Shape I’m In: Paddy Casey, singer/song writer

IT’S always been about the music for singer/song writer Paddy Casey. From Crumlin in Dublin, he dropped out of school when he was about 13 to follow his passion.

Shape I’m In: Paddy Casey, singer/song writer

“I started writing music and thinking about it and something changed. I had no interest in anything else. I was never very good at school, anyway,” he says. “School is not for everyone — for me, it was like telling a fish it can’t fly.”

His determination and dedication paid off in equal measure. Now aged 39, with five albums to his name and a duet — Out of Control — out this month with Kim Hayden, he has a packed schedule with gigs in Ireland, Australia, Dubai and possibly Germany.

Check him out on YouTube and you’ll see his 2007 chilled performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. But he has no illusions about his fan base there. “I’ll never be charting. There is always a few people who come to the gigs. I have a ‘ modest cult’ following. You can always do fairly decent gigs over there”.

Single, and father to Saoirse, 18, he says he doesn’t intend to grow up anytime soon. “I’m nearly 40, but I feel 14 — I never grew up. It’s overrated,” he says.

* Paddy Casey will be performing on Friday, June 13, at Experience Fest/ Cork Summer Show in the Cork Summer Showgrounds in Curraheen, Cork.

What shape are you in?

I do a bit of Kung Fu, though I wouldn’t stick to a strict regime. It’s for balance and keeps your back from getting sore. I wouldn’t go out fighting people and I don’t want to take my shirt off and cover myself in oil.

Do you have any health concerns?

I’m a great believer in mind over matter. If I get any kind of pain I just relax and think about it and then it seems to go away. I don’t get sick too much, maybe the odd cold. Everything in nature knows how to heal itself.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I throw a lot of tomatoes into things., I think they are very good for you. I also eat a lot of fresh ginger — it’s really good for your throat. I’m not a healthy eater, I have spurts of healthy eating.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

I’m not fussy about food. I’m off the drink — when you play music you find yourself drinking a lot. Yeah. you drink all day, after gigs — that’s all there is to do. .. most of the time it’s hurry up and wait.... everything revolves around drink so I don’t really drink anymore. it’s great, no hangovers. I don’t drink for now — 10 years off. I’m still drunk from the last time.

What would keep you awake at night?

I’ve been a night owl since I was about 10. I ended up leaving school early because of it. Night time is the best time for music, there are less things to distract you. I’ve never been a big sleeper — it’s always four or five hours’ sleep.

How do you relax?

I make a point of being as relaxed as possible. Music is a stressful job. If I want to get deeply relaxed I just turn off all the electricity, all the lights and lie on the bed or couch and maybe light a candle.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I’d love to have dinner with the first girl I fell in love with when I was about 13 — I’d like to see what she did with her life. Also, Jesus, Hunter S Thompson or Kurt Vonnegut and Padraig Pearse — he was a bit of a rebel.

What’s your favourite smell?

The old smell of Halloween when everyone would light their fires. I used to love the smell — I think it was called smog. It was the excitement of Halloween mixed with the smell in your nose.

What would you change about your appearance?

Nothing really. It has worked for me, so far. Other than being fitter, I don’t give a shit. You are what you are.

When did you last cry?

There are a couple of films I watch and every time I cry: Cinderella Man — it’s about an Irish-American boxer — and Rocky.

What trait do you least like in others?

Jealously — most of the time, it’s an inability to express something else.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Jealousy.

Do you pray?

I wouldn’t say a prayer but I believe you are prayer. If you really believe in God everything you think is a conversation in a kind of way. He or she is always there.

What would cheer up your day?

I love comedy. Comedian Mitch Hedberg has great one-liners like, an escalator is never really broken it’s just a stairs.

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