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Tuesday, 02 October 2012
Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas "Times of Transition"
Veteran Rock ‘n’ Rollers serve up a veritable feel-good-fest!
Paddy Nash and his Happy Enchiladas have dished up his latest album ‘Times of Transition’, which is cheery toe-tapping follow-up to their acclaimed debut album ‘When We Were Brave’.
Paddy Nash has the knack of writing songs that are fantastic for singing along to. You just can’t help it. Even if you don’t know the words, you’ll be humming along like a proper crooner. Think of a chirpy Billy Bragg in a happy up-beat mood and you’re on the right lines.
‘Out of Love’ is one of the stand-out tracks (“Don’t be afraid of emotion/To the one who makes you complete”). Diane Greer’s bitter-sweet vocals turn the song into a tear-jerker, and probably a corker to play at weddings. But the melancholy is fleeting as it followed by the suitably up-beat 'Lonely Job' (it’s chirpier than it sounds)… And this is what makes a good album – good pace, great variety, catchy songs and driving beats.
Nash’s energy is evident throughout the album, but there is also something very reassuring about his music, like comfort food for the soul. And most of all, it’s impossible not to listen to this album with a grin on your face.
You really get the impression that Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas spend their time bouncing off the walls. And long may it continue!
Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas
Times of Transition
Happy Times For Derry’s Finest
Times of Transition is the second album by the much loved north-western outfit Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas.
Those who know Nash’s oeuvre will not be surprised that it’s a genre-straddling unashamedly quirky – but undeniably cool – offering, delivered in a broad and impressively defiant Derry accent.
There’s 13 tracks here for your delectation. Throughout, Nash & Co’s stories of disillusion, nostalgia and unselfconscious solidarity are performed with just the right mixture of seriousness and self-deprecatory humour. As a result, the likes of ‘Julie Bye’ and ‘The Moneyman’s Dead’ in particular call to mind The Saw Doctors’ success in creating stories of ordinary folk, told with a melodic flair and an impassioned vocal delivery – a style that’s also reminiscent of folk punk preacher man Billy Bragg (who’s jeans the band have famously rhapsodied in the past!).
There is a natural empathy with real people in evidence lyrically, notably on the innately generous ‘Works of Art’ and the (to open at least) Dylan-esque ‘Ballad of a Nobody’
“There’s nothing special about me / A middle child in a great big family / I never had enough / But still I never had it rough/ There ain’t nothing special about me,” Nash sings before the track erupts into an impressive Seeger-sessions style rock’n’roll hoe-down. Undisputed album standout, however, is the swaggering ‘Rubber Bullets’, which is one of the best songs yet about growing up in the shadow of the Troubles. All told, Times of Transition is a fine and rewarding record that speaks up strongly for the little guys. Check it out.
Times of Transition is the most ambitious album so far from the band, Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas. There are more enchiladas now and the sound is even richer than previous albums but the brilliant songwriting and vocals continue to shine, as always. Some of my favorite songs are included here but most were reworked just enough to sound as fresh and new as the ones I hadn’t heard before.
There is a fantastic variety on this album. Works of Art is a song I have long loved that reaffirms the worth of the individual. Rubber Bullets is about growing up in Northern Ireland at the time of the Troubles. The Moneyman’s Dead and Greedy Little Man speak to the mindset and recent economic crimes that have been committed against us all. Julie Bye has the fantastic guitar and drum work and catchy sound of one of those popular “girl’s name” songs but in this case, the lyrics are not just fluff and actually say something. You will be singing along with it, trust me.
Ballad of Nobody is actually the ballad of everybody and has classic written all over it. She Came Home and The Finish Line are both hauntingly beautiful songs. Diane Greer outdoes herself in one of my favorites Fire on the Water and then steps it up even more in her bluesy renditions of both Out of Love and The Muddy Water Song, the latter is firmly stuck in my head now and just might be my new favorite.
Times of Transition has it all; great music, wonderful lyrics and each song is a story of life, love and surviving all the transitions that come your way. This is one is an absolute MUST HAVE album. It will be on my playlist for a very long time. I can’t get enough of it.
Jane Woods - Fanrealm.com
PADDY Nash and the Happy Enchiladas have been described as 'a band on a mission'. With a new album, packed gig schedule and upcoming collaboration with Billy Bragg it's easy to see why, writes Anne-Marie Gallagher.
The band are stalwart live performers and their second album, Times of Transition, manages to capture that. Lead Enchilada, Paddy Nash, said it was important to produce an album that retained that live sound “With the technology available these days it’s really easy to get carried away. There are many different styles of music on there but that’s the way I write. People say my songs are like mini-movies so if it was a film I would describe it as an ‘Action packed comedy with a few sad moments’.”
Times of Transition is a smart, funny and at times heartbreaking collection of songs that look at what's going on in the world through individual characters and memories. These are sewn together by 3D vocals from Paddy himself and Diane Greer. It manages to bring together different styles and types of songs without seeming disjointed. 'Works of Art' is the opening track and one to dance to, it tells the story of two local characters Skippy and Betty whilst 'Fire on the Water' is a gentle lullaby that showcases Diane's voice perfectly.
Nash uses 'Rubber bullets' to describe an army raid in Creggan through the eyes of his six year old self, whilst 'The Moneyman's Dead' is a scathing criticism of the bankers bailout. This kind of material has seen the band often described as political “I think politics has become something of a dirty word in this country. It always seems to throw up the old orange and green cards. But Politics is all around us in all shapes and forms because that’s the society we choose to live in.”
“We all helped create an environment where it’s okay for Bankers to condemn us to the worst recession in history and still pay themselves hefty bonuses, where it’s okay for big businesses to trade here and pay their taxes in small havens like Zug or wherever, where it’s accepted that severely disabled people will have to go through vigorous and demeaning tests to prove they’re worthy of the pittance they get to live on. A society where so called Christians try to take this moral high ground when it comes to Gay people wanting to get married. Meanwhile, all our crowd are worried about is their ‘Identity’ sort it out! .”
Folk-Punk and protest singer Billy Bragg has become a fan and supporter of the Happy Enchiladas. He is set to perform with them in Derry soon and is working with them on a music project that will go into Jails here “I wrote a song called Billy Bragg Jeans, a love song about an old pair of £5 jeans I had for years. He heard it and liked it enough to plug us on his Facebook page. I was chuffed to say the least so I sent him an album.”
“About 6 months later he was playing in The Empire in Belfast and I sneaked backstage to say hello. We chatted like old cousins. He said he loved the album and invited me over to perform at the Leftfield stage at Glastonbury that summer. I must have done alright because then he asked me to play support for him on his Irish Tour last year. We had the best of craic travelling around Ireland, with Diane acting as my Tour Manager.”
“Since then we’ve launched Jail Guitar Doors in the prisons here. It’s a charity that Billy set up to provide musical instruments to help with the rehabilitation process in memory of Joe Strummer. I’m starting classes in Magilligan in July. I also hope to have Billy come over to Derry next year as part of a weekend event I’m organising amongst other things. So watch this space.”
The band will be performing at Ebrington on the 5th July as part of the Clipper celebrations before hitting the festival circuit in England and headlining the Eagles Rock stage at Glasgowbury on the 21st July. Paddy is also looking forward to the potential for next year's City of Culture “I think the new Peace Bridge has definitely helped to broaden the city and the potential of a new shared space like Ebrington Square is really exciting. I think it’s important that the council and others start taking a look at what’s going on locally and support the music that’s on their doorstep but I also think it’s mainly up to local musicians themselves to get involved. We have a fantastic platform to showcase what I think is the best music scene in Ireland at the minute. Put on your own gigs, appeal to the powers that be for funding or whatever but don’t wait for them to come calling. Counter culture can be as big if not bigger, look at the Edinburgh Fringe.”
The “album with a message” can sometimes be hard work to listen to, but not here. Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas have managed to craft an album of great tunes whilst also making you think about what's going on in the world now.
"A man who calls his band The Happy Enchiladas can only be a John Prine devotee, and being a John Prine devotee is a bloody good thing in my books.
Indeed, it's not hyperbole to suggest that Paddy Nash's writing echoes Prine's idiosyncratic tic and fondness for pathos in telling stories of ordinary lives - he puts you right there in them and makes you care for the people who inhabit them.
People like Martin in the song of the same name, a heartbreaking lament for a lost friend, but a lament that never strays into sickly sentiment: 'When he was young he was the first one out at night/the last to go inside, he never let you down in a fiight'. By the end of it we've all known Martin, and will all wipe a tear from our eye in his memory. It's a special writer who can elicit this kind of response.
Nash brooks no bullshit in his lyrics - they're mostly tough, yet all the more touching when they are tender ('Damsel in Disguise', 'Every Inch'). In this respect he has something of Billy Bragg about him. No surprise, then, that the Bard of Barking is referenced in 'Billy Bragg Jeans' ('We had a dance while taking a stance against the fascists evil plans'). Throughout, Nash's compositions are given pelter by a champion band, including the excellent Debbie Greer on backing vocals".
Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas "When We Were Brave" (Mad Molly Records, 2010)
Stop me if you've heard this one before...
What, you meant there’s a formula for this sort of thing? Take an affable male vocalist in his thirties or forties, give him an acoustic guitar and a book of chords. Stand him next to a group of backing musicians, one with a bass, one with a drum kit and at least one other with some sort of ethnic, or folk instrument like a banjo, an accordion, a harmonica. Let them jam together for a while, if one of them is a woman with a nice voice let her sing too. Gas Mark 5 for three months and you get a perfectly formed collection of alternative country rock tunes.
Perhaps part of the problem is so many people like this sort of music, so many don’t want to admit that The Band are no more and that Neil Young has merely started shouting at passers-by in the street. Hell, an entire genre even exists to satisfy our relentless pursuit of the alt-country ideal. Sure, sometimes the formula works really well and artists like Magnolia Electric Co. get it absolutely spot on. Sometimes artists like The Great Lake Swimmers or the Be Good Tanyas can turn the formula on its head. The problem is too many artists run the risk of conforming to a check-list and losing that sense of excitement and urgency you can still hear, for instance, on an early Townes Van Zandt recording.
‘When We Were Brave’ is the debut album from Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas, a band who settle into a groove in the opening thirty seconds and don’t let up for forty-five minutes. They can do this because it is a familiar groove haunted by the ghosts of CSNY and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Do they do it well? Of course they do, Nash is a talented vocalist and The Happy Enchiladas don’t put a foot wrong, there is a great mix of mellow tunes and those where the band let themselves rock out. Sure, ‘Barefoot in Verona’ might suffer the curse of sounding a little like Bryan Adams, but the rest of the tracks fly much closer to the “Good” Adams & The Cardinals. ‘Billy Bragg Jeans' adds a nice bit of variety and some welcome humour and on the whole this is a solid and entertaining debut from a great band who deserve to do well, as do the several hundred other bands releasing music that sounds like this in 2010.
Is the dream being kept alive, or is it wasting away on life support? Who cares anyway when we can enjoy music this good.
Paddy Nash And The Happy Enchiladas
Album:When We Were Brave
I was worried on listening to the first track that paddy Nash And The Enchiladas were going to be a Saw Doctors clone, but there's more variety in their music than that. "When We Were Brave" isn't just an album of head bangin', foot tappin' anthems, it's also interspersed with deep heartfelt moments. Songs like "Martin" with a keen sense of social observation and story telling contrast beautifully with the bubblegumesque "Billy Bragg Jeans" whch is to all intent and purposes an ode to a lucky pair of trousers. Highly enjoyable from start to finish.
Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas
‘When We Were Brave’
Mad Molly Records
As a former Screaming Bin Lid and member of The Whole Tribe Sings, Paddy Nash has been a regular face at the forefront of the Derry music scene for a considerable period. His musical travels have taken him across the world, but with it came the, as ever, curious blend of success and disillusionment that seems to go hand-in-hand in the cruellest of industries.
With that in mind, there is probably nothing new anyone could tell Paddy Nash about the music business, and that experience of heading straight into the eye of the storm gives ‘When We Were Brave’ a sense of comfortable aftermath where there is nothing left to prove but to be honest as a songwriter, and these ten songs impressively ring out a truth from start to finish that is witty, poignant and localised.
‘BT48’ gives ‘Billy Liar’ a new postcode and those same perpetual dreams of escape but with a tail trapped in the door. ‘Martin’ movingly recalls the life of a close friend lost to suicide and ‘Cushialitee’ is a heartfelt tribute to Paddy’s late father. The latter is a sweet gentle acoustic ballad packed with vivid imagery recalling memories of Jimmy Cagney movies, fish and chips and cups of ice-cream in Fiorentini’s and strong tea from a faded mug that reads ‘WO GREA ST DA’ – you’re not likely to hear a more touching piece of music this year!
For the recording of this album Paddy was able to call in some of the Derry scene’s finest, and The Happy Enchiladas cast includes the likes of Junior Johnson, Jonny Nutt, Frankie Robinson, Connor Kelly and Diane Greer, who takes the lead vocals on the sun-stroked ‘Barefoot In Verona’, which has all the hallmarks of The Beautiful South at their most upbeat. The healthy mix of socialism and ’50s Drive-In Pop that is ‘Billy Bragg Jeans’ would probably have seen Paddy and the band blacklisted in 1950s America, but if this album were on a blacklist, you too would want to be on it! “I’m sailing out into the wind,” sings Paddy repeatedly on the album closer ‘Sailing Out’, as the freewheeling marriage of guitar and Hammond organ duel it out in the background – all undoubtedly destined to be one of the highlights of the forthcoming Glasgowbury festival on July 24.
Recommended For Fans of: Wilco/Billy Bragg; John Prine; Neil Young
Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas – When We Were Brave
De in Derry, Noord-Ierland geboren Paddy Nash heeft na een turbulent en weinig succesvol folkrockleventje met de band The Whole Tribe Sings zijn gitaar aan de wilgen gehangen. Het muzikale bloed kruipt waar het niet gaan kan. Zo gebeurt het dat hij, enthousiast geworden door jonge nieuwe talenten uit zijn directe omgeving, zijn gitaar na vijf jaar onder het stof vandaan haalt en samen met zijn vrouw Diane Greer de Happy Enchiladas opricht. Inmiddels heeft het tweetal versterking gekregen van Jonny Nutt (basgitaar) en Liam McGuigan (gitaar). De cd “When We Were Brave” is live opgenomen in de Blast Furnace studio’s en is mede geproduceerd door Rory Donaghy. Paddy Nash is beïnvloed door Billy Bragg. Een nummer over hem kon dan ook niet ontbreken (Billy Bragg Jeans). Deze debuutplaat bevat pakkende folkrock en popliedjes, die je in verschillende buien zullen brengen.
“When We Were Brave “ontroert, verblijdt en bezorgt je ook nog een prettig zomergevoel door de meerstemmige vocalen en rinkelende gitaren. Songs waarbij dynamiek wordt afgewisseld met subtiele doorleefde ballads. Het vakmanschap als liedjesschrijver, dat Nash uitstekend beheerst, blijkt onder meer uit het prachtig gezongen Martin. Een nummer over zijn jeugdvriend die zelfmoord heeft gepleegd. Een herinnering aan iemand voor wie hij was en niet voor wat hij deed. Het ingetogen Other Side Of The World gaat over een verliefd stel, waarvan de een katholiek en de ander protestant is. Daar heerst in Noord-Ierland een taboe op. Dat Nash gevoel heeft voor melodie is te beluisteren in de herkenbare uptemponummers BT48, Barefoot In Verona en Sailing Out. “When We Were Brave” is een degelijk album met een voorliefde voor schoonheid en verzorgde arrangementen. Paddy Nash en zijn Happy Enchiladas weten de heerlijke folkrock fraai te vermengen met aangename popmuziek, die onafhankelijk van het muzikale tijdsbeeld altijd zijn weg naar de liefhebbers zal weten te vinden.
"When We Were Brave" moves,rejoices and even gives you a nice summer feeling with the polyphonic vocals and ringing guitars.Dynamic songs which are interspersed with subtle ballads lived. The craftsmanship as a songwriter, Nash is very advanced and this is is evident from the beautifully sung Martin. A song about his childhood friend who committed suicide. A reminder to anyone for who he was and not for what he did. The modest Other Side Of The World is about a couple in love, one Catholic and one Protestant. There exists in Northern Ireland a taboo. Nash's feeling for melody is heard in the uptempo numbers BT48, Barefoot in Verona and Sailing Out. "When We Were Brave" is a solid album which packages a passion for beauty and care. Paddy Nash and his Happy Enchiladas know that wonderful beautiful folk-rock mixed with pleasant music, independent music of the era were always towards the lovers will find you.
MUSIC REVIEW: Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas
Towards the end of 2009, Paddy Nash single Billy Bragg Jeans got lots of radio play due to its 50s doo-wop pastiche style. Amongst other things, it was an assault upon the somewhat sanctimonious sensibilities of the Derry 'brown rice brigade'. I laughed a lot even though I’m a fully paid up member myself. The single promised much and whetted the appetite for the album When We Were Brave , due to be launched in early April.
Paddy and his Happy Enchiladas, including Diane Greer who shares backing and main vocal duties, have come up with a lovely bit of work. The first thing that struck me was the quality of the product. It is clear that a lot of studio time has been invested in this album. Recorded at Blast Furnace, it features the very best of local musicians like Frank Robinson’s rocking saxophone, Eddie O’Donnell on keyboards, Rory Donaghy’s lead playing and great fiddle from Robert Peoples.
It is an album that seems quite upbeat and even firey at the start but it develops a more mellow groove gradually and it is the slower, introspective, almost country songs that have stayed with me. Songs like Martin, about a boyhood friend who died too young, and what is for me the best thing on the album, the song Cushialitee. It is heartfelt and tender and will, I suspect, be sung for a long time. It is strikingly written from the point of view of a child’s reverence for his father:
'Sitting on the wall of his fresh cut garden, looking like a movie star
He pulls another Park Drive from the pack
I watch him contemplate the weather, staring into the great blue yonder
Waiting for his pigeons to come back.'
Paddy Nash is good with words and he has learned his trade well over the years. He was a major creative force in The Whole Tribe Sings, for my money the best band to come out of Derry since the rock ‘n’ roll riots of 1956.
The charm of these songs really is their individuality. You get the impression of a songwriter with a particular and personal point of view, and the arrangements are sympathetic to that individuality. The final song Sailing Out ends the album on a note of optimism for the future and delight in the wonder of the world. It’s cheerful and upbeat and a smashing outro for the whole set. Hopefully the song and indeed the album presages much more from Paddy and his Happy Enchiladas. Ten tracks in all on the MADMOLLYRECORDS label, When We Were Brave is a collection of songs to savour. To be recommended.
I got my hands on this CD on Friday and have been listening to it all weekend and I am not tired of it yet. The more you listen to it the more you hear. There isn’t a weak track on this album. You know the songs are really good when you have them on as background music and they force you to listen to them. There is a nice variety here too from the tongue in cheek send up of pop songs Billy Bragg Jeans to the melancholy tribute to a lost childhood friend Martin to the you-go-girl, pre-emtive dumping anthem that is Barefoot in Verona, these songs run the gamut of real life experiences of everyday people.
This cd hits the perfect balance of being musically rich and lyrically intelligent. The songs tell tales of love and loss and life that are based in the imperfect real world that the listener can identify with. They prove that you can be knocked around a bit by life and come out stronger and smarter than you were. I can’t recommend this cd enough. The songs were written by Paddy Nash but the rest of the band is not to be overlooked. The Happy Enchiladas are Diane Greer, Johnny Nutt and Liam McGuigan. They were joined on this cd by several other talented musicians from Northern Ireland who are also outstanding – particularly Wally on the drums.
If you are a fan of the Saw Doctors you will love Paddy Nash & the Happy Enchiladas. The cd will soon be available on both cdbaby and Itunes. I will post updates as soon as they are up. In the meantime, you can purchase it through Paddy’s website www.paddynash.co.uk
They accept paypal. I will post their reverbnation widget at the end of the post so you can hear some samples from the cd. You can also listen at his website and myspace http://www.myspace.com/paddynash
Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas will be touring a bit in the US in the fall. I will keep you posted on that too.
2 Damsel in Disguise (Drunken Love Song)
3 Barefoot in Verona
4 Other Side of the World
6 Turned Up
7 Every Inch
8 Billy Bragg Jeans
10 Sailing Out
Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas
When We Were Brave
The secret to good food and good music is the same - decent, honest ingredients.
If the height of your musical appetite is the Big Mac mass production of Lady Gaga and Jedward then this isn't for you.
But there comes a point when only music soaked in real life will satisfy.
Paddy Nash and The Happy Enchiladas have served up such a treat with their debut When We Were Brave.
Think Steve Earle; throw in a spoonful of Saw Doctors; a smidgen of The Beautiful South; and mix it all with a dollop of Kris Kristofferson; and you'll still be left guessing just how many layers there are to the Enchiladas' musical pie.
Nash's country influences rise to the surface in Damsel in Disguise, Other Side of The World and Every Inch. In Cushialitee he reminisces about his father's love for Jimmy Cagney and family trips to Fiorentinis for cups of ice cream.
The Enchiladas have produced an album that reminds you of people and days long gone but leaves you wanting more.
Next up are the greatest Irish folkie/rockie Billy Braggespque group you will ever see, Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas. Paddy is one of the true songwriting geniuses of this or any other generation. The catchy courses, down to earth wit and working class humour that is gently sprinkled throughout every song, make Paddy and the band absolutely unmissable. Their previous appearance in Sandino's is still mentioned at least 14 times a day by anyone who was fortunate enough to see it. Paddy's new single, Billy Bragg's Jeans has received huge critical acclaim and massive airplay on the BBC and commercial radio.
Paddy Nash And The Happy Enchiladas are busy prepping over on the acoustic stage while the crowd pack in in anticipation. There's little doubting that 2009 will be remembered for the work of Paddy and his merry team.
The songs are heartbreaking (Cushialitee), begging for a sing along (Billy Bragg Jeans / Barefoot In verona) and insightful (the utterly wonderful Works Of Art).
He even has the space to add a young apprentice in the shape of shaker Finn McGuigan who joins his proud father, Liam, on stage. Paddy's festival is a huge celebration that includes everyone. Happy, joyful and poetic music in mid-afternoon sunshine = bliss
Niall Kerr - Mid Ulster Observer
Sat. 21st April 2007
Sporting new ‘Cellar Live’ t-shirts, music aficionados Paddy and Ryan who enticed tonight’s performer to our humble corner of the world, were clearly enthusiastic about Bap Kennedy’s appearance at The Cellar Bar as were the many new faces lighting up the back room.
Mr Glasgow, inventor of these wonderful musical extravaganzas beams a smile that would blind the sun as he proudly introduces Bap Kennedy to the G Sessions.
Many a reader were present (hello all) and a few had their own take on tonight’s proceedings which included a support slot from Cellar regular Paddy Nash and his entourage. The Derry man joined by regulars Diane, Liam and Angela and Celine Murphy, combined violin, piano, guitars, harmonica and shakers with trade mark vocals to unlock the night’s entertainment in style. Opening with new song Wish, a call of youth and love, Nash gives off the impression that if you don’t leave impressed that you maybe shouldn’t leave at all. And with a catalogue of songs that includes Girlfriend, the superbly catchy Brave and the emotionally powerful Martin (which I defy anyone not to appreciate), there is little chance of anyone going home disappointed.
It is a relatively small crowd, even Diane recognises that the noise levels aren’t exactly lifting the roof but it’s that sort of a night when noise and numbers are immaterial in comparison to the music provided. Ex Energy Orchard front-man Kennedy, in contrast to his support, has a much different style to performing as he and fellow guitarist Pete O’Hanlon take a seat throughout their routine.
Heavy undercurrents of blues are mixed with elements of country and early rock n’ roll influences throughout, with Bap on acoustic and Pete on electric.
The crowd thickens little as the night progresses but enthusiasm is high and the appreciative following are happy to find a bit of space to be able to boogie on down with their bad selves. Bap meanwhile is happy to dish out the tunes and the talented marksmanship of O’Hanlon on electric guitar is an absolute joy to listen to. Opener Long Time A Coming and On A Mighty Ocean Of Alcohol are particularly well employed, the latter being a song written for Shane McGowan whom Bap had the pleasure of playing with the night before on English soil.
All in all it was a comfortable performance played with gusto and a clear sense of passion that is all too often lacking. Unfortunately I had to leave early, so if McGowan popped out from the back for a quick number I’m sorry not to be able to tell you about it.
So while the older crowd may have more resonance with the blues driven performance than us young bucks (“He got better as the night went on,” said one particular punter, “but Paddy Nash was better.”), there’s no denying both the songwriting and musical expertise on show tonight.
At Sandino's a couple of nights later, myself and the blonde bit from Cork I'm shacked up with (she'll kill me) took in an acoustic Future Chaser, a somewhat different proposition from the electrified Organised Confusion they used to be (not to be confused with the other Organised Confusion who, I think, are still called Organised Confusion.) Listen fellas. Don't plug yourselves back in. The acoustic ambience showcased the songs like every one was newly-wrought and brightly minted, fresh out from the imagination's fire.
Davy McAuley leaned over, "Aren't they just lovely." I know. Not the sort of accolade enhances your cred with the street-set. But the man from Drumahoe was spot-on again. Just lovely.
We finished the night with Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas. Husky harmonies, moaning mouth-organ, insistently thudding self-confident bass, Diane Greer in melodic flights to make your eyes sparkle, confiding she'll be walking barefoot in Verona, dancing shapes in Timbuktu, singing out in Barcelona, and she will, too.
Paddy finished off with Billy Bragg Jeans... "Got a head full of love songs and nothing ever goes wrong when I got my Billy Bragg Jeans on...." There isn't a song on "No Line on the Horizon" which could hold its own over three rounds with Billy Bragg Jeans.