Derry singer-songwriter Paddy Nash on Roddy Doyle, Christy Moore and Billy Bragg

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Derry, singer-songwriter Paddy Nash

Paddy Nash will perform at this year's John Steinbeck Festival of Literature, Music and Film

1. WHEN did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it?

I was in a band in the 90s and we had moderate success in Ireland and America. It all fell apart due to bad management and dodgy record deals, so I quit and got a 'proper job.'

Around about 2007, I built a small home studio and started to write and produce again. I realised by this stage I wanted to be involved in all aspects of my music, so I became my own manager, publisher and record company. In 2011 I became self-employed as a full-time musician and have never looked back.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

Bruce Springsteen at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny in 2013.

John Prine at Rialto, Derry in 1999.

Christy Moore at The Point Depot in 1994.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Levon Helm (drums), Richard Thompson (guitar), Nils Lofgren (guitar), Bob Babbitt (bass), Freddy Mercury (vocals), Aretha Franklyn (vocals) and Stevie Wonder (piano and the odd vocal if he likes.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island?

Workers Playtime by Billy Bragg. It covers all aspects of the human condition: love, loss, humour, politics and hope.

5. And the book you'd take to a desert island?

Kevin Barry's City of Bohane. It's a complete mind melt of a book and he just encapsulates you into this crazy dystopia.

6. Top three films?

Young Guns, The Big Lebowski and The Godfather Part 2

7. Worst film you've seen?

Les Miserables. It's like watching a three hour Chris De Burgh video.

8. Favourite authors?

Roddy Doyle, Kevin Barry and Stephen King.

9. Sport(s) you most enjoy and top team(s)?

Football – Ipswich Town, darts, snooker and golf.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Iceland for skies and Italy for sea.

11. Pet hates?

People who think they're superior and look down their noses at others, ear hair (what purpose does it serve?), litterers, queue jumpers, space invaders and Audi drivers (most of them).

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Indian.

Dessert? Canteen cake and custard.

Drink? Beer.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My other half Diane. We've been together a long time and as cheesy as it sounds, we really do enjoy each other's company.

14. Is there a God?

I believe there is a higher power at work. It could be energy, it could be nature, but I don't believe in heaven or hell or the devil so no, there is no God.

:: Paddy Nash performs at the John Steinbeck Festival of Literature, Music and Film on Sunday February 28. The Limavady festival will be held online from February 26 to 28 with a mix of online events highlighting many aspects of Steinbeck's life and legacy. For details visit You can find Paddy's music at

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