Monday night I should have stayed home and packed for my flight the next day to Melbourne, Australia. But that would have meant missing two open mics in Paris. So I said to hell with it, and I went to the Galway and listened to Stephen Prescott, the Australian MC from Melbourne play his tunes. Then I played mine, did a duet of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” with Tommy Player, and listened to one or two other people.
Then I did go somewhere. I went home, failed to sleep, got up at 4 AM, packed, slept two hours, got on the Singapore Airlines A380 and slept most of the way to Singapore before changing planes and flying to Melbourne. That was a couple of days’ worth of travel. Arrive in Melbourne wiped out nevertheless, but HAD to check out the local bars in South Yarra, the area where I’m staying and where they said there was a great nightlife.
I did not find exactly a great nightlife, but my ear was suddenly accosted by the sound of a musician playing live music in an Irish pub on Chapel Street. It was one of those typical massive Texas whorehouse-like so-called Irish pubs that you find all over the world. I went in and found Stephen Prescott’s counterpart playing some pop songs, including the usual stuff, Oasis, The Beatles, etc. This guy, like Stephen a few months ago, and like James Iansiti the American MC of the other Monday night open mic in Paris, at the Tennessee Bar, had a Mohawk haircut.
This guy, I would learn was named Matt Bradshaw. And he had a very good voice, some nice emotion came through, and he could play very competent guitar. The guitar, an Australian one, sounded fabulous.
I learned that Matt plays several bars around the city throughout the week, and he has played at the Bridie O’Reilly’s for around three years every Wednesday.
But here was the thing that REALLY made the world feel small and all of a piece. Readers of this blog will remember that I frequently sing Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” They will perhaps know that I sing the Chapin version, as opposed to the cover version done in the 1990s by Ugly Kid Joe. Readers of the blog may also recall the duet I did a couple of weeks ago on the same song when Felix Beguin began singing it at my Sunday Brunch at the Mecano bar. Felix knew of the song through the 90s version, but he has begun doing it in a version a little between that one and mine.
Well, last night Matt had a request from the audience that he do that song about Cat’s Cradles and silver spoons… and I knew what was coming. He did a version very squarely in line with the Ugly Kid Joe version, though.
Sometimes the world just feels soooooo smallll….. Hit the right chord and you connect everywhere….