Wednesday 18 January 2017

Pa Curran listens to those in poor man’s clothes - and the result was a debut album

Published 09/03/2016 | 15:50

West Cork singer song-writer Pa Curran may have little time to bask in the glory of his debut album Poor Man’s Clothes, but the Bantry native admits he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The PE and Geography secondary school teacher and father-of-two has plenty to occupy his mind away from music, but says he has the hectic schedule under control.

“There isn't much going on in the West Cork music scene during the week so the two don't clash at all at the moment,” he tells Independent.ie.

“I'd say apart from running the school choir most of my students don't even know that I'm involved in music at all. I gig at the weekends, but this time of year it is quiet so I'm doing a lot of song-writing and recording at the moment.”

Which brings us on to his debut album.  After success with his single 'Unintentional Hero' in 2014 – it went to number 1 on the Irish Itunes Singer-Songwriters charts – Curran has been working on the project for two years.

So what was the inspiration behind the album title?

“I’ve learned more than most from listening to those in poor man’s clothes,” he says, which is also the title track.

In fact all the 11 tracks tell their own unique stories, with a range of issues scattered throughout, from hope to despair, laughter to tragedy.

His wife Eimear provides the backing vocals on ‘Goodbye Love’, while the final track of the album, ‘On You Go’ is a most poignant song, an uplifting hymn to a young child lost in tragic circumstances.

Though it’s not to suggest for a moment  that humour takes a backseat.

‘Straight Up and Honest’ is full of self-deprecating humour, while ‘News from Town’ was written with his hometown very much in mind.

“It’s a song I wrote about a couple not so fictitious characters from my Bantry who seem to be experts at everyone else’s business except their own,” he jokes.

“I wrote it in response to a number of people who were outraged at the fact that I campaigned for a ‘Yes’ vote in last year's Marriage Equality referendum. I've obviously changed their names to keep myself out of trouble!”

The song is ironic in many ways as the theme of friendship and generosity shine through from the first track to the last.

After a successful tour of the United States in 2014, including a memorable performance at at the famed Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan, Curran is lining up another trans-Atlantic visit in the next 12 months.

Poor Man’s Clothes can purchased in CD format at upcoming gigs and online exclusively on www.pacurran.com.

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