From Shanghai to Sydney, and LA to London, every year March 17th sees world-famous landmarks across the globe turned green in a nod to our little isle. It gives anyone with even a strand of Paddy DNA, a huge sense of pride because for just one day in the year it’s all about us!
Unless you’re a musician in Ireland that is… St. Patrick’s Day may be one of the busiest in the calendar for live bands, and one of the most lucrative, but it is also probably the messiest. All those gigs and pockets full of green come at a price, particularly to your sanity. To help, we’ve compiled 5 tips to help you and your band get through the day as unscathed as possible:
1 - Stock Up: With Paddy’s Day being one of the busiest of the year for musicians, you’ll have no time between gigs for mundane stuff like eating or resting. Load the gig bag with plenty of Red Bull, Mars Bars and Strepsils! By night’s end you might be looking and sounding like Dot Cotton, but at least you’ll have gotten there.
2 - Pack Your Entire Wardrobe: There’s a joke about an American who’s visiting Ireland and wondering what clothes he should bring. The answer? All of them! As a musician heading out on the road for Paddy’s Day you should be thinking along the same lines. March 17th sees more drinks spilled than the other 364 days combined, with the majority of it on the band! Unless you want to spend the day walking and smelling like some of your audience, bring plenty of clothes.
3 - Be Askhole Ready: The spike in “Askholedness” that occurs on St. Patrick’s Day comes as a double blow for musicians; not only do they come out in larger numbers, they come out for longer too! They will be at your gig. They will make your blood boil. And they will NEVER understand the word “No”. They are a part of being a pub cover band, and there is nothing you can do to stop them. However, that’s not to say you have to roll over and take it unanswered. On the contrary, having an arsenal of GFY responses is a great way to get some personal gratification!
4 - Be MORE Irish: Paddy’s Day brings with it many unusual phenomena, including the annual drunken, “I’m more Oirish than you” conversation. It always starts with one person calling out another one because they have done something they perceive as non-Irish. As the band you want to proclaim your Irishness from the get-go:
- When singing ballads, use only Luke Kelly or Ronnie Drew accents and voices
- Don’t risk drinking anything other than stout
- Finish with the National Anthem, even if it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon
5 - Leave the Country: St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland can be pretty full on for musicians and bands. If it’s too much and you feel like boarding yourself up at home, there is another option; go abroad and bring your guitar with you. You’ll find Paddy’s Day celebrations pretty much anywhere, and most of them are a lot more civilised than what you might get if you stay at home.
Sin é :-)