25 years after their last Waterfall
'duo' collaboration, Keith Donnelly & Martyn Oram have reformed
occasional performances. Presenting an entertaining mix mostly
of their music from the late '70's,
they will be singing many of their own songs and some favourites
from the time,
including songs by Jonathon Kelly, Tom Paxton, Al Stewart etc
dynamic performance and fun! with guitars, violin, mandolin &
A concert of
nostalgia for those who remember, and discovery for those who
Birthday Party) Jan '03
FOLK ON THE FOSSE Jan '03
Keith and Martyn (with Maart on bass), Cropredy 2001
White Horse Folk Club, Leamington Spa, summer 1977
regular haunt for Keith and Martyn on Sunday evenings.
(note the first "Waterfall" poster, above Martyn's
In 1974, Keith Donnelly and Martyn Oram were
roomed together at Warwick University and found they shared the
same musical tastes.
They formed WATERFALL,
and became residents of the University Folk Club, mixing songs
by Jonathon Kelly, Gerry Rafferty, Al Stewart etc with traditional
ballads and tunes, and slowly began including their own original
After graduating in 1977, they
took the plunge and decided to commit themselves full time to
music. Joining an alternative country/rock band for 6 months,
called VAN DE HOOGS
(with MARTIN BELL,
later of the WONDERSTUFF), they quickly learnt all about PA systems,
and life on the road.
were still playing floorspots whenever possible in folk clubs
up and down the country, and in September 1977 they recorded their
first LP THE FLIGHT OF THE DAY at Woodbine
Studios, a 4 track studio built into the front room of Johnny
Rivers small terraced home in Leamington Spa. (Now available
on CD see discography).
In February 1978, Martyn and
Keith were playing at Lanchester Polytechnic Folk Club, in Coventry
when they were stunned by the voice of one of the floor singers,GILLY DARBEY, and so WATERFALL became a trio.
After another six months of floorspots
and self-promotion, WATERFALL began gigging full time, and on 1st November
1978 had their first national radio broadcast on BBC Radio 1s
Kid Jensen Show.
They recorded the LP THREE
BIRDS for the Avada record label in spring 79,
at Millsteam Studios in Cheltenham, produced by Johnny Coppin.
Constantly travelling the length
and breadth of England, playing in folk clubs and colleges, they
also toured in Germany, Belgium and Holland, where a live recording
of a gig at the Matrix Folkclub, Rotterdam was broadcast on Hilversum
In 1980, WATERFALL
began major support tours with The Hollies, Richard Digance and
Gilbert OSullivan. Overseas tours now included Cyprus with
Harvey Andrews, Dave Burland and Wally Whyton, Gibraltar with
the McCalmans, and ten days in Belize with Harvey Andrews and
Telephone Bill And The Smooth Operators (featuring Nick Barraclough,
now a Radio 2 presenter).
In Spring 81 they recorded
a new LP BENEATH THE STARS, at Gateway
Studios, London, produced by Phillip Goodhand-Tait, from which
Martyns composition MON
COUER EST LA was selected
for a 6 month play on British Airways world flights.
their first TV appearance in 1981 on BBC Midlands Dennis
McCarthys Weekly Echo, and then on 24th July, BBC
1 broadcast a half hour Waterfall In Concert. They
opened the 1981 Cambridge Folk Festival on Main Stage 1. In October,
they performed live on BBC 1s Pebble Mill At One.
Although critically acclaimed,
and very popular on the folk scene, WATERFALL
were unfortunately never able to
break out to a wider market, and the pressures of touring and
sharing lives saw the group split in February 1982. (Keith and
Gilly continued playing as a duo under the names Little
Aeroplane and then Nothing By Chance, but in
the '90s separated to begin solo careers.) For the rest
of Martyn's story, check the biography page.
There are lots of video clips of Waterfall on You tube.