Monday, 10 December 2012

A little word from Shaugnessy Village on Open Mics and other Bull

Claude's Corner

A little word from Shaugnessy Village on Open Mics and other Bull |  Claude Remillard

The Cock n Bull was a Montreal landmark on Ste. Catherine and Fort since the 60s.  This family run enterprise has welcomed thousands of weary travellers and locals and students, all on the cheap for almost fifty years. When I discovered it, forty odd years later, I was about forty years old, approximately 2003. I had first been invited there as I had finished some work nearby and found the place divy and charming...charmingly divy...  The second time I went in there was a couple of months later.  It was a Monday night.  Monday is Arts and Crafts night.  This particular rendition featured plasticine figurines of a most colouful variety.  On other Mondays the bar springs for tubes of paint and canvas, pastels, wax crayons, sparkle dust, macaroni and ribbon...  The clientele, a mixture of students, retirees, professionals and other locals never failed to provide a bountiful array of fruits from these Monday night orgies.

A couple of years ago, their lease ran out and they relocated and changed their name.  They moved deep into Shaugnessy Village on Ste. Catherine and Chomedey streets right smack in the middle of new condo developments and halfway houses.  The colourful clientele has slowly been making their way back over time and plenty of new regulars and patrons of the Arts of "The Bull" have been initiated.   

One particular group of new regulars is headed by one Jesse Creatchman, the talented lead singer and songwriter for his group, The Creatures.  The young Mr. Creatchman heads the Thursday night open mics at the Bull and he has transformed the bar into a singing and dancing spectacle on more than one Thursday and a few Saturdays too!  While providing hosting duties he also leads the way with a couple of tunes, usually accompanied by the sensitive guitar stylings of band mate Mike Gerbasi, thus setting the tone or the bar as it were, for the evening’s entertainment.  He is soon followed by different impromptu agglomerations of musicians who more often than not provide some pretty good sounds (for such a low brow event). 

When school lets out and many regulars of the Fort/Lincoln street apartment scene move back home for summer, Thursday nights occasionally give Mr. Creatchman and Mr. Gerbasi and a (too often limited) few others time to work on their tunes. Regulars can hear the progress from week to week. You see, some of the tunes get worked on by up to a dozen or more people over time.  Each version aids or develops the song through the various impromptu contributions... then on some random night where a bunch of folks wander in expecting little of interest...and then?...a sterling rendition!  Those are the coolest nights.  

Whole Lotta Bull
Open Mic Night every Thursday at The Bull

Recently we had a bunch of folks from Sovereign Prerogative Live Creations (SPLC), a hip hop music and social collective...who, last Thursday provided some cutting spoken word performances touching on knowledge, confidence, instincts, the Qabalah and other forms of instruction. They made a point of letting us know about their upcoming show on December 21st at Club Lambi 4465 St. Laurent...It promises to be a night full of bands, beats, buzz, bongos and a couple of brews too... Hope to see you there!

Otherwise, remember the Bull on Thursdays as a place to develop your ideas in front of an audience that begs to be entertained. And lastly, remember Mondays as the night to get your ART on!  So come on everybody!  What are you waiting for!  Write your Songs!  Bring your Songs! Bring your ideas!  Let your creatures grow!

Our Motto and Melody

Beer:  Tasty and cheap,

Barmaids:  Pretty and sweet,

Music:  Harmonies full...oui, on aime bien ca... 

 Tis a grand old place, Livening Shaughnessy’s face,

And I tell you my friends, That ain’t no Bull!  That ain’t no Bull! 
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