Donagh ‘Cado’ Cadogan is a man with a mission to bring Irish music lovers back to 50s rock and roll
“Have you ever stared into his eyes? It was like the first time I heard The Beatles”. This quote by Jonah Hill’s character, Seth, in the coming of age comedy, Superbad, in reference to the unparalleled sweetness of a love rival sums up the mesmerising power of the Fab Four, writes Adam Shaw.
When that Scouse twang and unmistakable beat sound hits your ears, there is absolutely no going back. Over the years, hundreds of artists have been influenced by their music and they continue to build up legion upon legion of adoring fans.
One of these, Donagh Cadogan, known as ‘Cado’, is an Irishman hoping to channel their style and bring the modern music world back to its 1950s roots.
“I heard The Beatles when I was younger and that was it from then on. Everything just sort of came from there,”
Cado said. By “everything”, he means a lifelong love for vintage rock ‘n’ roll and a desire to perform this type of music for a living.
“My dad played when I was younger – he’s a blues musician so I grew up with him playing around the house,” he explained. I have always wanted to be a musician and I kind of always have been; it’s just the way it’s gone.”
And he is a very particular type of musician; a man who knows what he likes and that’s what he’s going to play.
From an early age he was enraptured by the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll’s “big four” – Jerry Lee, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins. In his eyes, these were the men that – along with The Beatles – altered the face of music forever.
“When people heard Rock Around the Clock, that changed the whole game,” Cado said. “Music has been evolving for centuries but, in our current time, everything from rock to dance music has stemmed from there.
“There’s too much of the same thing going on at the moment, it’s all gone a bit mental, so it’s nice to bring people back to their roots.
“Some people might see the 50s thing as a bit of a gimmick but, to be honest, it’s just what I like listening to.”
So great is his desire to create such a specific, vintage sound, the Kildare man has taken to producing all his own music and he is not one for lack of ambition.
“It’s great; I don’t have to deal with anyone. I don’t have to go ‘no, I don’t like it’ or ‘can you do it like this?” he said. “I’ve just finished the EP [Take Me Back] and I’m heading back into the studio to record the next one.
“I’m rehearsing with a backing band as well and we’re going to get our heads together and think about some tour dates. I’m also doing a video for one of the numbers on this EP.”
Of course it is necessary for Cado to move with the times. In this day and age, videos and frequent trips to the recording studio are needed to get ahead in the game. But, in keeping with his philosophy, nothing beats going out with a guitar, sitting in front of likeminded people and strumming a hard-hitting opening riff.