Encounter at the Fleadh

I get quite a lot of contacts via the site, usually attempts to book Paddy to some gig or other. It’d be great to help, some of the ideas are wonderful, but all I’m able to do is point out this is a fan site, I don’t have any contact details for Paddy or his management, and advise them to track Keith Armstrong down. And then there are the “Juliet Letters” style of contact where someone thinking I’m Paddy explains how much his music meant to them and how it took them through a difficult period in life or love or loss, and I don’t really know how to answer those. They’re touching though, and where help is requested I try to find a route.

Anyway, every now and then there’s something more relevant to a fansite and which brings with it something or other of interest. At least one wonderful VHS collection and quite a lot of audio has come this way, and often some wry smiles. This is one of the latter, a photograph from backstage at the Fleadh in 2000.

Which would in itself be nice to have, it’s a lovely and relaxed photo of a fan with Paddy on the occasion of the last band gig ever. But there’s a nice little story behind it.

The guy on the left is the tour manager for Irish band, Picturehouse, who were also on the bill – in fact they played the Fleadh a few times. As the photo suggests, he was indeed a fan of Prefab Sprout, having seen them in 1984 at the Trinity Ball in Dublin. As an aside, this was the short Irish excursion in which Prefab Sprout had supported the Paul Brady Band in Belfast the previous evening, a band which he is tour managing at the moment. Music is a small world indeed.

But when he introduced himself to Paddy backstage, there was a double take, because he is referred to as “Paddy Mc” too – his name is Paddy McPoland. After a bit of cross verification of ID and mutual amusement, the photo was taken, and christened “When Paddy Mc met Paddy Mc”.

Not a bad excuse to look and listen to the Fleadh performance, sad to think we will never see the like again.

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