I lined up in the dark last night in front of the Aeolian Hall in London. There were about twenty people in front of me and I wondered if I’d meet any of them at the concert. We were here to see Irish Mythen, a singer-songwriter who’s transplanted herself from Ireland to Prince Edward Island.
The room was set up as a quilt of small round tables. I strolled to the front and saw a couple sitting at one of them. They were happy to have me join them. I enjoyed talking to Elaine and Neil. They’re world travellers and embrace the word “adventure” with all their being. I told stories and they told stories. We inspired each other.
And then there was Irish, a short firecracker of a human being with a voice that’ll rattle the dishes in your cupboard. Loud and pure. Her newest song is Maria, who I think was Irish’s aunt, and the recipient of great affection:
When I was a girl, you were a God … You were love, you were laughter
And I believed every word, such was the power of our singer. Irish blasted her way into my heart. Right at the beginning, she said “I promise you a hell of a show.” And she’s a woman of her word.
Irish told us about an Irish priest who’d walk around with a paper cup of tea, with the tag from the bag falling over the side. Most people didn’t know that the content of the cup was liquor, not Earl Grey!
And here are some quotes from this most “out there” human being:
She was talking to an Australian politician about being proud of her dual heritage – Irish and Canadian. Last night, she flashed us some skin just below her collarbone – a colourful map merging the two countries. “I didn’t show him my chest.”
And from a song whose title escapes me:
I want to dance with you
We’ll go laughing and howling at the moon
Oh, Irish. You’re definitely a moon howler.
To us audience folks: “How are you? I like to keep the audience happy.”
“I want to admit to you that I’m a … Catholic. Not many lesbians would tell you that.”
Near the end of the concert: “Let’s pretend that was the last song.” Big smile. And we onlookers stood as one, applauding wildly. Irish bent over and covered her face. She was crying. Gathering herself, she told us the stories behind each of her final three songs (“to save time”) and then proceeded to launch them at us, rapid fire.
We stood for her
We loved her
We marvelled at the divine entity standing before us