Following on from Jerry Lee Carlson’s gig at the Robin Hood Tavern on Tuesday, Jerry played Murphy’s Irish Pub in what is commonly known as “The Darkside” area of Pattaya, which is basically anything east of Sukhumvit Road. This area of Pattaya is classed as the non-tourist region but the truth be known, there is a large contingency of expats living and loving life in the Darkside.
On Friday evening I arrived at the venue for my second helping of rock ‘n’ roll from Mr. Carlson and was pleasantly surprised.
If I am perfectly honest, I expected the pub to be “run down” or “rough” due it’s location but I was wrong, very wrong!
In fact the picture of the Darkside painted to me by many people is erroneous in so many ways. I noticed a number of venues along the street, whilst driving past or walking by, all of which were admirable assets to the city.
I was in a few bars asking for directions and found the staff and customers in each one, to be friendly and welcoming. It is Pattaya after all, what more could one expect?
But not only was Murphy’s a modern, stylish bar, it had two swimming pools, excellent food and a large rectangular bar in the centre. It was immaculately in appearance and busy with customers, many who had come along specifically for the gig.
The crowd were a mixture of young and old, westerners and Thais, all enjoying the excellent delicacies served by the bars kitchen and supping on bottles or draught beers.
I found the staff to be polite and courteous, always serving you with a smile and nothing was too much trouble for them. Within an hour, I knew most of their names, mainly because they were happy to get involved with my camera and had name tags on their shirts.
Jerry appeared donning a gold jacket and began to blow the audience away. It was instantly noticeable that the quality of the sound was unparalleled to previous gigs. It was superb! No disrespect to other venues of course. The Hood gig was fantastic too but for some reason, the Murphy’s event sounded so much better.
It was the same show, the same entertainer but it was different!
I later discovered that the management had went out that very afternoon and purchased new equipment specifically for Jerry’s show. The speakers and amp were brand spanking new and at great expense to the bar.
It was paying off for the audience were singing, clapping their hands, stomping their feet and just like the previous gig in central Pattaya, we had a dancer or two.
Jerry is a master on a keyboard and his audience was in awe of his talent. His vocals are remarkably akin to the rock ‘n’ roll star, almost mimicking the legend that is Jerry Lee Lewis, with even his stage act surprisingly like his champion. He has Jerry Lee Lewis down to a tee.
Obviously he has honed his skills over many years with the result being a polished performance for Murphy’s audience.
Great balls of fire, Whole lotta shakin’, Folsom Prison Blues, Little Queenie, I saw her standing there and many more legendary songs were sang, accompanied by his pumping piano style, much to the audience’s delight.
I was in heaven, for here I was doing the two things in life that give me extreme pleasure. Photography and rock ‘n’ roll.
Jerry produced two sets, which included a costume change, before closing his show, although those watching were determined to keep him there for as long as possible. I can’t recall if it was four or five encores but when you have that many, it doesn’t matter too much.
The man was on fire and had the crowd eating out of his hand.
A bit of Lewis Boogie, Johnny B. Goode, Rock Around The Clock, Hound Dog, High School Confidential and even some country music were thrown into the mix.
After the show, as always, he walked around meeting and chatting with the guests, posing for photos and even signing autographs.
You can tell when an act is good by the audience’s reactions but it says a lot more when the venue immediately offers you another evening two days later. So Jerry was playing at Murphy’s again on Sunday night.
This time I went along for a meal beforehand. A Steak and Guinness Pie to help soak up the alcohol.
The Sunday show was unplanned, with little time to advertise the fact the he was playing, which resulted in a smaller crowd but this did not hinder the showman that is Jerry Carlson from putting on another sublime show of rock ‘n’ roll classics, nor did it prevent those watching from enjoying themselves.
Many people could not believe what they were observing. People shook their heads in disbelief as the intimacy of the smaller crowd, permitted clearer views of the man and his adeptness of a piano’s keyboard.
He invited people to come closer. Of course I do not require much encouragement, for I was already crouched in front of the man.
To get up close and personal with such a talented musician is indeed a pleasure. For me, there were no restrictions. I was in front of him. I roamed freely around his vicinity, snapping images till my heart was content.
The flash had to be used but he was so deep into his performance he did not blink. True professionalism.
Again, I was given the freedom of the bar to take as many photos as I desired. Not one person refused to take part and as a result, the bar and Jerry got some excellent images to remind them of two spectacular shows.
So overall, it was a superb week of music for me, great crack with old and new friends alike and the food was top drawer too, in both venues.
Pattaya needs more music like this. Whether it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, Soul, Blues or any other music genre; the city requires; in fact demands to be served by acts like Jerry Lee Carlson.
So let’s hope that Murphy’s and other suitable venues begin to bring us great entertainers for us to enjoy, after all, that new sound system has to pay its way.
A huge thanks to Steve and his staff for looking after me and my friends over the two evenings. Truly appreciated.
Thanks also to the twelve friend who came along with me over the two nights.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Darkside area of Pattaya and would like to visit Murphy’s Irish Pub, either for music, food or just to sample the many beers, click the links below.
You will have a great experience.