SINGLE REVIEW: THE ROYAL SPUDS – ‘The Couch Potato Specials’ (2021)

A bit of Punk, a pinch of good old rock music and whole load of folkie tunes. In the studio, festival or concert venue The Royal Spuds are at home everywhere. So, if you want a party, you know where to go!  

Oh we got so damn close to getting The Royal Spuds over to London last year. We had even booked the iconic Dublin Castle in Camden for a Dutch Celtic-Punk double header with Pyrolysis but then the dreaded lockdown and despite my prayers and promises to never miss mass again the gig was eventually cancelled. Still hope remains that it will happen again. After all nothing is off. It is only put off for now!

The Bhoys have kept themselves busy through lockdown and just recently have released a couple of singles. It’s been a couple of years since their full length studio album Forgotten Lore was reviewed on these pages so it’s time to re-visit Leiden in the south Netherlands and see what The Royal Spuds are up to. ‘Alien’ came out in February and is available as a ‘Name Your Price’ download. Fast, furious and happy Celtic-Punk with plenty of gang ‘ooooooo oooooo’s’ throughout. Accordion Punk-Rock with a sense of humour. It isn’t illegal yet to have a laugh but you never know in these strange times!

They followed this up last month with the release of The Couch Potato Specials. A two track single also available as a ‘name your price’ download. This basically means if you’re skint then download for free but if you’re rich like a politician then you have no excuses not to send a few beer tokens to the guys. The first track is ‘The Wellerman’ a sea-shanty about the workers on board whaling ships owned by the Weller Brothers. Just recently the se-shanty has seen somewhat of a renaissance with it’s discovery by hipsters on Tik-Tok but Celtic-Punk bands have been singing these songs for decades now. The Royal Spuds describe it perfectly as

“what happens when six couch potatoes miss the hype train but still run to catch the bandwagon.”

Only two songs here but both quality and ‘The Scotsman’ is another cover lovingly covered by the Spuds. Also known as ‘The Drunk Scotsman’ it was originally written by Tennessee singer-songwriter Mike Cross, in or about 1981 but this somewhat bawdy (!) ballad has become a bit of a folk staple, covered by countless folk singers most famously I suppose by American Bluegrass artist Brian Bowers and is performed by Brian as an acapello song.

Well a Scotsman clad in kilt left the bar one evening fair
One could tell by how he walked that he’d drunk more than his share
He fumbled round until he could no longer keep his feet
Then he stumbled off into the grass asleep beside the street
*
Ring-ding-did-a-little-la-di-oh, ring-di-diddly-eye-oh
He stumbled off into the grass asleep beside the street
*
About that time two young n’ lovely girls just happened by
One says to the other with a twinkle in her eye
“See yon sleeping Scotsman so strong and handsome built
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath the kilt”
*
Ring-ding-did-a-little-la-di-oh, ring-di-diddly-eye-oh
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath the kilt
*
They crept up on that sleeping Scotsman quiet as could be
Lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see
And there behold for them to view beneath his Scottish skirt
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth
*
Ring-ding-did-a-little-la-di-oh, ring-di-diddly-eye-oh
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth
*
They marveled for a moment then one said, “We must be gone
Let’s leave a present for our friend before we move along”
As a gift they left a blue silk ribbon tied into a bow
Around the bonnie star the Scot’s kilt did lift and show
*
Ring-ding-did-a-little-la-di-oh, ring-di-diddly-eye-oh
Around the bonnie star the Scot’s kilt did lift and show
*
Now the Scotsman woke to nature’s call and stumbled towards the trees
Behind a bush he lift his kilt and gawks at what he sees
And in a startled voice he says to what’s before his eyes
“Ah, lad I don’t know where you’ve been but I see you won first prize”
*
Ring-ding-did-a-little-la-di-oh, ring-di-diddly-eye-oh
“Ah, lad I don’t know where you’ve been but I see you won first prize”

*

So a fantastic wee single from The Royal Spuds. Two auld songs updated and brought back to life so get straight onto the downloads and hopefully look forward to seeing them in the flesh sooner rather than later!

(stream or download The Couch Potato Specials on the Bandcamp player below)

Buy The Couch Potato Specials  FromTheBand

Contact The Royal Spuds WebSite  Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Bandcamp

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