Tag Archives: Paddy Goes to Holyhead

Paddy Goes to Holyhead: Acoustic Nights

On their tenth album this veteran German folk-rock band revisits some of their old favorites with new singer Mark Patrick at the helm. Evidently Patrick felt the need to rework those old tunes (made popular by previous front man Harald Schmidt) in an effort to gain acceptance with the disgruntled fanbase. Risky move perhaps, but if this revamped band is to carry on the tradition of this top-notch German pseudo-Celtic folk-rock outfit they will have to connect with the fans and prove that the past is not forgotten. Patrick’s squeaky-clean vocal style is in stark contrast to Schmidt’s gruff, boozy style but Patrick does an admirable job particularly on the gypsy-inflected “Johnny Went to the War” and “Lady from Athina,” thanks in part to fiddler Jens Kempgens meticulous playing. Their rendition of the Charlie Daniels classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is the highlight, mainly due to it’s unlikely inclusion. Why this band opted to include two tracks “Troubadour” and “Cornerstone” (which appeared on their 2002 Mark Patrick debut, RED-LETTER DAYS) is beyond me. Those songs haven’t changed at all in the two years since their release. “Nice” sums up this album accurately. It’s neither dismal nor exceptional and far from the best work Paddy Goes to Holyhead has produced over the years.

November 2004

Review by: Dave Sleger