Monday, March 14, 2011
Most years on Saint Patrick's Day, I'm lucky enough to find myself singing Irish songs for a crowd of drunks. It can be a lot of fun, but it can wear on you, too. I imagine the Wiggles and other toddler acts face this kind of challenge at every show: a messy, unruly audience that shouts demands at you, drools, staggers around... and sometimes even spits up on the floor. But, hey — a gig's a gig!
This year, in a bit of a departure, I'll be playing at a swanky lounge instead of a pub — the Alibi Lounge in the prison-chic Liberty Hotel (formerly the Charles Street Jail). I've never been there (the jail or the hotel lounge), so I have no idea what to expect. I would wager that if you're craving a more authentic experience, you might want to go to, y'know... an Irish pub. But, if you want to class it up a notch and hear me sing various Irish ballads and Pogues songs (and five or six takes on the Wild Rover), please come join me for a St. Paddy's pint!
The odd/sad thing is, as I was telling a friend last week, a posh lounge is not as inauthentic a venue as it would seem. In Ireland, at least during the boom years, pubs were constantly losing business or even closing down due to the popularity of upscale bars and lounges. With all the money pouring into the country, the younger generation wanted to feel like they were going out in New York, not Newmarket. You can't really blame them, I guess. (Although I do! Who wouldn't prefer an old Irish pub with a good pint of Guinness to some slick, overpriced bar with uncomfortable chrome seats?!)
Of course, here in the U.S., we actually have swank Irish pubs. I don't even know what to say about that. Let's move on before I get too fired up.
at 7:49 PM