Due to their parents’ intolerance of children’s techno, my boys have had to suffer my idiosyncratic renditions of popular children’s songs for far too long. We were delighted, then, to hear about The Speks, a 6-piece Irish trad band, who are giving traditional nursery rhymes the traditional Irish treatment. The sound is authentically Irish without being diddli-i and the musical instruments are refeshingly recognisable, giving rise to lots of chat here about fiddles, accordions, whistles etc.
The children’s favourites were Miss Molly (who we call Miss Polly) and Hey Diddle Diddle, which is spliced together with an Irish nursery rhyme they didn’t know called ‘Johnny Sat Down.’ Mine was Dilin O Deamhas, which I used to sing in three-part harmony in my school days. The CD is cannily pacakaged with inserts that tell the story of the band (a fictional comedy), and they have produced a nice little book to accompany the CD, which has sweet home-drawn illustrations. You can listen to most of the songs for free on their website, which also gives an insight into the history of the songs and their composition. Their live shows are hugely popular, and they can be seen in May 28th at Glor in Ennis, and on June 11th at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway. We hope they make it East soon.