The origins of the Maglory Dengluch were in a jug band in which Pete and Michael played, called The Versatile Mind Of Fred Probert. We teamed up to perform Roddy McCorley, as part of a play, with Quintin Pink, who fronted an Irish Folk Group in which Kerry sang; and as a result the four of us became the first line up of Maglory Dengluch, the name coming via Kerry as a bastardisation of an Irish phrase that means “swinging testicles”.  

Quintin fairly quickly went on to other things, and John came in to round out the group: Kerry to sing (and to play kazoo when we couldn't hide it from him), Pete on lead guitar and mandolin (and occasionally harmonica), John on rhythm and bass guitar, and Michael to play a range of instruments including tin whistle, 5-string banjo, Appalachian dulcimer,Turkish sas, harmonica, kazoo, washboard and jug.

We played Irish music that neither Kerry nor John had ever heard before (neither having a background in traditional music, as Pete and Michael did), which contributed to making a different sound for these songs.  We took songs from groups like Sweeney's Men, The Johnstons, and Finbar and Eddie Furey who were active in Dublin but were then little known in England.  These were supplemented by contemporary folk songs - we managed to acquire Dylan and the Band's Basement Tape Acetates in 1968, and we did several of them -  some jug band numbers, and some of Kerry's original repertoire (hence 'Summertime').

We performed often at the Cambridge Town Folk Club; quite a lot as a cabaret act at 21st Birthday and similar parties (as well as a couple of May Balls); and at the odd concert - the highlight being as warm up group for The Johnstons, in their only Cambridge gig, in 1969.

Kerry has claimed that he developed his patter between songs, another feature of the band's performances —'stage Irishman stuff'—for a very practical reason: 

 "The manager of the band (i.e. Michael) was a talented musician who could play a dozen instruments but was absolutely tone deaf.  As a result, band members had to tune their instruments to him which took some time, so I started telling stories between songs and haven’t stopped doing so to this day".  (A Life in 5 Acts).

In fact (Michael's version) the tin whistles and harmonicas were in different but unalterable pitches, so we had to retune every time we switched between them. This had a material influence on the order in which songs were played!

However, in late 1969 the end was in sight, as we neared the completion of our degrees and went off in different directions (see the page 'The Intervening Years').   Before we did so, Michael's mother generously funded the  recording and production of 99 copies of the first LP,  'The Maglory Dengluch'.  Friends did the distinctive photography and screen printing.  

Ninety two of these records were sold to friends and families, at 22/6d. each (£1.15), thus enabling us to give her back her £100 investment.

Two of the remaining mint and unplayed records, from a batch of three that Michael had sold to Chris McGranaghan of Those Old Records, have been presented on e-Bay, and have sold for silly amounts. The other five mint records are NOT FOR SALE!

Here are the songs on the extended Cambridge Years CD

Leezy Lindsay
They'll Never Get Their Man
Eileen Og
Spend My Money Along With Sally Brown
Flowers In The Valley
The Medley
Log Cabin Home In The Sky
Come By The Hills
O'Carolan's Concerto
My Dearest Dear
Summertime
The Curragh Of Kildare



 

Roddy McCorley

Johnston's Motor Car
John Wesley Harding
Sullivan's John
Rattlin' Roarin' Willie
Jenny's Welcome To Charlie / Muirsheen Durkin
The Clerk's Complaint*
Anathea*
Boots of Spanish Leather*
Many A Mile*
The Gallant Frigate Amphithrite*


*sung by Michael