This was the last in a series of different bars that existed in our building, beginning with Thumper’s in the 1980s until the last one folded in 2003.
I still remember when Harold, the owner of the Inferno walked down the basement stairs telling the resident punk band, One Man Short, “I’m sorry boys, I have to close the bar.”
We were stunned that a favourite watering hole was shutting its doors and worried it likely would spell the end for the local music scene.
“We didn’t have anything back then,” said One Man Short drummer, John McLean. “And to tell you the truth, for a couple of kids that looked like us and in the genre we were performing in, nobody was willing to rent us anything.”
Instead of giving up, the youth of Swift Current rallied together with the region’s support. We eventually formed a non-profit organization and went back to the Lyric’s original name.
“First of all, it’s right in the middle of downtown,” McLean said. “It’s where, for years and years, our grandparents would go.”
McLean said the Lyric provides a ‘leg-up’ for artists to perform on a beautiful stage and pursue their artistic ambitions.
On March 24, One Man Short returns to the Lyric, marking the first time the band was together in more than 10 years.
The Friday night show presented by Big Siddy productions will feature the original OMS trio: McLean, Brent Patoine and Michael Jewitt. Local singer and songwriter, Vanessa Gauvin will also perform.
“I think saving (the Lyric) was really huge and is a big part of saving the arts in Swift Current and it gives people like us a chance to do something like this,” said McLean.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at Pharmasave or $20 at the door. Also playing at the Lyric, Blenders presents Blackie and the Rodeo Kings on March 5 and JP Cormier March 11.
Great Plains College delivers A Night At the Lyric on Friday, March 3 featuring Bombargo and the Hypnotist Duo. The Snowed in Comedy Tour takes place March 8. On Thursday, March 9, Michael Gould hosts the next Open Stage. Write Out Loud returns on March 15; Swift Current Improvisational Theatre is back on March 17. Finally, reserve your tickets for country music sensation, Codie Prevost on March 18.
More information on all these events on the Lyric website, lyrictheatre.ca.
Joey Donnelly is a Lyric board member.