Sort of thing. Actually, this is about me surviving St Pat's this year. I know, yeh? The shortest distance right? Ain't no thing.
I had two gigs this year, which considering I don't work with a regular band anymore, is plenty really. If I were working with one? I think I'd want perhaps two more, but I'd no complaints for what I had (...and actually, I'd a chance at a third one, but for reasons best not gone into publicly, I turned that one down). It used to be that I was convinced that the regular, rehearsed band was the best way to go...and perhaps it still really is if one wants to do amazing things with one's music. Only a handful of years ago I had an experience with a pick-up band that was so phenomenal that it changed the way I approached performing.
So since I'm not working with a band at all, I'm fairly game for pick-up work, and this has shaped my last few St Pat's experiences. Mostly, I work with two chaps: John and Mike. John is a mainstay in the local Irish scene and is one of the best Irish guitar players going. Mike is a fiddle player who used to live here, but now does dwell in Sunny Portland and makes the trek down to play with John (and myself) in the bars every March.
With John on guitar, Mike on fiddle, and myself on vox and drum, we've fairly got it sorted.
So this year was much like last year: we played at Fred's and the Bull and Bush. The Bull and Bush is John's signature St Pat's do - everything builds up to that one. Last year, I liked Fred's best, cos it was low-key, casual, and I was fairly just after coming back from Atlanta and blowing rather much dust off the lot of it. I mean, I played in the seisiunna in Atlanta, but hardly performed there (my own choice), so. At any rate, Fred's was grand last year.
This year...they'd changed the orientation of the stage (and in fact had built a huge new one), and the feel of the place was seriously different. And thus, I was seriously Off. It was...I'm glad there was nobody really paying me much mind, 'cos jaysus bloody mercy. Alright, in my own defence, I could hardly hear myself - which is never terribly good for a singer. I did manage to shush the crowd a bit during one song, so. Hurrah that. I lost them in the bridge, but oh well. We live and learn, don't we though? My mum had nothing critical to say about it, and she surely should have let me know if she thought that goats were blown.
Once we'd done with Fred's, we decided we'd eff off to the Bull and Bush and sesh for a while in preparation for the next night's gig there. Wasn't that a fine idea? Well it was, truly, and I'm highly in favour of doing it again that way. We had a few punters, a few jars, a few tunes, and the people there got to listen to me singing the same Bob Dylan song Five Times Over. It was brilliant.
So I was well prepared for the next night's do and it went really well. Far better than Fred's had done. It can get quite noisy there during St Pat's, but since most people had done the momentary Irish bit the previous night, the crowd was thinner than usual and more interested in listening to us and interacting with us - and not once were we asked for some daft pub song that we're sick to our guts of doing. So I offered up Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons, and it all worked rather well.