Paddy Casey (supported by King Sativa)
HQ, Dublin, April 24th, 2000
Paddy Casey has become something of a hometown hero for the music lover's of Dublin. Like fellow singer-songwriter and often cited influence, David Gray, Casey has built up a strong following who are attracted to his heartfelt style of music. On Easter Monday, HQ was literally bursting with fans who came to witness Casey's Dublin show, which came at the tail end of a nationwide tour.
King Sativa played support. These guys are one of Dublin's best unsigned bands and they are in top form. Singer Cheeko seems to enjoy playing off the crowd and though hampered by a not perfect sound, the band play a stormer. Their reggae style goes down well and even serves to inspire a couple of people onto the dance floor.
The intro music for Paddy Casey is slightly OTT, more suited to introducing a rock legend than the slight form of Casey, who saunters on-stage, looking ever so slightly overwhelmed. He quickly warms to his crowd though and proceeds to play an entrancing set. I only saw Casey play once before and on that occasion the performance was disappointing, lack-lustre and fraught with technical hitches. There is none of that tonight though. HQ suits Casey's acoustic sound perfectly and the man himself is in good form.
All the best songs from his album 'Amen, So Be It' get an airing. Some of the rockier songs from the album, such as 'Fear' seem to lose something in the acoustic setting and probably would have benefited from a full backing band. The more delicate songs though, such as 'Everybody Wants' and 'Sweet Suburban Sky', sound even better than their recorded versions and are performed to a hushed audience which hangs on Casey's every word. There are a couple of new songs played also, ranging from a tender tune named 'Lucky Ones' which works brilliantly, to a sample laden mishmash which does not.
Nearing the end of the gig, a brilliant rendition of 'Would U Be' funks things up. King Sativa join Casey on stage for the encore and the dancers are tempted off their feet once more to the sound of two Bob Marley covers. A great end to a great gig.