Hirut’s House Party

Written by Joe Taylor

August 08, 2016

On a quiet afternoon in an Ethiopian restaurant on the Danforth, you can hear a woman telling cheesy jokes and wonderful anecdotes of past performances. Her name is Nicola Vaughan, and she is a very fun and playful host to a Sunday jam that happens every week in Hirut Ethiopian Cuisine.

Nicola has a big smile and could laugh at the end of every song she sings. She starts the set with, “The Letter”, kicks into a lesser known tune by Fanny called “Conversation with a cop”. As you are easing into the warm atmosphere, you see musicians slowly entering the restaurant, which feels like it is transforming into a large living room. It is time to kick back and enjoy what each musician has to offer.

Nicola invites Dave Taylor up, and while he is playing, “Lucky Man”, there is audience participation with some percussion instruments. Even “Happy Together”, kept the room going. Myles Godfrey kept things Canadian with the classic “Heart of Gold”, by Neil Young. Then Shawn Kendall and his beat box buddy performed some original material to keep things interesting. We move onto Mike Niell who sat down with a really cool guitar and performed his original songs. There was honesty and a good story attached to each song he performed. Brian Pickard was on deck next and gave us great songs like, “Our House”, and Sitting on the dock of a bay”. His delivery of his song were very unusual but effective, because you could appreciate someone who wanted to sound original.

The Our House Party continued with everyone taking turn having fun with classic songs from the 60’s and 70’s. We got groovy a couple of times and got really silly with The Beatles-Norwegian Wood. It was getting close to the end and Nicola finished the party off with “No Time”, by The Guess Who. But there will always be next week…

To learn more about this event go to www.hirut.ca.

View images from the performance below:

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