Charming Irish band Socks in the Frying Pan enthuses audience with cheerful tunes, humor

Socks in the Frying Pan, a Celtic band native to Ennis County Clare, Ireland, performed for Limelight and Accent’s first show of the semester on Saturday Feb. 3 in the Wadsworth Auditorium. Pictured above are the three artists from left to right: Fiachra Hayes on the fiddle, Shane Hayes on the accordion and Aodán Coyne on the acoustic guitar. The band interacted with an engaged audience, while sharing upbeat Irish tunes. (Catherine White/Arts & Entertainment Editor)

Three charismatic Irish men stepped onto the stage of Wadsworth Auditorium. The audience began to cheer for what was about to be a very special event. 

The group started their set on Saturday Feb. 3 by saying that they were very sorry, but they could not pronounce the word Geneseo to save their lives. The show only got better from there.

Socks in the Frying Pan is a group of three musicians from Ennis County Clare, Ireland, who specialize in traditional Irish music. During the show, Fiachra Hayes—clearly the most talkative of the group—played the fiddle, Aodán Coyne played the acoustic guitar and Shane Hayes played the accordion.

The combination of sounds brought the stage alive in the packed auditorium. For two hours—plus an intermission—the band played a mix of instrumental and vocal songs. To the audience’s delight, they performed both traditional Irish tunes as well as originals.

Since the songs were so loud and upbeat, the audience often found themselves clapping along and stomping their feet to the rhythm. Fiarcha Hayes engaged with attendees with enthusiastic tones, extreme charisma and a garnering chorus of laughter. 

This performance was part of the Geneseo Limelight and Accents Performing Arts Series. Limelight has been bringing performing arts groups to Geneseo for over 50 years in an effort to allow the community to experience professional performances. 

Residents of Geneseo Mary K. Nitsche and Charles Nitsche love the Limelight shows and have gone to many past performances. 

“We’ve been coming for more than 20 years,” Charles Nitsche said. “This is a good program, especially tonight there’s a pretty good crowd,” Mary K. Nitsche said.

Socks in the Frying Pan announced to the audience that they had to drive for five and a half hours to reach Geneseo—not to mention the fact that they came from Ireland in the first place. The band said they enjoyed the banner announcing their arrival hanging up in the town, and were touched by such an enthusiastic welcome.

The band has won multiple awards, and it’s easy to see why—the energy and harmonies of the songs was a thrilling experience. The guitar seemed to be a particular favorite of the crowd, a sentiment voiced by community member Trista Plummer, who came to enjoy the performance with her husband. 

“I loved the acoustic guitar,” Plummer said. “It’s a beautiful sound. Musically overall [the band] sounds beautiful, but particularly the guitar.” 

The guitar did not spend the night alone in the spotlight, however, with band members Fiachra Hayes and Shane Hayes each adding their own memorable touch to the night. 

A fan favorite was the piece “Guiding Light,” where the band invited the crowd to sing along. They played this piece at the end of the night and gave viewers the chorus so that the auditorium would fill with different voices during the lines “you’re my guiding light, you’re my guiding light.” 

The band teased the audience when members were too quiet for their taste, and by the end of the song and show, the theater rang with voices from people in every row.