On Monday I said thank goodness both the Tennessee Bar and the Galway Pub were holding their usual open mics despite the August holiday in Paris where the French disappear. Another of the stalwart open mics continued on Wednesday, with the Highlander Pub remaining open and entertaining with its open mic.
It was a usual evening at the Highlander, with a good mixture of crap and great stuff. One of the problems with the Highlander open mic is that it is so popular that you really have to get there at close after 8 PM to be among the first performers on the list and not have to wait until after midnight to play. I dragged my feet so badly last night at home that I ended up not getting to the Highlander until around 10 PM. I thought I was doomed in terms of when I might get a chance to play. Then, much to my amazement, Thomas Brun, the organizer, came up to me within minutes of my arrival, and he said, “I’ve had someone pulling out at the last minute, so you can go up next if you want.”
Wow! I had just bought a pint of beer and the shot of adrenaline was so strong that I said “yes” very quickly and then drank as much of the beer as I could as quickly as I could, since I knew that I had only about one more song to listen to of the performer who was singing, before I would have to go up and sing. It was so rushed that I was not mentally prepared. Needed the beer to calm the nerves. But I’d rather that than wait until nearly 1 AM to play.
The other down side, though, was that the singer was Etienne, whom I mentioned a few weeks ago played at the Galway and was fabulous. And here he was blowing them all away at The Highlander too, with high adrenaline, hard played chords and sandpapery voice striking right to the heart. What the hell could I do after that overdrive performance? I elected to go soft and cool, and sang “Jealous Guy.” Then did one of my own, then another of my own. I survived, the audience did too. All was well.
I then spent until midnight or afterwards listening to most of the other performers, so in a way I didn’t really save myself much time after all. But I enjoyed it, and there was a kind of a feeling of a theme here. For while Etienne was the first, he was far from the last of the performers that I saw at the Galway, again playing here. For example, there was the Dutch (and French) woman I have mentioned – and showed a video of – in my Galway post recently (which she asked to be removed years later). And after her, by the time I got near the end of my stay there, it turned out that even the MC of the Galway, the Australian from Melbourne, Stephen Prescott, decided he would go up and play a few songs for fun. In fact, his fun was so much fun – carousing fun – that while I was recording it on video in stealth behind a pillar near the door so neither he nor anyone else would really notice the candid camera, Stephen stopped singing for a moment and turned my way and said, “Brad, don’t put this up on your blog, I’m….”
Well, all right, I left the last word out. And I have decided not to. But I’ve got the evidence, Stephen. So next time I go to the Galway, if you don’t want the world to see it – let me on early there too, no matter what time I show up.
But seriously, I love it when I see an MC from an open mic show up to do another open mic two days later, as a performer. This is devotion, passion, fun.