring their shindig to a festival field or venue somewhere near you and they promise that they WILL rock you…

but gently!

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"When you entertain the public, it's no good just having good music or singing, you must also have entertainment value, so people will go home having had a good time."
Val Doonican

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