Last week I went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Glasgow to watch the regional final of the BaRocker Competition. Seven wonderful barmen were ready to show off their flaring and mixology skills for a panel of judges and I was looking forward to seeing the show.
This being the final, those who were here to compete had already beaten off some tough competition locally. We saw mixologists from Cologne, Berlin, Manchester, Edinburgh, Munich and Glasgow competing for the opportunity to go to the final in Panama.
Of course, this being the Hard Rock Cafe, we were also treated to some delicious cocktails and a seemingly endless supply of sliders and chicken tenders. I do love a good slider – they’re like regular burgers but I can eat twenty of them.
I thought all the mixologists did really well, although I wasn’t crazy about the Munich entry. Roberto Beltran who was here to present Munich had opted for Blurred Lines as the background music for his performance. Perhaps something is lost in translation but given that this was already an astonishingly male competition (I can’t believe for a moment that there isn’t a single talented female mixologist in Europe but none of them made it to the top seven) I’m surprised at a musical choice that would further alienate women. I mean, they had a pole dancer at the event, but she wasn’t there to win any prizes. It’s almost enough to make a person cross.
Fortunately, it wasn’t enough to ruin the night and the rest of the event was very entertaining. Our host did a fantastic job of compering the evening and the hard rock staff were wonderful – they were all dressed up, including one member show had gone all out in a full Oogie-Boogie costume and looked after us fantastically all night.
We’d watched six of the seven acts and we were already wondering who was going to win. Since we now have to hurry to make the last train I was starting to get a little anxious – we had one more competitor to go and if the judges took their time deliberating we might have to leave before we found out.
Fortunately, the last performer was the local one, Matt Lyle from Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow. As soon as his performance started it was obvious that he was a cut above the rest. Someone has taught this man circus tricks. He was not just juggling – I’m pretty sure I saw him pass bottles through each other a couple of times. The standing ovation after his set made it pretty clear: There would be no need to wait for the judges’ decision, Matt would obviously take him the prize.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for him at the final in Panama. I’m sure he’ll do us proud.