Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday Night Song Club

Last night, after a co-write session and a few stops off at clubs to inquire about future bookings, I hopped the F-train to Bergen St, and a pub called Ceol, where on Wednesday nights, Niall Connolly hosts the Wednesday Night Song Club.

Niall was one of the first dudes I met on my way out to NYC, and our first exchange yielded a bevy of fresh opportunities for us both, as I gave him the straight deal on booking in Pittsburgh and he, to me, on New York. He also did me the kindness of taking me around to a few of the places he was playing on the monthly and letting me do a few songs to impress club owners. Thanks to Niall, I had my first month booked before I even got here.

The WNSC is Niall's brainchild -- a "closed mic" situation, in which you are allowed to play three songs (more if you are that night's feature act), but only if you have been invited, or vouched for by one of the night's trusted friends. I was with him from the humble start of it, and have guest-hosted a few times while he was out of the country, and followed him gladly to Ceol in Brooklyn when he moved it from the West Village.

I haven't been able to make it for about 4 months because I've been doing sound at a comedy open mic on the Upper West Side, so it was a treat to come back to the show. I forgot how amazing it actually was.

Niall is a friendly, affable guy, and if you give him your best, he'll give you his -- he's the perfect host. It's only natural that he would attract such incredible talent as to make everyone in the room look at each other and go, "Wow, (s)he's good. I should QUIT. Just get out of their way and QUIT." The result? We all go home and write better songs and come back the next week in the hopes of holding our heads up at the end of the night. What we rarely address is that we all feel that way, intimidated by each other's ability to nail that piece of sentiment that eludes each of us.

What the showcase does lack, however, is audience members, and that is a crying shame. If we're moving each other this much, while we silently study each other's form and method, dissecting song after song, chord by chord, imagine how much you'll love it when you're just having a beer and some awesome pub grub (their bangers and mash is not to be missed.)

If you're ever looking for something to do on a Wednesday night, the WNSC kicks off at 8:00 and goes 'til midnight, and caters to many and often all tastes. Please support this worthy pursuit. Take the F or G to Bergen St and look around -- Ceol's the green awning.

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