Here’s Nick Teehan’s “Raccoon” to get you over the Wednesday hump:
Who: Nick Teehan & his band
Where: The Cameron House, 408 Queen Street West
Price: Pay what you can
Bonus: Giant ants on the walls; myriad jokes about southern Ontario
Last Friday, I tagged along with two lovely Irish friends named Paraic and Jimmy to hit up The Cameron House and drink a couple of beers with some old work friends, Nyree and Anna. The beer was nice, but the real pleasure was seeing a boisterous performance by Nick Teehan and his band. This bar is perfect for a chill night, as it includes odd plant decor, vintage velvet couches, the requisite old piano, a cute man in a toque*, an intimate stage in the front and a larger space in the back for bigger shows.
The walls featured a breathtaking collection of paintings for sale, as well: large canvasses with bright portraits of women wearing various headscarves and hats. I could not stop staring into the eyes of these women. If I had $800.00 to blow, I would buy a painting. If I could remember who the artist is, I would tell you. The ever-changing murals on the exterior walls of the bar are worthy of their own shout out:
Succinct concert review: these guys are awesome. Listen to the song, if you don’t believe me!
My overwhelmingly favourite song, which I assume would be the audience-wide verdict, was a new one called “My Heart’s a Doughnut, and You’re the Hole” (or something along those lines; my apologies if that’s wrong!). It’s an emotional ballad dedicated to Nick’s most treasured spot – or chain of spots across the entire province, to get specific – in all the world, a little place called Coffee Time. I claim ignorance of the shop’s many apparent virtues, but he had great things to say about the sausage rolls and pre-made sandwiches.
Ironically, the first usable image when I searched for the chain may be the one closest to my house:
Now, this is not the coffee shop of choice for most discerning connoisseurs, but as my roommate Leah said about driving through northern Ontario, sometimes you just don’t have a choice. It’s either Coffee Time, or it’s not coffee time at all. These spots are often open 24 hours, and any number of odd characters can be seen lounging outside in the parking lot, smoking with friends, or lounging indoors, probably also smoking with friends. And I won’t speculate on what it is they might be smoking.
Nick, however, has only love for the place, as evinced by the lyrics as well as his s/o Anna’s aside to our table that this affinity is not just for the purposes of writing a humourous song – he took her to Coffee Time on their second date.
By the end of the song, the whole bar was singing along, at least the “At Coffee Time!” part. Most of the cool people in the bar were also waving their arms over their heads enthusiastically (actually, I guess I can only speak for myself on that count). I wish there was a recording of this song so that you could understand why it is still stuck in my head, almost a week later, and I still love it. It’s enough to make a girl want to head on down to the nearest Coffee Time!
Actually, no, it’s not. But the song is delightful.
Secret: Nick Teehan (with the band, I assume?) plays at The Cameron House the last Friday of every month. I’m sure if you heckle him enough, he will gladly play the Coffee Time song so that you and your friends can all sing along.
* Subject to availability.