Thanks to Boathouse owner Kevin Doyle I got the chance to not only come and watch many bands but sometimes interview them as well which I thought was really cool.
Rough Trade icon Carole Pope played The Boat once in an "unplugged" performance set with guitarist Tim. I remember Carole saying to me "I'm kinda scared, because I have never done anything like this before. And I am playing in a park?" I laughed and told her no, it is a lovely little intimate venue IN a park and I am sure you will like it."
She did. I think Carole played several encores ... I would have to ask Kevin. I know she autographed her book Anti Diva which I brought from her.
I also remember Toronto's Run With The Kittens. Meowser! Got the hot red and white Kittens tee and CDs' to boot. Now those guys have some chops having played The Cameron House and Lee's Palace in TO for years. And they are mega-brill talented. From there, I discovered so many more performers, Daddy Long Legs, Lynn Jackson, Sexdwarf, Irene Torres and The Sugar Devils, Blue Venus, Meghan Weber, and one fateful Two Bit Spectacle Wednesday night - Brendan James Stephens.
And I was not alone that evening. I had a table with me including my pals from England - Dave "Durd" Richmond, one of the founding members/ bass player from British '60's band Manfred Mann and his son Chris Richmond (England's Atticus Finch TV / Ireland's Snow Patrol). Chris' film short Drone Strike is currently taking the North American Film Festival circuit by storm. They were both very impressed with Brendan aka The Vaudevillian.
Meethinks Brendan will indeed make it to the Topper Most of the Poppermost. Dave and Chris also loved The Boathouse. Said it was one of the coolest venues they had been to in a long time, and one of the highlights of their trip to Canada.
I will never forget Kev and Mo and their kindness to me on my birthday when I had a fundraiser for the two guys who lost their apartments because of fire beside Far Out Flicks. We raised over $500 for them and I still have my Boathouse FOF Family Fundraising Jug with a pic of my pal's cat Sip. I looked after Sip when she became homeless so now she's my cat. That was a Saturday and Romeo Sex Fighter were great. The weather was perfect, and everyone was in high spirits. It was also drummer's Jay's birthday as well.
But there were so many successful fundraisers at The Boathouse. It was a giving and thoughtful community and the patrons were filled with such generosity. I was always moved by the extraordinary kindnesses that took place.
I also had a very special Boathouse night last St. Paddy's Day. I had closed the video store and had Alan Parker's The Commitments movie playing most of the night. As a kid I lived in Belfast for a few years so I always make it a point to celebrate St Paddy's.
I went home that Sunday night. It was late. And I thought hell, I am going to the Boathouse by myself for a wee while. When I got there usual Sunday night act Paul MacLeod was performing. I ordered a half pint of green beer. Kevin, grinning like a Leprechaun gave me a dram of Specialty Irish Whiskey and a spoonful of delicious homemade Irish Stew from the St Paddy style menu. It was a perfect way to end the day. Paul later told me that St Paddy's was one of his favorite gigs to play because once a year he gets to play Muirsheen Durkin which is song I still have on a old 45 single and one of my favorite songs as a kid in Ireland. That's what made this venue so special. Everyone has a special story about The Boathouse and all the good times they had. So thanks for everything Kev and Mo from the quilts to keep customers warm on the patio to sometimes just lending a friendly ear. I will truly miss all the good times, one of a kind libations, and Fabulous Live Music.
Slainte! Coral FM