You might have seen a trolley jammed with instruments, captained by a group of artists, rolling around Dublin city blaring out music over the last few months. They’re known as Acid Granny, an improvised street performance art and music project “centring around a heavily adorned and electrified shopping trolley”.
Until recently many people had only encountered the group walking across places like O’Connell Bridge late at night, but when two tilers stumbled upon the trolley early one morning and uploaded a video of what they saw onto YouTube, the wider world were introduced to Acid Granny.
The video has 365,000 views as I write this, with comments being overwhelmingly positive, with people saying things like, “They’re having way more fun than the rest of us”. The track they were playing in that clip was ‘Smells Great’, and now they’ve shared a version online.
I asked the mysterious group why they decided to finally share music with the world, after keeping it on the streets all this time.
“Producing and releasing the music we improvise on the streets has always been an intention. In every jam we have, there’s always a couple of instant classics anyway. In reality, we’ve written and lost more number ones than any other artist. It all gets plucked out of the sky, squeezed through the granny and bounced back by the environment in a loop of inspiration. This ‘Dublin Acid Trolley‘ viral madness is kind of an extension of that. The feedback loop is larger-scale, but it’s the same idea. We gran hard with the trolley one lovely morning, the environment reacts and grows to include many thousands of internet mingers and star-struck Gardaí and we produce a massive radio hit that makes The Evergran shed proud tears over the universe.”
‘Smells Great’ was created live “with a number of other morning-minger-tunes” by Minglord Gran Reilly and Taoiseach Shame, they explain.
“Though Minglord G. is an original granny, T. Shame is a frequent collaborator when she’s not at the helm of the scaldy-serious musical theatre group, Pride and Shame. When the hive-mind went mental, we set up our gear and started recording and producing the track to smear our granny in fame. After ’twas down, we told a magical sort of youngfella called Joseph McDonald that if he didn’t mix and master the tune in a day, we’d take his granny out to play, she’d never make him tea again, she’d never make him tea again.”
Acid Granny have produced a mixtape of improvisations called ‘Foundation Level Grannies’ that you can buy from the trolley if you see them out and about in Dublin. They have a video for the opening track from that project, ‘Chickatweeks’, in the chamber, but for now enjoy ‘Smells Great’ in all of its glory.