Unforgettable night of entertainment
Earlier this summer, a few of my friends and I planned a little post-Cup Match get-together to commiserate over yet another year without our cup in its rightful home.
As we mulled over where best to get something to eat and drink, the suggestion was made to go to Pickled Onion.
Most of us had not been there in months, so it was a pleasant change of atmosphere. The service was fast and friendly. Food was well presented and drinks were, well let's just say they were up to par.
Such was the heavenly feeling of good food, good drinks and great conversation that we decided to stay longer that we had originally planned. As luck would have it, we were in for an unexpected treat.
Some time around 10pm or so we noticed some activity on the main floor. At first we paid it no mind but then we could no longer ignore the sounds: drum beats, the strumming of guitars and the amplified tapping of keyboards.
It turned out we were there for open mic night. Not just any open mic, but a line-up of local artists raising funds for the Chewstick Foundation whose members had just lost their Front Street home in a fire.
The audience was served a buffet of music genres: Bob Marley, R & B, folk music and original pieces. Each was addictive but two stood out among the others.
The first was a young lady by the name of Savannah Darby. She performed an original piece — to be honest I cannot remember what the title was — that clearly showed she had put her entire soul into perfecting not just the words but the music.
So powerful was her performance that those who were not already standing stood to their feet and begged for an encore.
The other artist who left a lasting impression was someone who, over the years, has locked horns with many persons on social media because of his views on racism, homosexuality and politics.
That would be none other than Mike Hind aka Uncle Elvis.
On this particular night, his performance was beyond reproach. With his trusted ukulele in hand he became this Merlin-like figure casting a spell on anyone within earshot.
It was my first time seeing him perform and, to be completely honest, I forgot for a moment that he and I disagree on a wide number of issues.
To say I was impressed with his musical talents would be an understatement.
In fact, the level of performance overall was such that it was possible to imagine I wasn't part of a group of 50 or so people at a fundraiser at a cosy Bermuda restaurant but in an audience of more than a thousand, enjoying famed entertainers on a grand stage. There are those who underestimate and undervalue Bermudian singers, musicians, poets and actors. As shown with Troika's sold-out performances of The Colour Purple last month and open mic night at Pickled Onion, once people actually witness what Bermuda has to offer, they literally beg for more.
If we want to rebuild our unique tourism industry, or even help bring different parts of society together, we must support our local artists.