I fucking hate Tuesdays.
As part of our "commitment to live music" at O'Murphys, we have an open mic night every Tuesday. Think karaoke, but pretentious.
Essentially, what this means is that every Tuesday, every talentless muso git in the two counties are who's ever been given an acoustic fucking guitar for his fifteenth birthday gets dolled up in his indiest finery and descends upon O'Murphys. In the bar one literally cannot move for spotty middle class boys with ironically-slogan'd t-shirts and artfully shaggy hair, all standing around discussing their "influences" and sipping from tumblers containing the weirder shit off the back bar. Midget Chef paused briefly before nipping out the back door and leaving me to my fate and remarked "oooh, fancy dress night? Looks like everyone's come as a douchebag."
Then, by all the gods, it begins. The same three chords, over and over again. The same off-key vibrato wail, "artist" after "artist". Occasionally, one one hears a recognisable song: I'm not convinced that this evinces a large proportion of original material being played, but rather the fact that none of the cunts can sing.
Even barricading the kitchen doors with sacks of flour and turning the radio up as loud as I can, I can still hear them. With every fumbled chord progression, with every bum note, my mood sours. Normally, when I'm feeling in a grump I cheer myself up by bullying the floor staff. But on Tuesdays, I just don't have the heart. The anguished, tormented look in their eyes makes me want to contact Amnesty International.
The event is contracted out, so the organisers aren't actually on the company payroll. The compere is a tall, witty androgynous Wiccan in chaps and a top hat, who wouldn't look out of place marching in a gay pride parade. You can see the despair in his eyes as well. As the night goes on and the singers get worse, "the Colonel" (as we shall call him) sinks ever further into drunkenness, sinking gin after gin while the acts are on stage. He once confided that of all the nights he organises, the Moriconium night is by far the most dreadful. The "live music scene" here is notably more pretentious and self-adoring than is normal (and musicians of this stripe are rarely the shy and retiring kind).
Once, a couple of months ago, we had a small group of puzzled Irish musicians wander in, with fiddle, bodhrán and what looked like a bouzouki. Obviously the seisiún is an important part of Irish culture, and for some curious reason they clearly thought that an open mic night at an Irish bar might be something along the same lines. They duly got their turn on stage and treated us to some fantastic music: the bar staff's faces were radiant with joy and the chefs even came out of the kitchen to watch. The assorted muso gits, however, were not impressed, muttering snottily about "folk music" having its own places.
Cacophonous arseholes, the lot of them. It's the only time I'm ever tempted to spit in the food.
1) There's four of us, and we've all been given descriptive nicknames. There's Midget Chef, Pretty Chef, Stoner Chef and Stroppy Chef. Guess which one's me.
2) My former strategy was to stand at the kitchen door and try to throw peas into the customers' drinks, but the boss has told me to stop this. Apparently it's "bad for business" or something.