Tag Archives: paddy nash

The Wakes

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So, who are your influences?

I hate that question and it catches me out every time even though I know it’s coming. Answer that and stay fashionable. I’m a songwriter and I write about what’s going on around me, politically often,  from experience usually,  trying to see things through someone else’s eyes occasionally. I want to write a song with an opening line that tells a whole story in a few words (influence: Billy Bragg), I want to write a song with a clever, funny, persistent rhyme scheme (influence: Ian Dury), I want to write a song that the whole band comes in with a bang right at the beginning (influence: The Clash), I want to write a modern acapella folk song (influence Chumbawamba), I want to write a song about Brexit (influence: David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, EU directives, the electorate), I want to write a song that exorcises my rage and frustration (influence: Future Of The Left, Christian Fitness), I want to write a song with a killer hook and an immediate singalong chorus (influence The Wildhearts),  I want to write a song about the second-fastest milkcart in the West……

But enough about me.

The Wakes cite The Pogues, Dick Gaughan, The Clash, Dropkick Murphys and Bob Dylan, wisely using the word “including” to avoid making an exhaustive list, which should be enough to give you some idea. Proudly Glaswegian and anti-fascist, I was blown away the first time I saw them live and they come highly recommended by The Family.

You can make your own mind up at the end of the month. The Wakes are opening for Billy Bragg at Islington Assembly Hall on the 25th, and we’re lucky enough to be opening for them on the 26th at the New Cross Inn. If that wasn’t tempting enough, we’ll be joined by our good friend and Bragg favourite, Paddy Nash.

Philosophy Football are already calling it the gig of the year, and you can still get a ticket here.

I suspect that The Wakes’ and Protest Family’s influences Venn diagram has actually got more than one name in the bit where the circles intersect, so who’s going to edit their Wikipedia page and add Uncle Bill?

 

It’s a Half an Inch of Water

From ABC to Deacon Blue and Madness to Right Said Fred, the list of bands who take their names from other band’s lyrics is worth a Wikipedia page all of its own. But I can only think of one band named after a mondegreen.

Now a mondegreen, as you well know, is a mis-heard lyric, and in this case it’s the line “It’s a half an inch of water” from John Prine’s That’s The Way That The World Goes Round that gives Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas the non-eponymous bit of their name.

We first met Paddy and Diane at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in 2012, where we played a number of gigs, official, unofficial and very unofficial with them before deciding that they were wonderful and we were following them home to Derry.* **

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You know who you are….

So, we were delighted to be able to return the favour and put on a couple of shows for them in London. Despite some initial (and last minute) fretting from us as organisers, the Veg Bar gig was magical. The atmosphere was great, and the audience outstanding. We’ve had a few stand-out shows over the years but I don’t think we’ve ever had a crowd sing along to every word of pretty much every song from every performer before, and it definitely brought the best out of all the acts.

 

The Sunday was a more relaxed affair at Walthamstow Folk Club and the folk club format really suited them, rewarding us with some of the stories behind the songs and two sets of  songs with light and shade exploring a range of emotions. They really are extraordinary storytellers and performers.

There’s a load of stuff out there on YouTube and what have you if you want to explore their music further, but if you want a better sense of them, then try their appearance on Radio 4’s The Listening Project.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02np2j6

Wedding or Camper Van? Well, we’ll be seeing the van in Tolpuddle this July.

* Or Derry/Londonderry as it was known at the time.

** We know a song about that.

 

 

On Not Going To Yeovil

So when was Orient’s season over?  Last week after the Star Man Dinner kerfuffle? When Dean Cox and Unlucky Alf got injured? Not until the beer runs out?

Actually, that’s an easy one: It was officially over a fortnight ago at AFC Wimbledon when any over-optimistic talk of the play-offs was finally quashed. Well, you say easy. Not so easy if your mates from Derry have planned a trip over for the last weekend of the season, are playing gigs in Brighton and London on either side of your last fixture, if you’d really like to put on a gig so that you can play with them again, and there might, just might, be something on the last game.

This is where you find out which of your band mates (and fellow Orient fans) are optimists, which are pessimists and which are obsessed with football statistics. Thankfully, after extensive negotiations, we reached a position that the Yeovil game was only worth going to if promotion or relegation rested on the outcome and even then only promotion outright, not making or failing to make the play-offs. Which gives you a probability argument if you like maths or a football argument if you’re actually watching them play. So, as soon as the maths and the O’s woeful form allowed us, we booked tonight’s gig at the Veg Bar in Brixton.

We’re basking in the glow of a fabulous trip to Barnsley last weekend for the May Day Festival of Solidarity, and looking forward enormously to being reunited with Paddy & Diane and Robb Johnson. I’m looking forward to the venue too, having seen a Loud Women gig there earlier in the year, just a little worried about the PA, but we’ll be there early enough to sort any teething trouble out with any luck.

We’ve got loads to talk about too. Electoral success for Eamonn McCann and People Before Profit in Belfast, New London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the results of the poll on the future of Have I Got News For You. There will even be a few vaguely disappointed Orient fans to sing a song for.

Thank you AFC Wimbledon.