Shaker Pub Pyjama Party
“Seni Çök Seviyorum”
“Biliyorum. Sen eş söyleme lütfen”
The first time I went along I sang I Will Survive and we thought Yaşar was videoing it but he switched the recording off by accident. Not to worry. When I went back a couple of weeks later the singer recognised me and forced me up on stage to sing it again.
“Sen her zaman bana söyleyebilirsin. Beni inanılmaz ses olun.”
The only problem was that without the words I could only remember the first verse. That is why I like computer Karaoke because it’s hard to screw up too bad, although with my voice granted, I do push that to the limit.
So as you can see below, (well just about), I rattle off the first verse and then jump around until the band wraps up the song with some Na Na Na’s. I think you probably needed to be there but I left an impression at least. Next time I will take the lyrics with me, that could help.
Billy Will Survive
The Karaoke Band
Here is a clip of the Karaoke band at the start of the night, hence the place was a bit quiet. It soon gets quite busy for a Monday night and a few people do get up to sing along with the band, especially after they’ve had a couple of beers.
As some of you may know I go to the Edinburgh Festival every year to try and make people laugh and to continue the illusion that I am a comedian. After three weeks in Edinburgh I am not so sure that is the case and come back to Turkey needing a few months to recover.
The problem is that when you don’t perform comedy for 11 months to then try to do an hour a day is a bit of a leap. So with that in mind I thought that I could organise an open mic night which I could host.
This would allow me to relax and just talk to people instead of bursting a gut to try and get a laugh just for the sake of it and at the same time I thought it would be a good social thing for people getting together and sharing stories of Turkey or singing a song or whatever.
During the Edinburgh Festival I met a guy from New York called Lach.
“I enjoyed your set Lach, how did you get so good?”
“Ah, I see. Must try that sometime.”
He is quite famous for an open mic night he started in his basement there where he ‘discovered’ so to speak, a lot of great talent, like Beck for example.
I performed at his Edinburgh show called The Anti Hoot. The idea is that he is still in his basement and no heckling or interrupting the performer is allowed. They get 5 minutes to say or do whatever they want in a friendly supportive environment. I went along to his midnight Anti Hoot show in Edinburgh a few times and loved it.
So last week I advertised an open mic night at Shakers Pub with this relaxed theme in mind. However there was a bit of a mix up in the organisation due to the fact my Turkish is fairly Kak and the band wanted to do a sound check when the show was due to be on.
Apparently Yaşar thought I would be going on in between the band later on in the evening. I told him that I do comedy songs and they would probably go down like a lead balloon after a real band has been on stage, especially when most of the crowd would have no idea what I’m on about and my vocal technique would not compensate for their lack of comprehension.
So the four people who did turn up and myself took a seat downstairs. Teresa started telling some stories about her experiences of when she first came to Turkey in 1984, like how she met her husband and how she felt the whole village of Kaş hated her because they ‘lived in sin’ for 6 months.
The two other turkish ladies who were there were especially loving her tales of Turkish Family life and Hisy who is from Persia, I think could also relate to them quite well.
They asked me when the night was going to start and I said “It’s started already, Teresa is on!”
“Thanks Teresa, you saved the show!”
“Anytime Billy, I’ve got at least another 50 equally bizarre Turkish stories up my sleeve.”
“Aye, I’m sure…and the rest!”
We then got talking about Perfume because Hisy used to be a perfume seller. He told me that he wears perfume for men and asked me what I wore. I said “I don’t wear any perfume. I like my natural smell, it keeps Turkish women away”. This was obviously a joke and the turkish women laughed so I thought, ‘I’ll have to remember that one.’ Sometimes the material just writes itself.
Actually up until this point I have been a bit apprehensive about going on stage in Turkey because I tend to say what I think and I’m scared I’ll end up in jail. Some people don’t get irony. A reviewer at one of my gigs in Edinburgh said I was racist because I said that I think Turkish people are retards…because about 90% of them don’t speak a word of English. They expect you to fit into their culture. Don’t they know we’re British? We didn’t conquer the world to learn your language We’re too lazy for that”.
So, the joke is on me, yeah? Seems fairly obvious to me but if Fazil Şay can get threatened with jail for a comment on Twitter then exactly how much freedom to tell jokes is there in this country? Especially if they are provocative ones.
I recently watched live dvd of Paul Chowdhry an British Indian comedian and a lot of his act was dealing with racist issues. One joke was “Why do you never see any black ghosts? Black people die too you know? I thought I saw a black ghost the other day but it turned out to be a women in a Burka.”
Now to me that is funny and the audience thought so too, giving him a round of applause but I wonder if that would cause any religious tension here and that was one of his milder ones.
I tend to go for the jugular also, so we may need to have to pledge an allegiance of secrecy for all those who attend. We can form our own secret society. We can call it the The Billyburgers.
After a couple of hours chit chat Teresa headed home and the rest of us went upstairs for the pyjama party. Yaşar set a strict rule of no entry for those not wearing at least pyjama like clothes and one of the Turkish ladies was dressed for an office more than a pyjama party. Fortunately I had brought a spare Leapord Skin Shirt which she borrowed for the night. I have to say it looked better on her than it does me.
As you can see from the scenes in the video the party was good fun. I sometimes like to sing along to Turkish songs as if I know the words while acting them out. It usually happens after about my fourth beer and fortunately others are also drunk enough to think it’s funny and so that was my party trick for a couple of songs.
“You got the moves Billy, do you think the ladies are impressed?”
“Probably not, just make sure their glass never gets empty.”
“Has that got you women in the past?”
“No, but it’s the only tactic I’ve got.”
On leaving, I got to the bottom of the stairs and realised I’d left my guitar and bag upstairs. When I returned the singer was wearing my wig so I gave him the glasses and took a snap.
“Aniden ben bir rock yıldızı gibi hissediyorum”
One of Shakers staff tried to get me to stay, saying she loves crazy people but when I told her my price was 20 TL an hour she backed off. I don’t know, a man’s gotta eat, eh? ;-).
So without the taxi money home we went to get the bus. I recently discovered the Number 8 passes through Antalya on the way to Konyaalti at roughly 12:15 then not again until 02:15 and 04:15. That is super handy information and I was delighted when the bus came at 12:20 at the stop fairly close to Hadrians Gate, for your info. 😉
Here are all the photos from the night. Well, not including the ones I took of the two beautiful Turkish ladies that were with us. They said they want to remain anonymous or rather they don’t want any evidence of being seen in public with me on the internet, fair enough. As I always respect the ladies wishes, I guess I’ll just have to lust over them myself.
Whoops, see what I mean? Me and my big mouth. 😉