The Stubby Shillelaghs have a special place in the heart of the people of Greeley. Holding down their weekly Tuesday night spot at Patrick’s Irish Pub, for the last five years they have hosted a night of traditional and original Irish music in a fashion only four nerdy metal heads could provide. Equipped with their instruments and many bottles of Jameson whiskey they quickly became the best thing to do on a Tuesday night.
Now, after playing almost every week if not several times a week for five years, the Stubbies are calling it quits. The BandWagon sat down with lead vocalist Andy Mithun and we reflected on the last five years and how four regular guys took a hobby and became the unofficial ambassadors for downtown Greeley.
When members Andy Mithun, Shaughnessy McDaniel, and Ryan Knaub originally got together the intention was to simply play around with traditional Irish arrangements. After a while they had enough material to play a set and quickly found their home at Patrick’s Irish Pub. Eventually Stubby Tuesdays was officially born and became a staple in the downtown nightlife. While Tuesday nights have proved to be a tough night for bars to draw a crowd, Patrick’s was consistently packed each week as people crammed themselves in to take part in the Stubby experience.
“People don’t just watch our show. People participate in our show and the audience has always been the fifth band member,” says Mithun. On an average night you could find people pounding on the bar in time to the band and singing along to an Irish classic like “Whiskey in the Jar” while Mithun pours whiskey in people’s mouths.
A big part of the appeal also comes from the humor in it all. They’re not there to blow anyone’s mind with technicality; they’re there to make everyone have a good time. Their originals tackle a range of nerdom from songs about Star Trek to the ballad “Nerd in Love,” and this honesty resonated with the people who would become their friends and regulars.
What’s the most interesting about the Stubbies is the consistency of it. Each week they would play three to four hours, which is no easy task especially when it is coupled with intense drinking. “We don’t put ourselves above anyone else so when we hear people put themselves above us, it’s like ‘oh that 45 minute set must have been so difficult for you, try playing for four fucking hours (laughs),” says Mithun.
Now, after five years the band is ready to move on to new things. “We’re not breaking up we’re just retiring. It’s not that we’re going to stop making music, it’s not that we’re going to stop making music with each other, but this current incarnation, we’ve taken it as far as it was going to go,” says Mithun.
Looking back, Mithun is very proud of what the band has become. What started as a simple project became a staple in the downtown culture and this energy will undoubtedly carry over into what they do next.
“It’s been such an amazing collection of experiences and memories it’s a shame I won’t remember a single one.”