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28/10/2021

Derry musician Paul Casey has been staying busy during the lockdown

Derry News music writer Kevin Magee catches up with the local singer-songwriter

Shake off the Halloween cobwebs at Homegrown Live

One of the most incredible things about Derry music is that nothing holds it back.

However, no matter far back you go in Derry music whether it’s to the showbands or Glasgowbury or More Than Music, when Gerry Anderson calls you a 'Genius... you won't hear much better than that anywhere in the world' you’re doing well. But then you already know Paul Casey is at the top of his game.

Last Friday he released In The Arms Of Love and Nothing Lasts Forever with Amberlight.

I caught up with him to find out what is Amberlight?

“Amberlight is a band I’ve set up with local vocalist Lauren Doherty. Lauren recorded various projects in my studio over the past few years and I was amazed with her voice. I pitched her the idea of writing some songs and see what happens. so far, the response has been great, our first single made it straight on the RTE Radio playlist. There is an album in the works so stay tuned for that.”

Over the last few years Paul’s been recording and producing the likes of Conor McAteer, Eoin O’Callaghan, George Hutton, Paddy Nash at Junction Cable Studios.

The results have been mind blowing.

“Yeah, I’ve been keeping myself busy writing and recording new music. I wrote a song during the first lockdown last year called St Jeannet. It’s a song about wanting to be in the place where you feel happiest and it has a real lazy-summer vibe to it. There is also an album of mine in the works too.”

Speaking of the lockdowns, they’ve made livestreamed gigs more popular, anyone seems to be able to do them, have you watched livestreams, what do you think?

“No.”

Which is the best answer anyone has ever given to an honest question ever.

Paul puts on the Homegrown gig in January every year in the Millennium Forum, that usually features Paddy Nash, Ports and Bronagh Gallagher.

It’s always a great night. I can’t be the only one that’s missing it?

“Yeah, since 2013 Homegrown has been a permanent gig in the Forum every January. It’s very sad to not have live performances these days but there’s light at the end of the tunnel and I think there will be a new enthusiasm and desire for live music once we get back to normal.”

Speaking of gigs (sorry for any offence this causes), since livestreams are usually terrible how can people support musicians during Covid-19?

“I think we just need to try support each other during Covid-19, families and every sector of business and arts under the sun have been effected by this virus. The sooner we beat it the sooner everything works again.”

The most important question on everybody’s mind since the revelation of Paddy Nash’s dream about him, Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen is were you upset not to have been in Paddy's Springsteen dream?

“I’m just happy I’m not in any of Paddy’s dreams!”

That’s another one of Paul’s productions I was referring to earlier on, but almost equally as important what's the craic with you and Terri Hooley?

“Last summer I was asked to be part of the Hot Press Magazine 'Van Morrison 75th birthday Celebration.’

“The idea was to record a song and video which they would release in the run up to his birthday. My favourite song of Van’s is ‘In The days Before Rock ’N’ Roll’ so we asked Terri Hooley to do the spoken word part which was originally recorded by Paul Durcan on the album.

“Terri’s voice and persona brought a realism to it that’s almost hypnotising to listen to and watch.

“Then we thought it’d be a great idea to have actual broadcasters recite some of the words too as the song is about Van listening to the Wireless and hearing the blues greats for the first time.

“It was also fun to get Billy and Mickey from the Undertones involved as they share a history with Terri! It worked out great, so much that Hot Press added our video to the actual birthday night along with their big names like Hozier, President Michael D Higgins, Glen Hansard and Bob Geldof!”

You can check out Paul’s wares on his Facebook and Instagram pages as well as paulcasey music.com and cablejunction studio.com.

There’s an American golfer by the name of Paul Casey so try not to get confused.

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