A friend popped up for an impromptu visit while I was sorting through nakedchicksonpostitnotes Post-It notes so I didn’t manage to get down to the venue until after 10.00. I assured my friend there would be cake and he came too despite his misgivings having apparently done about “400 shifts” at the open mic when he worked there.
We make our way straight downstairs and I make out Paul Kelly, Tom Snowball and Jim McAteer among a younger generation of as yet unnamed open mic participants. Gilly Baby is there too but I give her the brush off as I want to make sure my companion is safe in hostile territory. Me Paul and Yossi manage to grab a cracking table in the middle and I focus on the entertainment.
A young pale lassie with a high voice is singing a famous song I cannae remember but I keep getting a fright every time she starts singing cause it’s a bit loud and I’m glad I don’t suffer from Migraine.
Now there’s two chaps up on stage singing about bestiality and how they would do any type of animal. I think it’s not a cover. The chorus declares their love for “a spider in a thong” and it’s all a bit of a musical gala performance.
Up next is Tom Snowball, Andrea and Iain Moye doing a song I aint heard before. Yossi comments that Tom can’t sing but I give him a what are you crazy look and he tells me he sounds like he needs a packet of tunes. Turns out I’ve brought along Sheffield’s answer to Simon Cowell. I tell him this and he just smirks in a Cowellesque manor. I then start mimicking Peter Serafinowicz’ “You’re a cunt” impression of Simon Cowell but I don’t think anyone else has seen it.
Poor wee Paul Kelly has a sore throat form over jamming and we hoarsely discuss his up and coming kinks tribute. Apparently I’m the only person wot’s showed any definite intention of going. There’s a biker type guy up on stage with a harmonica, belting out some blues then giving a few lines singing. I preferred the harmonica playing to the singing. Yossi continues his critiques in my ear and I ask him why he’s not wearing his trousers up to his ribcage.
Paul Kelly up next proclaiming he is going to perform the first song he ever did at the open mic way back in 1999 when he was 18. Darren Hayman’s “Mary Lee”. He does great despite his sore throat and gives the song his own Kelly brand. He comes back and I tell him his throat gravel made him sound like John Lennon.
A guy called “young” Tom is up next and after a tentative few opening lines his voice relaxes into a beautiful and warm effort. Yossi says you shouldn’t sing Van Morrison if you don’t sound like him. I didn’t know it was a Van Morrison song (apparently it was Domino and one of his more famous ones) and I thought the guy sounded lovely.
Brown-haired girl up next with a pretty Scottish/American style voice. Yossi’s jaw drops at one point “did she just sing do do do?” I tell him it’s not a crime but his face says otherwise. Note to self: don’t bring cynical old men to open mic nights. Last time I took my ex-chugger boy to Sleazies every time a slow sad song came on he would mimic slitting his wrists. Tsk. No respect.
Can I just say at this point that no-one has offered me a piece of cake but the beer is flowing nicely and then I get me and Paul a couple of Glayvas. His for his sore throat, mine for my addiction. He pours coke in his. Yossi’s draw drops again. I turn my head away and try to think happy thoughts.
Wee Craig is up next. The guy got a fine voice and tends to choose radiohead warbling songs. His attempts to be touching this time isn’t quite cutting it with me. Yossi mumbles something about “shite radiohead”.
Big curly headed guy up next singing a love song. He looks just like the guy who thinks he’s a pirate in Dodgeball. I find his sang quite haunting at points in a maybe I’m just getting a bit drunk way.
Someone maybe called Don is up next with a song called “Cynical Girl”. Hey I have a fan! I quip, “well you know I like you but it’ll never work”.
I can’t mentally envisage who was up next but I’ve scribbled “shite-haired fuck spaz music” in the flyer I’m using for a note pad.
Another lady up next introducing herself as a former music student sings “Mr Manipulator” she’s got an alright voice but she’s playing an annoying repetitive twang thing on guitar. Yossi suggests ambulance but I pinpoint it to car alarm but realise later it’s more accurately my radio alarm clock blare.
Andrea gets up again and plays some small stringed instrument or maybe it just sounds like a ukulele or maybe I’m hallucinating. She finishes with a query to the audience as wether the host of the venue, Mr Gerry Lyons, shouldn’t go up and give us a song.
A man in a scarf passes me by. Goodness it’s Mr Mark Rafferty. I didnae recognise him without a hat.
Yossi reviews him as “Bald gay guy” I look at him up and down and say but so are you! He concurs. Good ole Gerry. I’m sure he’s a lost Gibb brother. Or maybe he wasn’t hirsute enough to play with the others.
Christ there’s a lot into reviewing these open mic things!
Mark Rafferty is up next and I assure Yossi that he’s got to like this. He asks if he’s in a band but all I know is that he’s was/is in a wedding band. Mark does his usual humorous patter then introduces his “The Great Bminor song”. For me the mirth flows straight to my left eyeball which continues to stream for the duration of the song. Even Yossi is impressed and I caught him laughing of all things.
Geeky Tom up next with oh god no Tenacious D’s “greatest song in the world”. That sort of stuff might get you laid in the Cathouse sunny but Sleazies chicks look for a more sensitive or something quirkily humorous. Yossi sums it up with I can’t believe that guy followed up Mark Rafferty with that. It did kind of kill the rapport. Sorry geeky tom.
Oooh wee Ben TD is up and I get excited. This wee dudes got the sweetest voice…wait a minute what’s he doing….rapping? Yep he’s wrapping while his mate beatboxes. Actually it’s not as bad as it could be and wee Ben is so sweet. Yes it was rather endearing I think in my glayva haze.
Guy called Rob up next. Another I can’t mentally envisage but have written “Bob Dylan meets Johnny Cash” however Yossi has corrected this to “Johnny Gash”. Oh dear.
Last but not least Mr Tom Snowball takes to the stage again. “I reckon he’ll play Under the Sea. In fact I’ll bet my Pulitzer on it. He announces he is going to play under the sea and invites everyone up on stage for the finale. I wasn’t going to but Paul beckons me so I follow him through the audience. Also getting up are Jim McAteer, Andrea, Ben TD Lou who I knew in Jersey and Mark Rafferty takes to the Piano. I’m sure I’m missing someone. Oh the lovely Jo Mango.
Anyway this is when the funniest thing in the entire night happens. Paul steps over some girls sitting on the floor (Paul does a lot of jumping in his movements from A to B) straight onto an empty glass which shatters amongst them loudly but he continues his stride straight onto the stage where he trips up as soon as he steps up and goes flying across the stage. You can’t write comedy like that ladies and gentleman. I jump up next to him and give some moral support through shoulder patting and laughing in his face. We all sing along with Tom Tom, the piano accompanying beautifully and Jim’s deep tones soothing in my ear. We all get into a hug line and start swaying and it’s all rather erm cheesy. I point Yossi out to Jim noting he can’t even look at us (Yossi’s head is tuned away at a 90 degrees angle). When he gets his phone out I joke he’s trying to call a cab. Urgently. We laugh for a while at his expense then I concentrate on making animals noises– if you know the song you don’t need to ask.
It was a great end to a great night. Quite nostalgic *sniff* with all the old school attendees on board (oh and Lou but her passion made up for her newness). Oh and Paul continued his comedy by dropping his fag outside in a wet patch and picking it up again. Sorry Paul where you tad inebriated last night?
Peace and Love