This marked the start of a great week for me. The start of a two week holiday; the sun was shining; the beer was flowing….oh and I was also getting married. Yep in just a few days’ time I will become someone’s husband. Not just ‘someone’s’ of course, but my girlfriend of four years, the lovely Lorraine. This gig was just two days before all our relatives started arriving for the big day and so we saw it as a last chance to relax and drink lots of Guinness…at least I did.
The gig was to celebrate the first anniversary of Mantra Nightclub opening up in my hometown of Maynooth (which is situated in Kildare…one of Ireland’s finest counties…that was for you Ross). Irish singer / songwriter Paddy Casey was playing as part of the celebrations…and it was free…and let’s face it free gigs are great.
Paddy may be unfamiliar to many of you outside of Ireland. He has had a lot of success here with his three solo albums and would do well abroad I’m sure. He certainly wouldn’t be the most productive of artists though, taking roughly four years between albums. Very much from the Damien Rice school of thought in that respect.
Tonight the venue was packed; in truth I’m not sure how many were there to see Paddy or how many would have been there anyway, but it didn’t seem to matter. Paddy’s second album in particular is extremely well known in Ireland and as a result there were plenty of people singing along. Songs such as Bend Down Low, Livin’, The Lucky One, Saints and Sinners were all welcomed like old friends (you really couldn’t avoid them six or seven years ago. Every time I turned on the radio it seemed one of them was being played). The stand out for me tonight was another song though and that was the title track from third album Addicted To Company.
The crowd was certainly lively due in no small part to the amount of alcohol being drunk. As for ourselves we had managed to get there early and acquire a table. We didn’t move from it (bar the odd toilet break) from about 8 until leaving around midnight…I love Ireland and it’s great table service…perfect.
These types of gig have to be a little strange for singers as they must know that not everyone is there to see them. Not as strange as the corporate gigs that the likes of Sting and Elton John have done (I’m sure all the proceeds went to charity) but still a little odd. As it happens there really was a great atmosphere tonight and Paddy responded with a great set and it turned out to be a feel good gig.
I hope he comes back with new material soon and doesn’t leave it as long again. He is a talented guy and joins an ever increasing long list of Irish singer / songwriters who deserve a bigger audience. It happened for Glenn Hansard after twenty years so maybe Paddy’s time will come. If he does then it will be richly deserved.
As for myself and Lorraine…wedded bliss awaits.
Ticket: July 4th 2010
Ticket Price: Free