Last night I had something of a revelation. I had spent the afternoon at the wonderfully lush Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham, networking and chatting to a variety of people about my recently released book, Ascension, so I was tired but also a little revved up by the evening.
I was looking forward to a night out in a local pub which has live music. But my two most local pubs were doing the type of music I don't enjoy, so I was forced to look a little further afield.
A few miles from my home, a pub was hosting an Irish musician called Brendan O'Brian. Now even though I was raised in Scotland, I don't have a particular penchant for Celtic music but it seemed the best option. Needless to say that when I arrived I was expecting a lot of hookity-tewekity music as my grandmother would have called it, and a fair sprinkling of the ilk of Donal where's yer troosers?
But that's not what was on offer. When I arrived, Mr O'Brian was already a little into his show and his audience was clearly lapping it up. Playing a soft rhythmical Irish lilt, I watched him pluck delicately at strings whilst crooning with a good strong voice.
But when he finished the song he changed instruments, tempo and musical genre and this was a theme he continued all evening, switching effortlessly from guitar to piccolo, electric guitar to drum. Indeed the breadth and range of his musical accomplishments was breath-taking as was the variety of music he produced on them, from Irish Folk songs, through Country, Popular and even Rock, singing songs as varied as traditional Celtic songs of the sort sung in Irish pubs I imagine, to Brown Eyed Girl and I'm A Believer.
And to top it off, he had a wicked sense of humour which he worked on the audience during the lulls when he changed instruments.
So if you're ever in the vicinity of one of the places which has booked this amazing musician, make sure you go - It'll be a night out and a half!
For more information about Brendan contact him on Brendan.firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him the Scottish author, Carmen, sent you, and you're sure to get a warm welcome.
Until then, happy reading! x