Mondays have never been my strong point – it has always taken a herculean effort for me to drag myself out of bed and face the working week. However, today was ten times harder than usual, because for the first time in 13 years, I’m not getting a bank holiday on Paddy’s Day.

That being said, I was determined to get my money’s worth by cramming in as much as possible over the weekend. I saw Ireland win the 6 nations rugby championship, we watched Riverdance in Trafalgar square and we sunbathed in St. James’ park (combining subtle anti-monarchism with that most Irish of summer past-times: displaying too much pasty white skin).


That being said, I’d have to say that the highlight of my weekend came on Saturday night. The Hackney Irish Social Club teamed up with Bold Things to host a cracking free St. Patrick’s Day gig in The Dalton Vic. It was a great night filled with great music – CHPLN and CHRISTOF put in strong sets and I was blown away by Personnel, an electronic trio making their extremely polished debut.

What struck me most about the night, however, was the fact that the venue was crammed to bursting with young Irish folk, all very chilled out, supportive and receptive of the acts on stage. I may associate Paddy’s day with a bank holiday back home, but for so many years it’s also been about leprechauns, Guiness and noisily embracing the Drunken Irish stereotype. And yet there I was, standing in a room with the rest of the millenial diaspora, contentedly supping on a pint in a pub in Dalston without a fluorescent green top hat in sight.

It’s never a bad thing to buck a trend or go against the grain, and I was proud to be part of such a chilled out, laidback Paddy’s Day celebration. Long may it continue! And if you do get the chance to see Personnel, I’d highly recommend you take it. You’ll be glad you did.