Another of my Heroes

It’s not secret that Gary Moore is a huge hero of mine.

Who else gets this kind of adulation from me?

Francis Dunnery.

Now some may indeed be saying Who? Others may have had to endure my gushing and waxing lyrical in lessons and are now rolling their eyes again.

Francis is simply one of the most talented individuals these shores have produced in a long time. Bare in mind these shores produce THE most talented individuals. We have The Beatles and Led Zeppelin to start with.

I first encountered Frankie when I was about 16 and he appeared on Ch4 show called Twang Bang Kerrang about guitars. He was in the studio recording guitars for the It Bites track Once around the world. Something about what he played just caught my attention.  I acquired the album and the album preceding that, Big Lad in the Windmill.  Teenage me played those tapes to death.  I couldn’t play any of it, but the sound and the feel entered by osmosis.  I managed to see It Bites play a few times live with Francis and they were fantastic gigs. I was most taken with the clarity of the live sound. Not loud for louds sake, but clear and precise.

Next time Francis popped up on my radar I was working at Guitar Village. His manager at the time was local to us and was arranging instruments and such for a session he was doing at a local studio for his solo album, Fearless.  So one day he wanders in to the shop, up to the counter and says “Can I speak to Geoff, Kevin said to come in, I’m Francis”   My reply being .. “yes I know I have a 6ft poster of you on my wall ” .  He stayed for about 1 hr and I asked a ridiculous number of nerdy questions. He graciously answered and showed me a few licks.  FRANCIS DUNNERY IN FRONT OF ME SHOWING ME STUFFF OOOMMMFFFGGGGGG!!!!

Anyway, back to the important stuff. Why should you be interested in him?

With It Bites, Francis was initially seen as a phenomenal guitarist with a distinctive singing voice. Not many singers sing with their regional accents.  It Bites were/are a British prog band with heavy pop leanings. More importantly  they wrote excellent songs.

Francis goes solo. The guitar playing became less “flash” but the songs remained.  Having everything this man has done, I can tell you, that what we have here is a PROPER songwriter. The real deal, someone who can sit in there with Chris Difford, Justin Currie, et al, as some of the best and most crafted song writers these shores have.

He also acted as a sideman for a couple of other notable musicians, Lauryn Hill, Ian Brown, Santana, Steve Hackett, and a little known fella called Robert Plant. ROBERT PLANT.. FFS is there a bigger gig to get???

The solo albums continued, and being a progressive musician, he progressed. Not content to make the same album twice, it changes everytime. Acoustic, Electric, Electronic, re workings. Just when you think you know what he’s doing, you don’t. He’s ahead of you, don’t try to guess what he’ll do. Just understand that the songs will be memorable and the musicianship will be top notch, and for me that is what ticks my boxes for a musician.  Some bands make the same album over and over , because if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. However, if you already have a album that sounds a certain way, well just listen to that, you don’t need another one a bit like it.

This said, I’m sure you now just want to hear if it is for you. Maybe give all these a try , because as I said, he changes so you might just find what you like.











There are many many more tunes to enjoy.


You need to visit either :


And last but by no means least


Listen to his radio show/ podcast.


I haven’t even touched on his psychological work and Astrology.




~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on April 28, 2017.

One Response to “Another of my Heroes”

  1. I have always LOVED that moment when you hear a piece of music for the first time & the frantic world around you stops for a moment. Geoff’s gave me one of those moments in Thursday! He introduced me to Francis Dunnery. Accepting that Geoff’s recommendation brings with it an automatic level of guitar talent what really struck me was his voice. His interpretations of Japan’s Music from Mobile Homes & Joy Divisions Love Will Tear Us Apart were wonderful (yes the 80s were my formative years). My Amazon wish list has been updated, website registration complete & albums ordered. Go discover Mr Dunnery.

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