Irish folk music duo Foster & Allen are about to tour New Zealand and will bring the show to Tauranga next month.

Beginning in 1975 when Mick Foster and Tony Allen joined together, the pair toured cabaret venues in Ireland and the United Kingdom for the first three years.

Their big breakthrough came in 1978 when they released the single A Bunch of Thyme in Ireland which stayed in the Irish charts for 53 weeks.

However, at this stage, their success was known only in Ireland, and it was not until 1982 that A Bunch of Thyme was released in the UK.

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It was played by all the radio stations in Britain and was soon in the pop charts, becoming their first top-selling No 1 single. They released another single, Old Flames, which made its way into the UK chart, along with their mega-hit single, Maggie.

These three hit songs have become signature tunes at sellout concerts.

Foster & Allen have now achieved album and video sales more than 20 million worldwide.

To coincide with their first national tour of New Zealand for many years, Foster & Allen will release two new albums including Gold & Silver Days, featuring all new material, and After All These Years, which is specially released for Mother's Day.

Foster & Allen will perform at Tauranga's Baycourt Theatre on April 13 and 14 before moving on to Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Blenheim, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Invercargill, Dunedin, Whanganui, Napier and Wellington.

The duo will be accompanied by Moyra Fraser on keyboards, Ollie Kennedy on bass guitar and Bryan Megahey on lead guitar.