Paddy’s going it alone

Paddy Casey returns to Hennessy’s in Kingsbury on June 8

By David Hennessy

Hot Press and Meteor Award winning singer/ songwriter Paddy Casey will return to Hennessy’s in Kingsbury on June 8. Casey played Hennessy’s last July attracting a big crowd when he played hits such as Sweet Suburban Sky, Saints and Sinners in addition to songs from his latest album, The Secret Life of… which was released last November.

Speaking to The Irish World, Paddy spoke of how much he was looking forward to the show: “It should be good. It was fun the last time so hopefully it will be the same kind of crowd.”

Paddy was impressed with the vibrant Irish scene London has: “When  I got to the place, there was no Irish around but then as soon as the gig started and the place started filling up, I was kinda surprised. Any time I’ve ever played (in London), at least half the crowd was always been Irish.”

Paddy released his first album Amen (So Be It) in 1999. He would pick up Best Debut Album at the Hot Press Awards for Amen (So Be It) and from his debut, Sweet Suburban Sky surfaced on the soundtrack to the popular US TV teen drama of the day, Dawson’s Creek.

Casey returned in 2003 with the multi-platinum album, Living which spawned the Irish chart hits Saints and Sinners, The Lucky One, Bend Down Low and Want It Can’t Have It. In 2004 he won the first of two consecutive Meteor Irish Music Awards for Best Irish Male.

Paddy’s third studio album, titled Addicted to Company (Part One), was recorded in Hollywood and was released in 2007 and its promotion saw him playing The Late Show with David Letterman.

It would be five years before his next collection, The Secret Life of, which he released himself after severing ties with his record label, Sony: “I think it’s doing well. Obviously, it’s not doing what the other albums did because I’ve done this one on my own so there’s no record label behind it. There isn’t loads of money to throw at advertising or anything but anyone who’s got it seems to really like it. I think it’s the best one I’ve made. I think the way I recorded it, keeping it free and easy in the recording, I think people responded to that. Definitely, all the messages I get on the website and facebook are all positive.”

When asked for the reason for the long space of time in between, the Dublin singer has said he prefers to let the songwriting happen organically rather than pressure himself to meet deadlines. This approach ensures he releases a record when it is ready and not before: “I write a lot of songs but I don’t necessarily think that every song should go on a record and I suppose when I finished album, that was when I felt like I had something that felt full or complete. I felt like all the songs I needed were there.”

Paddy with his 2008 Meteor Award

When if we could see another collection without waiting so long, Paddy answers: “Actually I’m working on a couple of different things. I’m thinking of doing, for the craic, an acoustic album because I’ve never done one and everyone keeps saying: ‘Why don’t you do a live album or an acoustic album?’ And I’m like: ‘Cause I don’t want to’,” he says breaking into a laugh.

“But at the minute I’m thinking that I might do one of them but also I’m working with a few different people. I’m thinking of doing a mixture of a rap and a dance album with different artists that are around because there’s some really good rap artists coming out of Ireland at the minute. I think their lyrics are getting really, really good and it’s finding its own place.”

At his current gigs, is Paddy finding a mix of fans old and new? “When I put the album out, there were more older people but the songs have been getting some radio play so actually there is younger and younger people at the gigs now than there has been in a couple of years. The die hards or people who had the old albums were coming to the gigs for the last couple of years but now, it’s starting to switch up and there’s newer people, or younger people, coming. The famous line at my gigs was always: ‘Will you sign this for my ma?’ If it was somebody under the age of eighteen or nineteen, it was always: ‘Will you sign this for my ma?’ Now they want it signed for themselves.”

Paddy’s own daughter Saoirse, seventeen years old, is now displaying musical talent herself: “Saoirse has started writing songs and playing. I tried to fight her on it, I tried to get her to get a real job. No, I didn’t really. She’s better than I ever was at that age anyway.”

Paddy has toured with U2 on their Vertigo tour and won numerous awards but when asked for a highlight of his career to date, his performance at : “I suppose my favourite gig ever has to be the time after Living came out and I did the Witness Festival (now known as Oxegen). With U2, there was probably more people at the U2 gigs but everybody who was watching this gig, I think there was about 50,000 people there, and everyone who was there was there specifically to listen to me and everybody sang and there’s nothing like having that many people singing your songs back at you. I was beaming for three days after that.”

Paddy is playing various Irish festivals over the summer, are there gigs planned for further afield to follow? “I’ve got some gigs like a pending Australian tour, I’ve got some stuff in Russia and Sweden. Germany is supposed to be really good for Irish going over and touring so I just have to find some people who will book me some shows. America is always a goer.”

Paddy Casey plays Hennessy’s in Kingsbury on June 8. Tickets now on sale. Admission: £15.

For more information on Paddy Casey, go to: http://www.paddycasey.ie/.

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