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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

"Some of the funniest men on the planet... parodists extraordinaire"
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). 

The Bar-Steward Sons front page

Founded in Barnsley Rock City in 2006 by their outspoken, energetic and enigmatic ringleader, Scott Doonican, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican are on a mission! Far from being your atypical 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. They have a talent for Bar-Stewardizing other famous people’s songs with new satirical comedy lyrics, on folk instruments, and to complete their outrageously understated image, this band of brothers-from-other-mothers have become instantly recognisable for their immaculate hair and their stylish choice of sexy knitwear.

A group that is both perpetually on the move, ever-evolving and joyously independent, they have played over 1250 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 their anarchic live shows and a fine selection of their greatest hits, including the likes of “Jump Ararnd”, “The Lady In Greggs”, "How Deep Is Your Glove?", "Paint 'em Back", "Walking In Manpiss" and “If I Could Punch A Face… It’d Be Justin Bieber’s”.

They 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 an award winning part of the brewery's core range of ales), they have sold-out six 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 the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury Festival, and to 20,000 people at Fairport's Cropredy Convention (twice!), 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?


As well as appearances at festivals and venues across the UK, including Glastonbury Festival, 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 also had the pleasure to collaborate with, tour with, support or share the same bill as many of the world's finest live acts from a wide range of genres, including (in absolutely no particular order):

Levellers, Fairport Convention, Frank Turner, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Darkness, Chas & Dave, The Flaming Lips, Bill Bailey, The Hives, The Selecter, Roy Wood, The Wurzels, Gipsy Kings, Shed Seven, The Blockheads, Afro Celt Soundsystem, Dreadzone, Mike Harding, 3 Daft Monkeys, Richard Thompson, John Otway, Nizlopi, Toyah,  Richard Digance, Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Tom Robinson Band, The Wildhearts, The Sweet, Focus, Chumbawumba, Simon Friend (Levellers), Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman,  T'Pau, Maartin Allcock (Fairport Convention/Jethro Tull), Tony Christie, Carter USM, 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, Spiers & Boden, Dave Pegg & Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention), Lil' Jimmy Reed, Urban Voodoo Machine, Primal Scream, Jeremy Cunningham (Levellers), Red Hot Chilli Pipers, The Undertones, Warmduscher, Seth Lakeman, Chris Difford (Squeeze), Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Proclaimers, Patti Smith, Show Of Hands, Sound Of The Sirens, Hugh Whitaker (The Housemartins), 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!


"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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