Enchilada Paddy can ‘Bragg’ after bagging Glastonbury Festival spot

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One of the north west’s best known singer-songwriters is heading to Glastonbury after being invited to perform by Billy Bragg.

Creggan native Paddy Nash says he is absolutely “over the moon” to have been asked to perform by an artist who he describes as an inspiration.

Paddy, whose band the Happy Enchiladas have taken the local music scene by storm over the past year - and who have just released a new three track EP - will perform as a solo artist on June 25 on Glastonbury’s Leftfield stage.

While U2, Coldplay and Beyonce may hog the spotlight on the festival’s main stage, the more discerning and politically aware music lover will flock to the festival’s ‘pop and politics’ stage.

Paddy says the notion of playing Glastonbury was first mooted by the Enchiladas agent in England when lining up summer gigs on the other side of the Irish Sea.

“Intially there was no word back. We noticed the line up was mostly solo performers - there’s nine of us - so we thought maybe that was why we hadn’t heard anything,” Paddy told the ‘Journal’ this week.

“But I got an email back from Billy Bragg, who acts as Leftfield’s curator, to say ‘Paddy we can put you on solo’.”

A quick text was sent to the rest of the Enchiladas.

“It’s kind of bitter sweet without the rest of them. Part of our appeal and our success is the big sound we create,” Paddy says.

“I sent out a text explaining the offer. They all came back saying I would be mad to turn it down.”

Paddy, who has never before been to Glastonbury - a festival that attracts some of the music world’s biggest acts as well as more than 150,000 music fans - will have at least one Enchilada in tow when he plays the festival - his partner Diane Greer.

Both have met Bragg before - the folk-punk politico greeted them with a “ hello Paddy , hello Diane” at the Belfast National Songwriter’s gig before “ chatting away” - while the Enchiladas track ‘Billy Bragg Jeans’ also pays a homage of sorts.

Paddy admits there’s a few butterflies ahead of his Glastonbury slot.

“I am over the moon, but getting nervous the more I think about it. On the Saturday afternoon I’ll be part of the songwriter’s circle. This is the biggest gig yet,” says the erstwhile Screaming Binlid and Whole Tribe Sings frontman.

Paddy’s Glastonbury gig comes amid another hectic summer for the Happy Enchiladas - Paddy and Diane, John Spence, Jonny Nutt, Liam McGuigan, Eddie O’Donnell, Junior Johnson, Tracey McRory and Rory Donaghy.

The new EP, a three track collection of politically edged songs has just been released.

‘Who Killed the Moneyman’ - featuring ‘The Moneyman’s Dead’, ‘Fire on the Water’ and ‘Ballad of a Nobody’ - is available through iTunes or from Cool Discs.

A further EP of love songs is pencilled in for release later this year while the second album ‘Times of Transition’ is scheduled for release this time next year.

The staggered release of new material, Paddy says, is the Enchiladas way of keeping up with the digital age and “how music happens now.”

“In some ways it’s become like a fast food, it’s instant now.“ Paddy says,” but what do you?”

The band are lined up to play a number of UK gigs including the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival, while they are also due to play the Flat Lake festival in Co Monaghan.

The UK tour will be part funded by a number of local gigs - Derry, Limavady, Lavey and Draperstown - that the band have dubbed ‘Touraid.’

More information is available online at www.paddynash.co.uk