SOCKS in the Frying Pan must be the most distinctive band name in Irish music today but the group are keeping its origin quiet.
When asked, guitar player and vocalist Aodán Coyne was giving nothing away. “If I told you that, I’d get in a lot of trouble. The lads would kill me,” he said.
The lads in question are the Hayes brothers, Shane (button accordion) and Fiachra (fiddle, banjo and bodhrán), who make up the trio with Aodán. All three are from Ennis and they will launch their next album, Without A Paddle, when they play at Glór on October 20. The three first began playing together in a popular Ennis venue.
“We started about eight years ago in Cruise’s Bar, doing a session. We were there for about five or six years playing sessions and getting a bit tighter. We got that first CD out. We got a manager and an agent and we went over to the States. This was the third year we were in the States,” says Aodán.
Describing their sound, he says, “We have three-part harmonies, Fiachra is on the fiddle, the banjo, the bodhrán, I’m on the guitar and vocals and Shane plays the button accordion. We all sing, so there are three-part harmonies going on.”
He adds, “It’s kind of modern trad really. We kind of stick to the traditional roots and go slightly beyond that. We play around with melodies and rhythms and spice it up, I suppose. We kind of take the old Irish tunes and songs and make them our own. We also write our own songs and tunes.”
In the last couple of years, they have found a niche and spent much of the time playing abroad.
“Since we went to the States first, it has been a busy three years. This year particularly, we have been all over the place. This year in January we started in Scotland and we went to Holland and France around St Patrick’s Day. We did a cruise from Florida to Boston and up to Canada. We crossed the Atlantic to Dublin. In the summer, we did about 19 of the States so there was a lot of touring. I think there were 37 or 38 performances over nine weeks.”
At 30 years of age, Aodán is the oldest of the trio and he is thrilled with how the last few years have been going for the group.
“It’s unbelievable. I studied music and it’s kind of what I wanted to do since I was about 17. After I don’t know how many years of trying to gig in pubs and this and that, finally touring the world. It’s a different ball game.”
In the coming months, following the release of the new album, they will be touring Ireland, the UK and Germany.
By Owen Ryan