From ABC to Deacon Blue and Madness to Right Said Fred, the list of bands who take their names from other band’s lyrics is worth a Wikipedia page all of its own. But I can only think of one band named after a mondegreen.
Now a mondegreen, as you well know, is a mis-heard lyric, and in this case it’s the line “It’s a half an inch of water” from John Prine’s That’s The Way That The World Goes Round that gives Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas the non-eponymous bit of their name.
We first met Paddy and Diane at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in 2012, where we played a number of gigs, official, unofficial and very unofficial with them before deciding that they were wonderful and we were following them home to Derry.* **
So, we were delighted to be able to return the favour and put on a couple of shows for them in London. Despite some initial (and last minute) fretting from us as organisers, the Veg Bar gig was magical. The atmosphere was great, and the audience outstanding. We’ve had a few stand-out shows over the years but I don’t think we’ve ever had a crowd sing along to every word of pretty much every song from every performer before, and it definitely brought the best out of all the acts.
The Sunday was a more relaxed affair at Walthamstow Folk Club and the folk club format really suited them, rewarding us with some of the stories behind the songs and two sets of songs with light and shade exploring a range of emotions. They really are extraordinary storytellers and performers.
There’s a load of stuff out there on YouTube and what have you if you want to explore their music further, but if you want a better sense of them, then try their appearance on Radio 4’s The Listening Project.
Wedding or Camper Van? Well, we’ll be seeing the van in Tolpuddle this July.
* Or Derry/Londonderry as it was known at the time.
** We know a song about that.