Scullion (group)

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Origin Ireland
Genres Folk rock
Years active 1979 (1979)–present
Labels Mulligan Music, WEA, Dara Records, Kitten Records, Hummingbird Productions
Associated acts Tramcarr 88, Tír na nÓg, Radar

Scullion are an Irish folk rock band that formed in the mid-1970s. They were quite popular in Ireland, and released several LPs, and two CDs – the compilation Ghosts And Heroes on the Kitten label in 1992 and another compilation Eyelids into Snow – A Collection in 2001. The founding members were Sonny Condell (also a member of another popular Irish music band Tír na nÓg), Philip King, Greg Boland and Jimmy O'Brien Moran. O'Brien Moran left the band in 1980, after the first album. Robbie Overson, replacing guitarist Greg Boland, joined the band in 1987. Scullion continue to play live.


In 1976 Sonny Condell and Philip King played together with Freddie White (vocals and guitar), Mick 'Black Dog' Daly (vocals and guitar), Dan Fitzgerald (drums) and Eamon Doyle (bass). This band was a fun relief for the members, all of whom were involved in other group and solo projects. King came up with the name "Scullion" for this collective.

In the summer of 1979, former Tír na nÓg songwriter Sonny Condell (vocals and guitar) was sharing a flat in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin with Greg Boland (guitarist), whom he had befriended during the recording of Camouflage, his debut solo album on the Mulligan label. They were joined around this time by Philip King (vocals and harmonica) who, having decided to quit teaching for a career in music, had also become their flatmate. Boland had just left Irish band Stagalee and they began doing some informal gigs together. King had also approached Mulligan with the aim of securing a solo album deal but, as the trio's performances were being well received, the idea of combining the approach to Mulligan as a group became an attractive alternative. All that was needed was a collective name and it was decided to re-use "Scullion".

Early years[edit]

A record deal was agreed and in late 1979 the band went into Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, to record with producer P. J. Curtis. At Curtis' suggestion, Jimmy O'Brien Moran (pipes) was brought in to add a Celtic flavour to the sound and the band was expanded to four. The debut album, Scullion, was released in early 1980 and generated an increased demand for live performances. There followed a busy period of live performances, including an appearance at the Lisdoonvarna Festival in County Clare, which was to expand the audience base to national level. The band also spent a couple of months in the Netherlands, during which time they played some support concerts to John Martyn, whom they subsequently approached to produce their second album Balance and Control (1981) on the newly established Warner Bros. (Ireland) label. O'Brien Moran decided to pursue formal music studies at this point and the band reverted to a trio. They toured extensively up to the autumn of 1982. Early in 1983, they were approached by Nicky Ryan, who had just finished working as sound engineer and manager of Clannad. Ryan produced the third Scullion album, White Side of Night.

Mid-1980s onwards[edit]

In spring of 1985 the trio were approached to record and tour again. The result was Spin, their fourth album. The single Carol received very good airplay in Ireland over the next nine months, culminating in a performance at Self Aid on 17 May 1986. Shortly afterwards, Boland left the band after nearly seven years. He was replaced by Robbie Overson who is still the third member. In 1988, this lineup recorded the Cooler At The Edge EP which was produced by Donal Lunny. Two compilation albums Eyelids Into Snow – A Collection, and Ghosts and Heroes have been released, with both including live tracks.

In mid-2012, Scullion recorded a new collection of songs and released their new album, Long Wave, in September, their first album in 27 years.