By Ursula Duddy

Reporter

Derry singer-songwriter Paddy Nash will be jetting off to Belgium in a fortnight's time for the first in five concerts backing the legendary Billy Bragg on the Belgian and German legs of the English legend's European tour.

The Nashman will be performing in Antwerp, Cologne, Berlin and Frankfurt, with the final gig in Hamburg on November 30.

But before then, local fans will get a final chance to see him on home soil at the Flowerfield in Portstewart on Sunday, November 19.

Derry News reporter URSULA DUDDY caught up with Paddy for a quick chat as he packed his suitcase.

UD: I was just looking to get a bit of background on your good self and find out a bit more about your European tour with Billy Bragg. I hear your stuff has been getting well-received in Europe and getting a bit of air play. Can you tell me a bit about it all?

PN: "I toured with Billy before and this year he invited me back to Glastonbury to perform on the Leftfield stage. Through some follow up conversations the opportunity arose to play some dates with him in Belgium and Holland.

"My new solo album has been getting some great attention in Europe via the Euro Americana Chart, which is a huge online community of radio presenters. It’s also been really well received by the music media there as well. This is a great platform to build on my audience and hopefully put my songs in more ears."

UD: I've also been reliably informed that you're set to do a European tour of your very own in you and Diane's beloved camper van to document your travels - can you tell me a bit about that too?

"The plan is to do as many shows as possible in a month incorporating Holland, Belgium and Germany. We’ll be touring and sleeping in our 1990 VW T25 called Bezza.

"Again it’s about building our audience but I also want to document the trip on film and use it as a tool for other artists wishing to pursue this route. A kind of travelogue for independent musicians showing off the best venues and providing handy tips for life on the road. I love the craic with Diane in the Camper. There’s never a dull moment."

UD Also, what's your plans for the future?  I believe it's 25 years since the production of your first single - what's next for you and your Happy Enchiladas?!

"Next year will see the 25th anniversary of ‘Giving it the Message’ by The Screaming Bin Lids. I’ve talked to Declan McLaughlin about commemorating it in some way so watch this space.

"At the minute between touring and delivering workshops I’m penning some songs for the next Happy Enchiladas project. I’m predicting a Rockabilly vibe on this.

"Apart from all that I plan to keep plugging away at various projects to try and keep the head above water. Being a self employed musician can have its challenges believe me but I wouldn’t change it for anything."

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