St. Patrick's Day Parade

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by eow, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. eow


    Mar 5, 2003
    Kansas City
    OK, here's the situation.

    We have been asked to play on a float in a St. Patrick's day parade. Not the most glamorous gig but exposure for the band will be huge and it is for a good cause. It's a friend of the band and Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society.

    Problem is, we are not remotely close to being an Irish band.
    We are just your standard working cover band.
    We play Classic Rock, Southern Rock, 80's and 90's.
    The closest we get is "Whiskey in the Jar" by Thin Lizzy/Metallica.
    (Good thing it's not the American Cirrhosis Society) :D

    So... What to play without having to learn 10 Irish/U2 tunes? :confused:

    Anyone else been in a similar situation?
    What did you do and how did it go over?
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    We're gigging on st Paddy's day. I plan on drinking copious amounts of green beer. That and wearing something either green or magically delicious are about as Irish as we're going to get.

    I myself am a wee bit Irish on me muthers side.
  3. jakedimmick


    Feb 10, 2010
    Windsor, ON
    I play in a trad Irish band. Most Irish traditional tunes are very easy to learn, other than lyrics. Many just have two or three chords that repeat verse and chorus.

    Songs like Drunken Sailor, Leaving Tipperary or Black and Tans are all really easy to learn. If you could figure out a way to have a cheat sheet for the lyrics, you could just learn the songs.
  4. Well, figure your audience is going to change every couple minutes if the float is moving right? basically if you have three Irish songs you should be fine. Given that Whiskey in the Jar is about five minutes, you might only need two songs. That being said, I think the Dropkick Murphy's ought to be your go-to band. They do a wonderful rendition of Finnegans Wake. Hope this helps Have fun. What is the parade route?
  5. masterFlash


    Jul 6, 2009
    You know any van morrison?
  6. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Did he/they hire you because of what you do and they like you, or did they/someone TELL you you need to play Irish tunes?

    If they hired you to play music you don't do, time to start bustin' on some new material; otherwise, do what you normally do and do it well.
  7. eow


    Mar 5, 2003
    Kansas City
    ^^ Good advice.
    No one specified Irish music. They said just play some good upbeat music.
    Unfortunately the vibe in a bar is a lot different that riding on a float full of kid cancer patients and survivors.
    I mean, "Whiskey in the Jar" is a kick ass tune but is it appropriate to play in that environment? That's the dilemma.
  8. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Even though it is not actually an Irish tune (written by American Jewish songwriter Shel Silverstein and performed by a Canadian band singing with Irish accents) a very appropriate song for a St. Patrick's Day parade with kids involved would be The Unicorn by The Irish Rovers.

    The bonus is that it is only a few chords and all the kids can sing along. You might even want to have some kids on the float singing the chorus with you.
  9. t bake

    t bake

    Dec 26, 2009
    one of the bands Im in will do a bunch of charity work each year. we found that postive up beat tunes of all types seem to work well . number one thing NO! profanity or off color content. charity events are full of folks wanting to be postive easy to please.God Bless Gig On!!!
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