A&E » Arts

The fine art of the après

Drinking beer from a ski boot, lighting chest hair on fire – just keep the momentum going



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No stranger to keeping a crowd entertained, the après crowd doesn't pose much of a challenge to this seasoned emcee.

"It's not a hard gig. I'm there to keep the crowd hyped and do what I do best: just be good on the microphone."

And anything goes when it comes to attire; going home for a shower and fresh clothes is actually frowned upon in this snoweater culture.

"I've seen people in their ski boots naked, so..." Currie trailed off with a shrug and a smile.

Of course, things can get a bit hairy at an après session.

"Back in the day, about 10 years ago, the après (sessions) were insane!" Currie recalled.

"I've seen someone skull a pitcher of beer out of a dirty ski boot. And it was a really old ski boot."

Over the years and thousands of shows The Hairfarmers have played in Whistler, they've seen their fair share of crazy antics. They don't even bat an eyelash at Currie's tale of someone drinking beer out of a dirty ski boot.

"Oh, that's nothing," Craig said. "We've seen way worse than that! We've seen unspeakable things."

"I guess one of the funnier ones was the guy that lit his chest hair on fire," Reamsbottom said, recalling a show at Merlin's almost 10 years ago. "He was hairy like a sasquatch and for Stupid Human Tricks, he decided to light his chest hair on fire, which he didn't think would go up at quite the rate that it did."

So, if those are the "normal" après sessions, what will the Olympicized versions be like? The Hairfarmers aren't going into the Games with any expectations, but they do plan to play their hearts out.

"You never, ever, ever mail it in! You play every show like your life depends on it, like it's the last chance you'll ever have to make people smile and dance, and you live your life that way, really," Reamsbottom said. "And the audience knows - they know whether you're just going through the motions or if you're layin' it down for real, and that's the trick, that's the secret."