BOSJ2007 – Music & Nightlife

Best Local Rock Star – Best Local Singer-Songwriter – Best Live Band – Best DJ – Best Open Mic – Best Bartender – Best Happy Hour – Best Thursday Night – Best Place for Cheap Drinks – Best Irish Pub/Bar – Best Place to Play Pool – Best Place to Dance – Best Karaoke – Best Place To End Your Night

To see the other sections, go to the Best Of index.

Best Local Rock Star

jody richardson. original photo by jordan canning.

Winner: Jody Richardson

Many years ago, I went to my very first all-ages show, a New Year’s show at the Bella Vista. I woke up the next morning and it was 1992, and I had spent the night dancing to the Thomas Trio and the Red Albino. For those of you new to town or too young to know, said albino was Jody Richardson, currently of the Pathological Lovers (and of the Haters before that, and of the legendary Fur Packed Action before that). When not rocking out, in true St. John’s multidisciplinary style, he’s also an actor and a playwright. And what a friggin’ voice he’s got. Not sure what it means to be a rock star in St. John’s—last time I saw Jody he was at a grocery store, shopping for road salt, like a normal person. Which makes me love this town all the more. AP

Runner Up: Mark Bragg
Other: Alan Doyle, “Blarvey,” Liz Solo, “Sexie Rexie,” and “Tim from Hey Rosetta!”

Best Local Singer-Songwriter

Ron Hynes. Original photo by Cal King.

Winner: Ron Hynes

Living legend. Right here. Not every songwriter pens a tune that becomes a folk classic around the world (that’s “Sonny’s Dream” I’m talking about, people). He’s still kickin’ and playing solo and band shows at the Rose and Thistle and The Ship all the time. If you haven’t seen him play, you’re missing out on a great big chunk of the St. John’s experience, and you must rectify this error immediately. AP

Runner Up: Tim Baker
Other: Blair Harvey, Chris Picco, Jody Richardson, Sean Panting, and Sherry Ryan.

Best Live Band

Winner: Idlers

Guess who? With a 450- members-strong Facebook group, the likes of Jacob Rolfe creating their show posters, a brand spankin’ new CD and a gig schedule that would make even Richard Simmons collapse with exhaustion, the Idlers are truly a phenomenon. Not even steadily rising cover charges and the Hawkesley-Workman-collaborating St. John’s Phenomenon Number Two, Hey Rosetta!, can stop this ever-growing band of reggae/dance purveyors from sweeping this category. SS

Runner Up: Hey Rosetta!
Other: “Local Tough,” “Skullface & Others,” “The Kremlin,” “Trailer Camp.”

Best DJ

dj russtafari. original photo by chris smith

Winner: Russtafari

A good DJ goes with the flow, and follows the mood and tastes of the audience slavishly. A great DJ does this as well, but once he or she spots a touch of curiosity, they’re ready to take you on a real sonic trip. Russell Soper is that kind of DJ. Taking his first real stab at the decks somewhere around ‘94, he’s technically adept, and musically diverse. Watch out—he’s got tricks up his sleeve. EL

Runner Up: Leo Van Ulden
Other: “Delzilla,” Fabian Fitzpatrick, Mark Power, and “Ha!”

Best Open Mic

Rob Cook at O’Reilly’s. Original photo by Victoria Elliot

Winner: O’Reilly’s
13 George Street

With thousands of dollars at stake in their annual ten week competition, the competition is fierce at the O’Reilly’s Open Mic. More often than not, this night is packed to the gills with people and talent. EL

Runner Up: The Breezeway
Other: “Planet Chaos”, “Sunday nights at The Rose with Blair Harvey”, “Thursday nights at Turner’s.”

Best Happy Hour

Winner: The Ship
Solomon’s Lane

Not everything about winter is entirely wretched. Each Friday afternoon, there is a magical place, just down Solomon’s Lane, that makes the insurmountable snowbanks, the wet and sloppy gush in your boots and the searing frostbite pain in your fingertips all worth it: Happy Hour at the Ship. Starting at 5pm, you can sit next to a blazing woodstove and enjoy a cheap beer and a plate of fish and chips which is guaranteed to make you love winter in St. John’s. Until, of course, you go back outside. SS

Runner Up: Duke of Duckworth
Other: “5 o’clock”, “I travel by night, happy hour doesn’t apply”, and “Wherever it’s not sad.”

Best Bartender

Winner: Sandy Chisholm (CBTGs)
Holdsworth Court

With a friendly, genuine vibe, a good eye, and plenty of cold India, Sandy leads the pack, according to our readers. He’s the spirit that helps keep CBTGs great. EL

Runner Up: Joshua Reid
Other: “I refuse to deify bartenders it cheapens them strangely”, and “That blond woman at The Rose & Thistle that put me onto clamato juice as a tequila chaser.”

Best Thursday Night

Winner: Normie’s
Holdsworth Court

I already have a boyfriend, but I sometimes fantasize about picking him up at Normie’s on a Thursday night. Bring on the sloppy dancefloor seduction! Humanity is so beautiful and dirty, it’s great. BG

Runner Up: The Breezeway
Other: “Home watching Grey’s Anatomy / Star Trek / Survivor / French CBC.”

Best Place for Cheap Drinks

Winner: Bar None
164 Water Street

It’s dark, it’s up a flight of crooked stairs in a filthy alley, and the pool is free. And we love it. Note: the jacket and interior photos for Chris Picco’s new album were taken there by Scott Keating. Never has the Bar None bathroom looked so sexy. Or has it? AP

Runner Up: Lottie’s Place

Other: “Junctions 3 for 5”, “Lottie’s Place”, “Normie’s on Thursdays”, “Parties at Eastern Edge Gallery”, “Peter Easton Pub”, “Rose & Thistle”, and “The Breezeway.”

Best Irish Pub / Bar

Winner: O’Reilly’s
13 George Street

Easily disassembled, shipped in crates, and reassembled at art galleries across the world, installation artist Theo Sims’ portable Irish pub “The Candahar” (now at The Rooms) asks the question ‘what the heck is an Irish pub anyway?’ When O’Reilly’s moved two doors up on George earlier this year, they did pretty much the same thing. The people moved two doors down, and things stayed pretty much the same.

“The only authentic thing about The Candahar is what happens inside it,” Sims suggested in an interview with the CBC. “People talking and drinking and hanging out.”

O’Reilly’s is that kind of place—a warm, welcoming place where people socialize, sing, eat, and relax. With live music every day of the week and cheap bar grub, this is our readers’ choice for a real Irish Newfoundland pub experience. EL

Runner Up: Erin’s Pub
Other: Bridie Molloy’s, Duke of Duckworth, and The Republic.

Best Place to Play Pool

Winner: Dooly’s (Water St)
354 Water Street

Pool halls can be daunting for the beginner, or the occasional player. While St. John’s has plenty of establishments offering felt tables and square chalk, Dooly’s on Water is a straightforward, accessible option for those of us who just like to shoot a few balls every now and then. With their amateur pool players leagues, the many tournaments they host, and their dependable, comfortable atmosphere, Dooly’s manages to make pool fun for everybody. DC

Runner Up: Bar None
Other: “The Aquarena,” The Brass Rack, and West Side Charlie’s

Best Place to Dance

Fabian Fitzpatrick and Del Raymond Stamp (zone 216)

Winner: Zone 216
216 Water Street

This year marked the Zone’s 13th year of operations, but not without its hitches; as some of you might remember operations were shut down suddenly during pride week back in July due to a dispute between the city and the building’s owners. A few repairs and renovations later and the reZoned 216 is back in top form, and as voted by the Scope readers for the second consecutive year is still the best place for a night of dancing. There are many factors that attribute to the Zone’s continued success, most noteworthy a friendly staff who go out of the way to mix a healthy dose of entertainment into the playlist, and work hard to instill a healthy sense of community for it’s patrons. Kudos! RJH

Runner Up: Sundance
Other: “Alone in your room.”

Best Karaoke

Winner: Karaoke Kops Party Bar
10 George Street

Bohemian Rhapsody? No problem.
Elsie and Jerry run the show, you can see them working their bar in matching shirts with handcuffs and “where fun is the law” logo. On rainy nights when you catch them singing duets, you can’t help but feel they’ve been brought together by a real love of song. I recently visited as a part of a birthday party, and my group put on a great show, taking over the stage in a flurry of wigs, costume and Madonna songs requested out of a song title selection book an inch thick. BG

Runner Up: Bella Vista
Other: “Cerith’s house,” “Heaven forbid,” and “The shower.”

Best Place To End Your Night

Winner: Bed

It’s debatable whose bed our dear readers were voting for, but either way, being in a cozy bed beats trying to hail down a cab at 4am. Yes, indeed, a soft pillow under your head after a night out on the town is always a treat. EB

Runner Up: Celtic Hearth
Other: “At home not having regretted singing karaoke”, “the drunk tank”, “Mustang Sally’s”, and “On a hot stranger’s couch listening to great records.”

One comment

  1. bakernewfie · July 30, 2009

    Well, Oreillys is perhaps the worst laid-out bar in existence.It is horrible, and i only go there because it has a great music line-up most of the time.

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