Allow us to introduce ourselves. We’re a four piece band from that curious island paradise off the coast of Auckland and we play Folk Music. 

The name Gráinneog means Hedgehog in Gaelic and seemed appropriate considering how many of the spiky little buggers we have roaming about here after dark. (It’s pronounced pretty much as it looks but with a very Celtic emphasis on the ‘R’ sound.)

The band started in 2017 when the original three man line-up were asked to play a St Paddy’s Day set at our local Irish pub.  Since then we’ve settled into a solid routine of regular rehearsals and performing absolutely anywhere we get a chance to.

The Music

For many people, Trad Folk is possibly not the best understood form of music. In fact its rather ‘serious’ image has led it to being parodied by many a comedian. Like Trad Jazz it can be hard to find a proper way in, but sometimes, when you wander into the right licensed premises, on the right evening, it’s vibrancy can take you by surprise and give you an evening of fun that you really weren’t expecting. 

Gráinneog strive to blend our very studious love of old songs with fresh and lively arrangements and we take a lot of trouble over our vocal harmonies. We could very well be the band that makes you think ‘Folk Music is more fun than I expected!’

Our music can be sorted into three forms. We can do the classic shouty pub stomp singalong to fill a dance floor, we can go deep into the stories of sailors, miners, soldiers and gold panners, (not to mention the canny ladies who end up fleecing them of their worldly goods) and we can provide an evening of traditional barn dance fiddle tunes for weddings etc.


Sammy Leary

Singing, Banjo, Guitar, Bones, Lagerphone, Saw, Mandolin.


Ben Cobbett

Singing, Fiddle, Banjolin.

Anne and Matt

Helen Cobbett

Singing, Bodhran, Penny Whistle

Anne and Matt

Alan Knight

Singing, Guitars, Irish Bouzouki.


Stefan Clist lives on in our memory


Singing, Banjo, Accordion, Bodhran and bones



Every day can be Saint Patrick’s Day if classic pub stomp is what you’re after. The band can fill a dance floor and keep it that way with their lively renditions of all the great Celtic favourites.

Wild Rover? Star of the County Down? Dirty Old Town? Or even that evergreen pub classic ‘C’n ya play that one tha’ goes ‘Whrrrr-bubbbble-Wibble yeah‘?’ we have ’em all covered. 

Grab a pint of Guinness, spill half of it over the person next to you and join in the choruses.



Gráinneog’s repertoire of great traditional songs is large and far reaching. We have songs from Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, the USA and Australia plus many fine old New Zealand songs from the days of whaling, bush ranging, gold digging and girls dressing up as soldiers to follow their own true love off to war etc. And that’s before we get on to our rich collection of sea shanties. 

We have a deep and genuine love for these songs and spend a lot of time over our arrangements and vocal harmonies. 



Planning a wedding or suchlike? How about giving the tired old DJ thing a miss and going with a full on dance band? Gráinneog have a great line-up of traditional Celtic barn dance tunes and can get everyone up and moving. 

Not sure how a Ceilidh works? Check out this article from Metro magazine that explains it all; 


If that sounds like more fun than watching your granddad trying to dance to Britney Spears then give us a call. The band comes fully self contained for such events and we’ll have the dance steps explained in no time.