Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Carol of the Pipers

It's nice to know that after a year of covering Charlotte's nightlife, I can still be surprised by things I see during my party travails around town.

On Saturday I was celebrating a friend's birthday at the Gin Mill -- a low-key gathering of shuffleboard, cheap beer and music played at a reasonable volume (what a concept).

We were all thinking about heading home for the night when about 10 men wearing kilts and Santa hats and carrying Christmas-light-adorned bagpipes walked in, making a beeline for the bathroom.

I stopped one and asked what they were up to.

Turns out the guys are part of Ceol na Gael, an Irish Pipe Band, which for the past three holiday seasons has been piping its way to center city bars during its annual Carol of the Pipers.

"The guys have had a few beers," band manager (and bass drum player) Frank Keenan told me, waving at the line to the men's room.

The bagpipers -- who had already played at Tyber Creek Pub, Connolly's and Phil's Deli -- stayed long enough to play three Christmas carols for partygoers (who also demanded an encore) before heading on to their next stop, Vinnie's.

As the last member left with candy canes swaying from his bagpipe, I couldn't help but think it was a lovely way to spend the evening.

Hope some of you guys got a chance to see them, too!


Anonymous said...

One of the pipers, Mike Lynch, rules! Great guys -- great band!

Anonymous said...

So does Wayne Johnston! And the entire band :)