Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : Music : Paul Brady Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

PAUL BRADY COMES TO TOWN

FRIDAY 15 DECEMBER 2006

YOU CAN CATCH US ON ABC RADIO'S CONVERSATION HOUR


There was a time when 'Irish music' was code for the sentimentalism of Danny Boy and the Wearing of the Green. With the arrival of Planxty in the 70s and U2, with its rock anthems, in the 80s that all changed. Sadly, most Australians are oblivious to the depth and quality of songwriting in Ireland and the rich tradition that spawned U2. Ask Paul Brady about U2 and there's a discernible pause. No harsh words just a gentle 'I don't know about Bono and the world poverty thing'. Although Brady doesn't have Bono's international status he is the consummate artist. And with songs recorded by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Art Garfunkel, Santana, Phil Collins, Cher, Joe Cocker and Tina Turner he is in a class of his own.

With Paul Brady at the ABC studio - 15 December 2006 - before the Conversation Hour.

Born in County Tyrone near the Donegal border, in 1947, Brady rose to fame during the revival of traditional music in Ireland in the late 60s. Eventually, he joined Planxty, after the exit of the legendary Christy Moore. Then, suddenly, in the early 80s he went rock with songs such as Hard Station and Steel Claw. For those who'd followed his career in traditional music there was disbelief that he could cast aside his origins.


Paul Brady however is different. Unlike many other Irishmen he refuses to nail his colours to anyone's political mast. He never sang about the IRA and doesn't wear a political heart on his sleeve. During the hunger strikes that claimed volunteer Bobby Sands in the early 80s Brady refused to perform at the pro-Sands rallies. It led to him being verbally and physically abused. That experience led to the writing of The Island in 1985:

They're raising banners over by the markets
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown
No way our holy flag is gonna fall ?
Up here we sacrifice our children
To feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday
And teach them dying will lead us into glory...
As we go marching down the road to freedom...freedom


'The situation in the north of Ireland did create dilemmas for Catholic nationalists but I don't apologise for writing that song. It's just what I think,' he says. Despite an aversion to protest songs there's been a steady stream of social commentary in his work. Nothing but the Same Old Story, derived from his experiences, as an Irishman working in London, is a biting satire of British attitudes to the Irish:


I'm sick of watching them break up
Every time some bird brain puts us down
Making jokes on the radio
Guess it helps them all drown out the sound?
Of the crumbling foundations…
Nothing but the same old story?
You can see that you're nothing but a murder
In their eyes, we're nothing but a bunch of murderers


Yet for all the sharpness of his tongue, it's the beauty of his songs and his poetic grasp of love and its trials that is his greatest gift. It makes perfect sense that the, sometimes sad Tina Turner, would have been drawn to the pounding words of Paradise is here:
Paradise is here, it's time to stop your crying, the future is this moment… don't talk about tomorrow…put your arms around me…devour me…

Paul Brady with the inimitable Caroline Moore - who organised his tour - at the ABC studios in Melbourne.

I've met some prima donnas in my time. Brady isn't one of them. Sincere and engaging, he produces the most beautiful music. Maybe he'll dedicate that Irish anti war classic, Arthur McBride, to the current war in Iraq; a war he says 'makes no sense.'

It was no surprise that when he performed Living for the corporation and Smile during his ABC interview everyone in the studio was moved. He was typically brilliant.

Tickets can be booked on 9536 1168 or online at www.princebandroom.com.au
Theatre Royal
Castlemaine
Saturday 16 December

Prince Band Room - The Prince of Wales
29 Fitzroy Street St Kilda
Sunday 17 December
8.00pm

 

 

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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