We were very fortunate to catch Paddy Nash and his Happy Enchiladas at a recent Belfast show and even more delighted when the band’s current long player arrived with us afterwards for review. On the songwriting front the lyrics are strong, clever, witty and mature. There’s no ego or pretentiousness about this band, just good honest old fashioned music.

Stand out tracks begin with the fun and clever ‘Boys in Blue’ which cleverly, with a sprinkling of dark humour deals with the serious situation of harbouring an old friend who’s on the run from the police after taking part in a shooting.

‘Last in Line’ is a gentler reflective song dealing with an individual’s ongoing search for happiness. Not devoid of hope it tells the listener that happiness is often found when you find it within yourself.

‘Brave’ is a nod to a time when a cause was worth fighting for and there was unity among friends.

There was a time when we were brave; we marched in thousands to the grave. Now we turn and walk away.

‘Clichés’ is a classic country ballad. There are nods here to all those old ballads we heard growing up from the likes of Dolly Parton or Kenny Rogers. The chorus sums them up perfectly, yet still pays reverence.

All I can give you is clichéd old love songs, these clichés and love songs for you and me.

‘Adam and Evan’ is our favourite song on the record. The song tells the story of two men who meet and fall in love, but due to  hypocrisy and fundamentalism mixed with outdated laws and politics in Northern Ireland they can’t.

Well let’s all stand up for Adam and Evan and for every other couple being victimised. Tell those dinosaurs they better start opening doors, love is not a moral, love is a human right.

The song is a battle cry for human rights and call for all to stand against prejudice. We can’t see this one being on the playlist at the DUP Xmas party this year.

Having enjoyed the recent live performance and being bowled over by the energy of the band we couldn’t wait to get our ears around the record and we were truly delighted with what we heard. From the outset the music is fun, bold and sometimes brash. It’s hard to pigeon hole the band as they cover so many genres of music – folk, Americana, rock n’roll and country. If you took the Eagles, threw in the Heartbreakers and put them on speed they still wouldn’t have half the energy and electric feel of this band.

The humour and subject matter is very rooted Northern Ireland, but the situations aren’t confined to this country and we can’t imagine anyone tackling these issues any better. This is possibly the most fun and engaging record we’ve heard all year.

The album is available now via the band website.