Every city should be judged on a low tide and twang in your voice or you don't. Similarly you a strong wind. Therein its strength and its pungency lies. Dublin is a "beaut" in this respect. When the wind blows up from the Liffey and lifts the heady tang of decaying richness into the crowded streets, seagulls dip and dirty with the complete disregard for propriety that is the essence of Dublin.
The impertinence of me, a first generation Dubliner in writing notes about four "real Dubliners", is, even to me, shattering. The Quare Fellas are the embodiment of Dublin youth in its raw state. The raucous sound of both their voices and instruments is not unmelodic because it has body. You can't learn to sing like Patsy Watchorn or Pat Cummins. You either have this husky, nasal can't imitate the pure Dublin accent. This, for me is why The Quare Fellas succeed. Patsy Watchorn, Pat Cummins, Seán and Matt McGuinness never compromised with the mohair-suit brigade. Their act is not some tarted up song done in their best "telephone" voice and if you don't like it you can lump it.
The Quare Fellas started their singing life as "The Jolly Tinkers". Suddenly there was an abundance of Jolly Tinkers, so after some jolly thinking, a friend and performer came up with The Quare Fellas. The name association between them and Brendan Behan's bawdy literary work is more than appropriate, in that these lads have the same temperament as the young Behan. It's perhaps a little surprising to find patriotism so strong in young Dubliners today but just as Behan had it so strongly so have the lads, for I've seen them get annoyed at a section of an audience which failed to give a fair hearing to "Galtymore Mountain". This, however, is only one facet of their singing and I think you'll enjoy the mixture of humour, bawdiness, patriotism and sadness that is wrapped up in the singing and playing of The Quare Fellas.
Ray Horricks produced the L.P., aided and abetted by Hedley Kay, no mean songwriter and singer himself, and I think he has succeeded in getting something that is as satisfyingly Dublin as drinking a pint of Guinness, in the middle of a brawl, in a Dublin back-street pub.