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Paddy Casey is one of those artists who is fast approaching the sort of status currently held by his copatriates, The Frames; not quite everyone knows his stuff, but those who do, they truly adore it.

 

This would naturally make for quite an electric atmosphere at a gig like Casey’s on Sunday night in Dublin Castle. And following the excellent Thomas Dybdahl and Wallmark, Casey arrived onstage to the most ecstatic and excited cheer heard in Dublin Castle since 1922.

 

Beginning with two of the hits from his sophomore release Living – the title track and The Lucky One – Casey then gave his forthcoming album a quick plug by playing Breakdown and Tonight.

 

Left alone on the stage to perform the firm favourite among the fans, Sweet Suburban Sky, Paddy then gave his fans a pleasant surprise by inviting Declan O’Rourke up on stage to accompany him on guitar for a few songs.

 

O’Rourke then showcased his own talent by performing his own Love Is The Way before handing the spotlight back to Casey, who bashed out Prince’s When Doves Cry, and after some amusing tuning difficulties launched into the crowd-pleasing Rainwater.

 

“Don’t try this at home” he warned, before raising his distinctive blue guitar up behind his head, and finger-picking his way through the instrumental interlude without a bother.

 

It all ended – at least for those who didn’t catch his surprise performance in Whelan’s later on in the night – with the band members leaving the stage one by one, following a finalé which had every last member of the audience belting out Goodnight Baby, Goodnight with some gusto.

 

His most adoring fans were already calling it his best ever gig, and it’s certainly unlikely that anyone who ever accused singer-songwriters of being dull or boring left Dublin Castle on Sunday night still holding that belief.

 

Aidan Coughlan:Dublin Castle;Heineken Green Energy 2005

 

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Amen (So Be It) Review

02/17/2005


This young Irish singer/songwriter's debut release, Amen (So Be It), is a stunning look at typical heartfelt songs about long lost love, despair, and national frustrations. Hailing from Dublin, Paddy Casey's thick Irish brogue is gorgeously embryonic in his 11 song set list of alternative rock songs and folk-rock tales. He is sultry in moving into all sorts of music, illustrating fine jazz vibes and brief electronic beats. Ragged album opener "Fear" harks with moody desire, and the quick pop feelings on "Whatever Gets You True" is refreshing in a sense that Casey sings about spiritual optimism -- emotion usually found in other Irish artists such as U2 and The Cranberries. His acoustic guitar is a strong guide as his work delves into traditional folklore and such cinematic work is lush and vibrant simplicity. Other key tracks on Amen (So Be It) are the tranquil "Sweet Suburban Sky," "Ancient Sorrow," and the magical presence of "Downtown." Paddy Casey introduces a musical intensity so surreal -- music hasn't seen such talent since the late Jeff Buckley
MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide.

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While all the talk may currently be of Damien Rice, Paddy Casey is another Irish songsmith who could soon have more than a few tongues wagging in praise.

His 1999 debut album Amen (So Be It) picked up many plaudits, and led to support slots with the likes of REM and the Pretenders.

Follow up, Living, is a natural progression, but it's more socially dynamic, from the driving Want It Can't Have It, through to the dancey Don't Need Anymore, and introspective closing Self Servin' Society.

There are many parallels to be drawn with David Gray, the voice included, which will do Casey no harm if manages similar sales figures.

The Observer, March 4

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Live At The Olympia September 23 2004

"Selling out six nights in a venue this size is impressive by any standards and usually the preserve of the Christy Moores and Mary Blacks of the this world. For a relatively young Irish artist with just two albums under his belt, it’s downright unprecedented. But when it comes down to it, Casey’s appeal is not all that hard to understand – his songs are melodic, memorable and instantly hummable and the crowd – mainly well dressed 20-somethings (the majority of them female) – were clearly out for a good time.

There was an unexpected touch of Spinal Tap about the sci-fi intro of the show, which resembled something from an ELO concert in the 1970s. But instead of the expected mothership, the diminutive Casey strode out to a hero’s welcome, awkwardly strapping on his guitar and mumbling a quick “Howaya” as he strummed the opening chords to ‘Living’. Right from the start the multitudes sang along with abandon, reaching a frenzy on one of his recent tunes ‘Lucky One’. A string section was added for ‘Downtown’ while no less than a gospel choir arrived onstage for the triumphant finale of ‘Saints and Sinners’."


Colm O'Hare

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