Camembert Quartet show a homecoming for Paddy

The Camembert Quairtet with Paddy Cullivan to the left of Late Late Show host, Ryan Tubridy.
The Camembert Quairtet with Paddy Cullivan to the left of Late Late Show host, Ryan Tubridy.

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Familiar to many as the house band on The Late Late Show, The Camembert Quartet come to Monroe’s Live on Saturday, December 30. Led by Paddy Cullivan, the band are seasoned players who know how to entertain.

“We kind of try to cover everything with our live show,” Paddy says. “Because we have the sax, we’ll do Born to Run by Springsteen or Dancing in the Moonlight. We do the entire show without taking a break, so we go from song into song into song. So, you’re going to get Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick and lots of fun stuff.  We try to avoid the covers that everyone wants – but if people want them, we’ll do those as well. The live set can go anywhere, that’s what makes it’s exciting.”

The Camembert Quartet are in the ninth year on The Late Late Show. They arrive at the RTÉ studios at 1pm every Friday to work on the music.

“We do a quick run-through with the guests because things can change at the last minute,” Paddy says. “If it’s something serious, we just play The Late Late theme. If it’s someone you can have a bit of craic with, it’s great.”

Someone the band could definitely have fun with was comedian Peter Kay, who provided one of the TV moments of the year when he decided to sing a selection of hymns. It was hilarious and seemed off the cuff – did Paddy and the band have any idea what was coming?

“He literally landed on the plane, came straight in and said ‘lads, I’m going to do a few hymns,’” Paddy says. “Luckily, he chose stuff that we could pick up – Sing Hosanna and How Great Thou Art, stuff like that.  A couple of the guys in the band would have a background playing tunes like that.

“We put it together, and it was seat-of-the-pants stuff, but it was great. I like that, when The Late Late Show goes off script. That’s the amazing thing about live TV, when that happens.  It was brilliant.”

Paddy also writes songs for Oliver Callan’s RTÉ Radio One sketch show, Callan’s Kicks. It’s something he’s well versed in – The Camembert Quartet have released two albums of comedy songs. The last one was released in 2004, but he’s not sure yet about a follow-up

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.