By Norbeto Perez |Staff Writer|
The Royal Falconer’s stained glass sign above the wooden doors is the mark that you’ve arrived at the quaint Redlands neighborhood bar.
The sign-up sheet next to the microphone indicates that it’s open mic night.
“I’m wasted,“ said Andrew Wesley, the host of the open mic night who doubles as part of the entertainment. His mood was reflected in the slow folksy tune he soothed the brisk audience with.
Wesley was optimistic about the pub’s patronage, “Last week there were 76 people.” He added, “That’s the way it is with open mic nights … it ebbs and flows. But this weekend everybody from the University of Redland’s will be here.”
John, the bouncer, attested to the prior week’s customer tally. His services that night were not needed. But his camaraderie was still appreciated as he smoked just outside but within ear shot of the music.
Wesley, the Redlands musician, might remind you of Robert Plant – the younger looking Plant. “Whose birthday is it?” He asks upon hearing singing between one of his songs.
Steve Carson, another performer that night, coaxed the blonde 21 year-old up to the stage and sang “Happy Birthday to You” to her. The tiara seemed to fit within the royal decoration of the bar.
The Royal Falconer’s wooden furniture is matched by the architecture in recreating an aged façade. Charging Scottish horsemen line the walls with portraits of courtly royalty.
The Royal Falconer is also a sports fan destination. Flat screen TV’s line the top of the bar as well as soccer banners and the Union Jack, an ode to the Pub’s British vibe.
On this night though, nobody is paying attention to the ultimate fighting. Every song is met with applause whether original or covers.
“Here’s some Zeppellin, “said Clark Sanchez, from Calimesa, “I plan to go to another place right after this.” He admittedly is a mic night hopper.
Sanchez is raw and seems more energetic. Sweat is beading up and he doesn’t seem to need the PA system. Unchecked, he sings song after song until he broke a guitar string.
OC Carson is the leader of the band Echo Echo and decided to help Wesley, another Echo Echo band member. This night continued with more people bar hopping. Some patrons were always coming in whilst some were always going out.
It didn’t phase Carson as the band’s popularity had landed him a gig in early November at the Royal Falconer. The pub is at the center of Redlands entertainment on Orange Street across from the Redland’s Mall.
After Carson finishes singing to the birthday girl he begins his set. He is able to sing, play guitar and piano, but this night all he needs is his guitar. He’s dynamic — his voice can handle a wide range of notes and a wide range of feelings.
Gabe, the night manager who was busy tending bar and engaging customers, pulled up next to Carson and Wesley as they finished the night off with some smooth songs to send everybody off into the night.