Sunday 21 January 2018

The secret life of Willie O'DJ

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

FOR three years he was the Rubberbandits DJ.

Clocking up 10 million views on You Tube and opening the show to 20k concert-goers at Oxegen.

Now DJ Paul Webb has revealed his life as 'Bandits sidekick DJ Willie O'DJ.

Last January he took off his prosthetic mask of politician Limerick TD Willie O'Dea for the last time to concentrate on his career as a real club DJ.

"I did everything as Wilie O'DJ on-stage from swinging booze neat out of the bottle to to cavorting with female dancers. And in all that time, I never had a single complaint from the real Willie O'Dea," Paul Webb told the Herald.

But the Spin South West DJ thought he had been rumbled when at the height of the Rubberbandits success with Horse Outside, he got a knock on his door in Limerick.

"I was home in Limerick one Saturday night when the doorbell rang, and there was Willie O'Dea. I thought he'd come around to complain but he was just making a constituency call to ask if there was ‘anything he could do for me’. I hadn't the heart to tell him, I was the guy doing Willie O'DJ in the Rubberbandits," added Paul Webb.

The hip hop outfit first asked Webb to don his Willie O'Dea mask as a treat for fans in their hometown in Limerick but they found the disguise was even more popular with audiences in Dublin.

Soon the 'bandits were bringing Willie O'DJ to audiences as far afield as New York and Australia who had never heard of the former Fianna Fail Minister.

"My own personal highlight was opening Oxegen with a Sunday service three years ago with Willie dressed as a bishop," said Webb.

Parting company with the Rubberbandits earlier this year the 53-year-old is now concentrating on his DJ work, looking after a VIP party which marked the re-opening of Clery's in Dublin this week.

Having previously given his approval to the Rubberbandits, the real Willie O'Dea TD told the Herald he never minded the send- up.

"I know of  Paul Webb but I never knew he was Willie O'DJ. I've got a sense of humour, and it never bothered me what he did on stage in that mask. I would call it poetic license."

Webb himself is full of praise for the man he once mimicked, "I'm not a Fianna Fail suporter but I've heard so many good stories about Willie and his constituency work. He remains a local hero but that mask was bloody hot to wear,"he said.

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