Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Paddyman’s Tour de Force at P.J. O’Reilly’s Pub in Abu Dhabi

October 31, 2013
bradspurgeon

PJ O'Reilly's Abu Dhabi

PJ O’Reilly’s Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI – I have seen busier days at P.J. O’Reilly’s pub in Abu Dhabi. In fact, I usually don’t like being there alone when it is so busy that party-goers are bursting at every seam. Last night, I decided to drop in to see the regular Wednesday night act, Paddyman, in order both to have a nice night out, and also to seek an open mic or open jam session for myself. I achieved the former, but not the latter.

Paddyman is a one-man-band Irish phenomenon who has travelled the world playing his music in Irish pubs and elsewhere, usually with an Irish theme from the crudest to the softest. He also does most bar rock stuff you can imagine, in his own way, and, I noted, it is so fast-paced that he rarely ever finishes a song before segueing into another song. He also writes his own songs, both comical and touching.

He is now based in Dubai, and sings around the Gulf, from Bahrain to Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and other spots. A highly in demand Irish singer, carrying the home flames to the legions of expatriates of the region.

A High-speed Paddy in Dubai

His real talent is in getting the audience to react, request songs, sing-along, and generally turn the most staid Irish pub into a party. That’s pretty necessary in Abu Dhabi where, although P.J. O’Reilly’s is an oasis of merriment, there are certain things in the Emirate that seem not to be tolerated…such as taking videos of the performer.

So it was that I only managed to get a couple of snippets of Paddyman, and they are in no way representative of the raucousness of his act. I got told off by the security guard at the door, near where I was standing, and he said if I continued making videos I’d have to leave the premises.

Anyway, I thought I’d mention this, my first night out in the music of Abu Dhabi. Yes, this is expatriate stuff in an Irish pub, and not representative of the local music. But in other ways, it kind of is. Keep posted for further notes as to why….

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