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Any excuse for a party

18 Mar 2006 / in music and gigs

Let’s face it, for most of us St Patrick’s Day is irrelevant. Where I live most of us are not Irish. Most of us aren’t practising christians. So all that is left is an excuse, so the Guinness Corporation would have it, for a party. Well, I guess that’s good enough if it means that my favourite local band gets a chance to perform in a pub in Woodstock.

I have followed the band, now called Cooper Black fronted by my wonderful friend Simon since 1998 and seen it through many changes of personnel. The joke is that I have been to more of their gigs than all band members but Simon. They played at my wedding in 2004 and have provided the soundtrack to my life for eight years. I love ‘em.

My daughter Cleo, whose taste is as eclectic as mine, was keen to come with us to expand her musical education. She likes coming out with her mum and step-dad, despite the dangers of embarrassment of being with parents who are thinly disguised hairy hippies at a gig played by thinly disguised hairy hippies featuring thinly disguised hairy hippy music. Cleo, you are so cool.

Last night, in front of a packed pub for St Patrick’s Day, they wheeled out a bunch of vaguely Irish or Irish stylee tunes – a smidge of Van Morrison here, a pinch of Waterboys there, and some more traditional songs like ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsies’. But their stock in trade is covers of stuff from Steve Earle, the Stones, the Beatles, Nick Drake, His Royal Bobness of Dylan and anything else that takes their fancy. With Rod on electric mandolin and Mike (he’s a fireman! swoon!! ) on the electric violin they produced a rockin’ Irishified groove to pretty much whatever they chose.

Jim’s soft bass, coupled with Simon’s pretty guitar and Mike’s unique rhythm violin techniques filled the hole left with the absence of percussionist Colin who has recently become a dad! After only what seemed like half an hour they finished the show after three encores with their groovy, vibey, rockin’ interpretation of ‘Come Together’. Thanks lads! I *heart* you all so much. When’s the next gig?

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