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Review: Irish Pub CD to help orphans

Although the children at the Špecializovaný Detský Ústav orphanage at Bratislava's Železna studienka may not yet know it, they inspired the production of Elephants, a three-song CD featuring a cover of the song Whiskey in the Jar by Bratislava cover-band Drink Drank Drunk and Dubliner Irish Pub co-owner Billy Valentino.
Drink Drank Drunk (DDD) first played the Irish Pub last summer when an unrehearsed version of the ageless Irish song was performed with 'Billy' on lead vocals. The song became an instant hit at DDD shows, sometimes being performed three times a night.
The popularity of the song led Billy's brother, Peter Norton, to suggest a CD. "We were sitting around getting pissed one night last week," said DDD's John Dale on March 3, "and they said they could do it by St. Patty's day. I said, 'bollocks.'"


Drink, Drank Drunk's John Dale wows a packed house at the Irish Pub.
photo: Spectator Archives

Elephants

What it is: A three song CD featuring Drink Drank Drunk and Billy Valentino
Running Time: 13:03
Cost: 300 crowns
Available at: The Dubliner Irish Pub in Bratislava

Although the children at the Špecializovaný Detský Ústav orphanage at Bratislava's Železna studienka may not yet know it, they inspired the production of Elephants, a three-song CD featuring a cover of the song Whiskey in the Jar by Bratislava cover-band Drink Drank Drunk and Dubliner Irish Pub co-owner Billy Valentino.

Drink Drank Drunk (DDD) first played the Irish Pub last summer when an unrehearsed version of the ageless Irish song was performed with 'Billy' on lead vocals. The song became an instant hit at DDD shows, sometimes being performed three times a night.

The popularity of the song led Billy's brother, Peter Norton, to suggest a CD. "We were sitting around getting pissed one night last week," said DDD's John Dale on March 3, "and they said they could do it by St. Patty's day. I said, 'bollocks.'"

But the group quickly jumped into action. Valentino said that they wanted the CD ready before the big Irish holiday March 17 so they could sell it at the pub. All proceeds from sales will go toward the orphanage and its children, all below age three, many of whom are physically or mentally disabled. By the end of the next day, Kodak had agreed to donate all the blank CD's, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey chipped in by covering the cost of the CD-covers, and the Irish Pub itself fronted production costs.

A surprised Dale booked some time at Glam recording studios in Bratislava (which, he said, charged only 33% the normal rate) and the CD was born. "This was the fastest CD made in the history of CD's," said Valentino.

An initial production run of 200 CDs will go on sale March 17 in the Irish Pub for 300 Slovak crowns each ($4.65) at their annual Saint Patrick's Day party, at which DDD will perform live. Valentino said that for every 200 CDs sold, the orphanage would receive over 50,000 crowns ($1,160).

A contest to promote the CD has also been planned for the March 17 party - four blind-folded contestants bound in straight-jackets will wear earphones blaring the CD into their ears. Whoever can tolerate the sound of Billy's voice the longest wins two round-trip flight tickets to Dublin including accommodation for two nights.

Contestants may end up needing those straight-jackets. While certainly entertaining, nobody who's ever listened to Billy's scratchy crooning would ever call it 'easy listening'. After playing the CD for some local radio executives, in fact, Dale said they all agreed that their version of Whiskey in the Jar could enjoy success on the Slovak airwaves because "it's so bad that it's good."

The CD rounds out with the catchy tune Keeping Up With the Joneses by Scram, Dale's "hard-core pop band". If Scram is hard-core pop, the CD's final song, Just Keep On Dreamin' by Willy O would best be described as 'very soft-core pop' and was likely included for its inspirational lyrics.

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