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Whiskey in the Jar, one of the regions longest running and most popular Irish bands returns to Chorley soon to celebrate 25 years on the road, and the numerous occasions they have visited Chorley.

It was 25 years ago in August 1989, when Phil Taylor and Steven Bird arrived at the Farmers Glory in Haslingden for a gig, just to find that two of their band members were unable to play. But the show went on and when the landlord asked them back to repeat their performance as a duo; and Whiskey in the Jar were born. Over the coming year’s band members came and went, including All Ireland whistle champion Sean Moran, Chorley's favourite son Ian Grimes, fiddler Teresa Gowan, bassists Jeff Bickerton and Paul Walster, all rounder Stuart Thompson, as well as Chorley based guitarist George Harvey and Manchester's highly respected fiddler Frank Mallon. Now the line up is completed by Phil's daughter Samantha Court, raconteur Brendan Comer and fiddle player Jamie Knowles. All have played an important part in the band's success and popularity since.

So why Chorley Little Theatre for their 25th Anniversary Concert? It's simple really. Our first regular gig was at the Rose and Crown in Chorley, and soon we were playing in and around Chorley more than anywhere else, solely because it was where we felt most welcome. We met our friends Joe and Kath Singleton, both sadly deceased now, and along the way played to and enjoyed the company of hundreds of friends at the Rose and Crown, the Gillibrand Arms and a host of other Chorley venues.

We last played Chorley Little Theatre in the late 1990's at a memorial concert for Ian Grimes, he had been with the band for two years whilst still turning out for Chorley favourites, the Blue Water Folk. Over 200 people squeezed into the theatre for an evening of real joy, an experience our band have never forgotten and hoped for the opportunity again one day. Well that day has arrived as we play there on Friday 1st August.

Inevitably there will be some sadness that Ian and Frank, and Joe and Kath will not be there, we'll mark their passing in style though, but most of the remaining members of the band will be. Tickets are sale at all the theatre's usual ticket outlets and on the door, and at £10.00 each will help to raise some money for two local charities along the way. Derian House and St Catherine's Hospice will be receiving our support, and if we can fill the theatre this should enable both charities to share many hundreds of pounds.

For further details of the event, please see the bands website www.witj.co.uk or book via the links here.