Paul Brady

Cadogan Hall, Chelsea, London, UK
Saturday 4th May 2013
I've seen Paul Brady more times than just about any other act. Over the years, he has played with a full band, just him and his pianist, Steve Clarke, or solo. In the last year, he discovered a new way to mic up the stage so that one ambient mic picks up his voice and acoustic guitar (see photo above). It has revolutionised his performance, giving him a freedom he never had before. The chance to roam! Tonight he packed his set with favourites like The Island, Follow On and Helpless Heart but also added rarely heard songs like The Road To The Promised Land and Dancer In The Fire from his first album of original songs, 1981's Hard Station. His voice soared in the wonderful venue. The sound was crystal clear and the new-found freedom has given him a joyfulness onstage that was missing before. I'd say he's having the time of his life.
The audience: 
Cadogan Hall seats 900 and it was almost full. Plenty of Irish representation, as you'd expect, whooping and hollering at the end of the up-tempo numbers like Crazy Dreams.
Food & drink: 
The bar was lovely; spacious, well lit and friendly. Any venue that has an ice-bucket full of Laurent Perrier by the glass is obviously a cut above.
It made me think: 
You know you're at the right gig when God walks by.


Proof that we weren't seeing things. They go way back as mates, with Eric booking Paul as support in the 80's, when Paul couldn't get arrested.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

of course played on the Back To The Centre album.

I was pleased to hear those older songs, but I'd have liked to have heard others that have been dropped like I want You To Want Me, Can't Stop Wanting You and Steal Your Heart Away at the expense of World Is What You Make It (a song I've never liked anyway), Nobody Knows and Nothing But The Same Old Story (which is becoming lacklustre after so many years). I know they are crowd pleasers, but it was noticeable he didn't play Donegal, despite the tin-whistle being available in its holder.

However don't imagine I'm suggesting it wasn't a good gig. We enjoyed it hugely.

Did you witness the row between the woman who had been doing the slow motion idiot dance at the front and the woman who had told her to sit down after the show was over? I was quite shocked. Usually these things pass, but not these two. Quite disturbing at a Paul Brady gig.

I imagine the dancing woman's son, aged about 12 at most, was dying inside.

The Dancing Woman eventually moved over to the right of the stage and, at that point, obviously antagonised The Big Woman. She was sat across the aisle from me. When she got up and marched down the front to remonstrate with The Dancing Woman, I nearly fell off my seat. It was a few songs from the end and The Dancing Woman went back to her front-row seat and slunk down in it. I think she had a husband and 2 kids with her so I suspect it was 3/4 of a family who were cringing. Wish I'd known you were there, we could have had a beer.

but we were in the same row. We too were in 5th row i.e. A in seats 14 & 15, slap bang in the middle.

She did sink into her seat on return and apart from the occasional bit of arm waving that was it. She seemed slightly eccentric in that when Paul said some people had been with him about 30 years (myself & Mrs P - our first date was PB at the Town & Country on the Back To The Centre tour, so since then we've seen every London gig bar one or two) and some even 40 she jumped and and waved her arms then. Maybe her mother played her PB while she was in the womb, because otherwise she didn't look old enough for that length of support.

I said to Mrs. B, 'I bet there are some Afterworders here.' It was a great gig and we loved the venue. We've travelled all over to see him, including Dublin. Like you, he's a bit special to us.

when he was still doing Lily Savage.

I'm not trying to be obtuse, but that one is over my head, Bob.

I was pretending to confuse him with Paul O'Grady, with hilarious consequences.

That was was my first thought but it didn't help when I tried to remember Lily's real name and it came to me as Michael O'Grady. No, that doesn't work so what could it be?

he's a wonderful fella: saw him at B'ham Irish centre in about 80 and Symphony Hall maybe a decade ago. O and with Andy Irvine in late 70s, to plug the purple album. Supporting the Bothy Band, I seem vaguely to recall. If we disregard the Ooga Looga LP (or whatever it's called), he has never done a step wrong

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