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  martin oramWaterfall  martin oram

25 years after their last Waterfall 'duo' collaboration, Keith Donnelly & Martyn Oram have reformed for
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

Beautiful songs, dynamic performance and fun! with guitars, violin, mandolin & bouzouki.

A concert of nostalgia for those who remember, and discovery for those who don't.

ELY (RuthBob's Birthday Party) 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 head)





The Complete Story :

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 compositions.

(photo by Peter Groves)

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 HOOG’S ELDERFLOWER REMEDY”, (with MARTIN BELL, later of the WONDERSTUFF), they quickly learnt all about PA systems, and life on the road.

WATERFALL 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 1’s “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 3.
In 1980,
WATERFALL began major support tours with The Hollies, Richard Digance and Gilbert O’Sullivan. 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 Martyn’s composition MON COUER EST LA was selected for a 6 month play on British Airways world flights.

WATERFALL made their first TV appearance in 1981 on BBC Midland’s “Dennis McCarthy’s 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 1’s “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 '90’s 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.