Band of brothers


Irish lads The Plebs are a rock ‘n’ roll family.

The three musicians, who now live in Queenstown, met eight years ago on the first day of university in Ireland. 

They’ve been playing, living, travelling and drinking together ever since.

The band – lead singer Jamie Cunningham and guitarists Dave Walker and Ted Molumby – have been gigging in the resort for the past two years.

Cunningham, 27, says: “My friend wanted me to sing at his wedding in Brisbane – and even paid for the flight – so we all went out.

“We’d just finished college that summer. It was just as the recession hit in Ireland, perfect timing. Then when our Aussie visa ran out we headed for New Zealand.”

The trio plays acoustic covers – everything from The Doors, the Stones and contemporary songs to obscure Irish funk.

“We’re working on originals and have put down a few guitar tracks, just some ideas, a starting point,” Walker, 27, says.

“We’ve had writers’ block for eight years. And we’re easily distracted by the drink. Because we’re such good friends when we sit down to write we do everything but write.

“We’re like family now; we’ve been hanging around each other so long – pissed around the same toilet bowl, the three of us.” 

Molumby, 28, says Queenstown’s musical family have been good to The Plebs, with the likes of Marc Hamilton, the Pistol Knights, and Hair of the Dog lending them equipment.

The band now has regular Wednesday night gigs in 1876, where they sometimes play the sun deck on a Sunday, and also gigs at Pog Mahones and Pig & Whistle Pub.

Cunningham says: “We started out in Chico’s – which catered to pub crawls so you’d be playing to an empty bar then a crowd would come flooding through the doors, neck a drink, have a dance, then be gone again.

“We’ve got some steady gigs now, 1876 are good to us. The crowds always change in this town, so they don’t get sick of you, and if it’s a good night we’ll play until they kick us off stage, sometimes 1am.”

And the name?

“We were all studying music and had a lecture about civilisations, Ancient Greek,” Cunningham says – “that’s how we came up with the name, just the common folk.”

The Plebs play Pig & Whistle Pub this Saturday and 1876 on Wednesday, both from 9.30pm.