Fearnley was the last guitarist for the Nipple Erectors, the London-based punk band fronted by Shane MacGowan. In August 1982, MacGowan brought Fearnley in to be the accordion-player for a group to play Irish traditional songs fuelled by the punk ethos. The Pogues took off into international renown and ditched 12 years later after the ejection of their lead singer.
Fearnley left the Pogues in 1993 and formed the group the Low and Sweet Orchestra which released the critically acclaimed album ‘Goodbye to All That’. After the demise of the Low and Sweet Orchestra, Fearnley co-founded ‘a band of one-man-bands’, Cranky George, with brothers Kieran and Dermot Mulroney. The Pogues reunified in 2001 and played around the world until 2014.
More recently, James Fearnley has teamed up with Flogging Molly Co-Founder and Grammy Award Winning producer Tedd Hutt, as well as Dropkick Murphy’s multi-instrumentalist Marc Orrell to form a supergroup of sorts, The Walker Roaders. Named after a gang that operated close to where Fearnley grew up in Greater Manchester, The Walker Roaders splice together the anthems of Celtic Punk with the poetry of The Pogues.