The Great Cover Up Returns at Tir Na Nog

November, 14, 2008, by Jedidiah

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Do you remember the Great Cover Up? It hasn’t been that long, yet, has it? It looks like the Cover Up, created and made popular by Kings Barcade, is finally coming back. Chris Tamplin at Tir Na Nog, who runs Local Beer, Local Band, has been talking about it for a while… but in 2009, after a two-year hiatus, it will now be a reality.

Put the weekend of Jan 30th-Feb 1st on your calendar for the big event. Email Chris at if your band wants to fill a space in the weekend. $5 at the door. 5-6 bands per night and the lineup is halfway finished. All money goes to a local charity. Oh the memories… may they start pouring in and, after February, continue to be made.

Love, Justin Timberlake, Haulin’ Oats, Sade, Three Dog Night, Weezer, Minor Threat, Steve Miller Band and more….oh how the days of Kings Barcade are so missed in this part of town.

photo by Karen Mann

Below is the November flyer for Local Beer, Local Band… which I neglected to post in time.

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  • Kate Maddalena
    11/15 11:38 AM

    That title is a bit misleading, no? The Cover-Up is not returning TO Tir na-nog (it wasn’t ever there, before), it’s returning (to Raleigh) AT Tir na-nog. What a difference a preposition makes.

  • Kate Maddalena
    11/15 04:58 PM

    Hey thanks! Well-edited!  I love this blog. (I’m the girl in the picture.)

  • s
    11/17 10:55 AM

    So King’s is gone, but it was the people that made it great, not the building. Cities change, especially ones like Raleigh. Let’s stop mourning the loss and revive the spirit elsewhere!

  • Vince
    11/17 12:18 PM

    I received this letter from a former Kings employee concerning the GCU.  It IS from a trusted source, but I wanted to share this with everyone:

    I’m sending this out because I’ve heard from several people that Tir Na Nog asked for Kings support in doing a “Great Cover Up” event, received no reply and decided to move forward with the event. In talking with Paul yesterday I found out this is not the case. Paul in fact did reply to the email back in october and asked that tir na nog NOT use the name for this event as Paul and Steve would not be involved. You can understand why after putting 8 years of work into this tremendously successful event, these folks would want to retain control of the name and identity of it, even if they do not currently have a place to host it. This the same reply that was given to Pourhouse & Local 506, both of whom have previously asked to host the event. Both those clubs respected this reply and did not move forward.

    Anyone can put on an event like this but to do it in raleigh and call it The Cover Up is not only disingenuous, its disrespectful of the hard work these guys did to build this up- and its no more legitamate than if I were to host and promote Sundance in my backyard. To say that Kings did not reply to the inquiry is either an outright distortion or a truly spectacular failure of modern communications systems as the reply was sent to 3 different Tir na Nog/ booking emails and bcc’d to associated parties.

    Surely, the success of an event like this relies far more on the people involved and the work they put in than it does on what it’s called. Titles are a dime a dozen and when the event goes over well, that title will have its own reputation to draw from in the future.

    11/17 05:12 PM

    I have attended all Cover-ups at King’s Barcade in the past and participated in two Cover-ups in bands, and I will neither attend nor participate in Tir Na Nog’s Cover-Up. I doubt many other ‘friends of King’s’ will be there, as well. I wish Tir Na Nog well, but, it just wouldn’t be the same.

  • Chico Scott
    11/17 06:29 PM

    So if you’re pissed that someone miscommunicated (or lied) about some info then that’s understandable. But if you don’t want a popular Raleigh event to happen for a Raleigh charity because a Raleigh club closed to years ago I just don’t get where you’re coming from. How does living in the past help our community? It’s been two years since the last Cover Up - why is that? Should Tir Na Nog call it the Raleigh Cover Up, or the Not-So-Great Cover Up? Or Should the charity just wait for Kings to reopen? I had the first Barrister’s Ball not at Kings this year, and I was nervous as hell about how it would be received. But I had to do it because it’s a fabulous event, and it would be a shame for (downtown) Raleigh to lose that opportunity to express itself in that way. I miss Kings and I miss Big Jim’s warehouse, but I made the most with what I had to work with, and we pulled it off. I don’t know much about the dialogue (or lack thereof) between the Nog and the Kings peeps, but I wish they could work it out so downtown can resume one it’s most popular annual events. The point is the show, right?

  • Vince
    11/17 06:50 PM

    I think the point of the former-employee letter I posted is to simply not call it “The Great Cover Up”.  Call it “CoverFest” or something.  The name itself is a repuation and for someone to just take up a name because it isn’t being used means that are taking everything its earned in the process and that just is not cool.  The Pourhouse and Local 506 understood this and that is why they didn’t carry out the idea of calling it “The Great Cover-Up”.

    Would you want someone throwing a party and calling it the Barrister’s Ball?

  • Chico Scott
    11/17 07:31 PM

    Vince, Google Barrister’s Ball and see what’s comes up. If someone else wants to throw a ball then go right ahead. It’s not my intellectual property. I would want to help, and insure that the legacy was respected and it was done right. But I wouldn’t have the right to tell them they couldn’t. I just hope I could get in for free.

  • Music Fan
    11/17 08:26 PM

    The Pour House Music Hall has NC beers on tap and Local bands play there all the time. The don’t call it “Local Beer, Local bands”. It is a shame that Tir Na Nog decided to have ” The Great Cover Up” without the approval of Kings. I know Chris and Eric at the Pour House had talked to Paul from Kings about doing it, but I assume Paul never OK’ed it, so the Pour House didn’t do it. It isn’t that novel of an idea, but the name belongs to Kings.Respect goes along way in the local music community.

  • 2 Cents
    11/18 12:31 AM

    Personally I think everyone is missing the point of putting on the event. It’s for charity people. It says a lot about your character when you feel the need to make yourself so self-important that you would try to sabotage a charity event over something so ridiculous. In a perfect world all parties involved would have agreed to the show, but shouldn’t it be about the having a good time, listening to some great music, and helping the community? I feel sorry for those people who do not plan on attending what will be a great charity event because of some misguided loyalty to a non-existent bar. To those who are “Friends of Kings”, ask yourself shouldn’t you be a “Friend to your community”?

  • The King is gone but not forgotten
    11/18 08:16 AM

    I would say that this is really really f’ed up.

    The barrister ball argument is not valid.  The original barristers was held in Greenville NC and didnt belong to a bar.  It was an idea that was brought to Kings as a venue by Jon Ray Fuller and Friends. Chico you didn’t come up with Barristers Ball. It was not originated by Kings. If anyone has any questions about this they can talk to Jon Ray or anyone from Kings.  JR lives in NYC now.

    The Great Cover Up was a concept that was created by the folks at Kings and flourished there for years.  Yes it was for charity and the new “thing” is for charity but dont use someone else hard work and ideas.  Imitation is fine but lifting a name is not. 

    And if you think that a name or image doesnt matter use mickey mouse’s name and image to market your company.  Watch the dead arm of Walt Disney bitch slap you back to reality.

  • cat
    11/18 09:46 AM

    Could everyone lighten up?  Why is this becoming so dramatic?  It is the name of an event for charity.  Am I missing something or does Kings legally own the name The Great Cover Up?  If I were the owner of Kings and someone wanted to host an event that had been very successful for me but I could no longer host, I would be excited that people loved it and wanted to continue.  And it is for charity, people.  So, you would rather not raise money for charity just because the event is being held at a different location than the original which is not open anymore?  Trust me, I miss Kings but to nitpick like this is silly.

  • miamiblue
    11/18 10:25 AM

    Well, kiddies, it looks like The Great Cover Up is not an original Kings idea after all. The Great Cover-Up is a 3-day charity show (of the exact same vein) that has been held yearly at Club Congress in Tucson since 1997 (Dec. 11, 12, 13 this year). There does not appear to be any trademarks on the name, either.

    Unfortunately, I moved here just after Kings closed and never had a chance to go there, but it sounds like I place I would have enjoyed immensely. However, from all the drama on here, it seems to be that some people either feel a tad bit of self-righteousness or aren’t really interested in perpetuating the scene anymore now that the physical location is gone. Why? If the events were so great, and people loved them so much, why not at least TRY to perpetuate them? The “let it die with the bricks” mentality just seems silly to me. Why NOT agree to alllow other venues to try to bring them back from the dead? To me it’s the spirit, not the physical location, that really matters with these things.

  • Jedidiah
    11/18 10:48 AM

    Good call Miamiblue..

    Find out more about THAT Great Cover Up here and here.

  • what???
    11/18 11:28 AM

    Well if it is not about King’s then stop using King’s name to advertise it.

  • 2 Cents
    11/18 12:41 PM

    Okay, reality check. The Great Cover Up is a local charity event. To compare the Great Cover Up to Disney or the Sundance Film Festival is laughable. Disney is one of the largest media and entertainment corporations in the world, and Sundance is largest independent film festival in the U.S. Both Disney and Sundance are legally owned. I hate to break it to you The King is gone but not forgotten, but this concept has been done before, and will be done again. Like I said earlier it’s for charity, and anyone who puts their ego above that needs some serious help.

  • luke
    11/18 01:45 PM

    First of all, the argument that this has been going on in Tuscon is silly, and invalid. This is New Raleigh, not New Tuscon.
    Secondly, anyone who defends this decision by saying ‘it is for charity’ has missed the mark. The only people donating to charity are the bands and the sound guy who aren’t getting paid with the money from the door. You had better believe this will be a huge weekend for that bar, and that money is going to stay in the pockets of the owners and employees.
    Third, if ‘the great cover-up’ isn’t the intellectual property of King’s, why were they asked for permission in the first place?

    I love New Raleigh, like, a lot. I check this site at least once a day, and am grateful that there is a new source for news in this area. However, I think this story was too hastily reported.
    Also, for the record, Haulin’ Oats and Sade were not part of the cover-up. Those performances were for King’s anniversary parties, which I will be hosting this year at Woody’s Sports Pub (heads up Steve and Paul).

  • 2 Cents
    11/18 02:21 PM

    First of all Luke, the argument about Tuscon is valid in that it proves that no one “owns” the concept in the first place. Secondly all charity’s have some overhead, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t donate. Thirdly I’m sure they were asked out of respect, it doesn’t mean they legally had to have permission.

  • al
    11/18 02:37 PM

    I think that the Great Cover Up at King’s was actually Jason Wright’s idea. Wasn’t it?

    Who cares? Seriously. Kings closed YEARS AGO. Move on people. Get over it.

    11/18 04:40 PM

    My point is that I won’t be attending the Tir Na Nog Cover show, because it will suck ass. There is barely a stage, no backstage. It will be set in a village in Ireland (as everything there is at all times), just not my scene. It’s just not a good venue for that stuff. Perfect for traditional Irish pub ensemble, not Rock-n-Roll. No one owns the name, but my issue is the venue. To me, it’s just like Pour House, bad venues for rock or anything I want to do.

  • Drew3D
    11/18 04:46 PM

    There is also a “Great Cover Up” with the exact same concept in Champaign, Illinois that’s been an annual event for the past 17 years.  The Great Cover Up is not a unique name or concept.

    But despite that, it was kind of shady for Tir Na Nog to call their event The Great Cover Up without getting a solid OK from the Kings guys.

    So, just call it something else and problem solved, right?

  • Chico Scott
    11/18 04:59 PM

    I just couldn’t resist this. From unknown blogger:

    25 October - Raleigh - The 8th Annual Barrister’s Ball - Fourteen (formerly Retail / Martin St. Music Hall / Downtown Event Center) - Doors open at 10pm / Admission is $10 - Costumes are required
    A King’s mainstay finds a new venue that is likely to be a one-off given the usual lifespan of venues at that street address. Is that building on some haunted cemetary or otherwise cursed? Sorry, ‘tis the season and all. OTOH, wonder if The Great Cover-Up will find a location as well?

    11/18 05:11 PM

    Hey! I’ve got it! Tir Na Nog should have an Irish Cover Up! Harry O’Donoghue meets Barry O’dowd & The Shamrock Singers. Hear, once again, the vocal stylings of Patrick O’hagan or The Clancy Brothers. Too bad, The Pouges originated in London.

  • Raleighwood
    11/18 07:07 PM

    Sounds like a name change is the solution if that’s the only issue from the Kings folks. My suggestion would be to call it “The Great Shut-the-Fu*k-Up”. This is a stupid argument. They should change the name, people can go if they want, a charity makes some money, a bar makes more money, bands have some fun, music fans have a show to go to.

  • luke
    11/18 07:14 PM

    Okay 2 cents (if that is your real name), I have a deal for you. I will explain to you what an informal fallacy is if you work on your spelling and grammar.

  • Oakie
    11/18 11:21 PM

    Good grief people - if you don’t like it, and it will “suck ass”, then do us all a favor and DON’T GO! All you’re going to do is wallow in your festering angst anyways and be a big, fat buzzkill. It has the potential of being a fun downtown event, and, most importantly, it supports a local charity - do you have any idea how much most charities are hurting right now?!?! You all sound like a bunch of annoying emo snots.

  • klar
    11/19 09:43 AM

    in the time it took all these posters to argue (on the internet, no less!) about this topic, i read a book, ran a 20K, and personally saved a whale.  thank you for your time.

  • Oberlin
    11/19 01:11 PM

    Ugghh hold it at the Waffle House and call it “Scattered, Smothered and Covered”. Apolgies for the Hootie reference.  I do think Tir Na Nog can pull off a similar event without using the name. If its good, people will come back next year, if not, no harm done. I keep hoping someone will put Kings in the old Hideaway BBQ place. Maybe Kings BBQ down east can run it during the day - and the old boys Steve, Ben etc - can club it up at night.

  • 2 Cents
    11/19 01:57 PM

    Luke, you’re obviously the one who doesn’t have the valid argument, or you would have actually made a point instead of you lame attempt at an insult. I already know my spelling and grammar sucks, but that’s easily fixed, being a d-bag isn’t.

  • Raleighwood
    11/19 03:39 PM

    What if, instead of the Cover Up, TirNaNog builds a boxing ring and we have Luke and 2-Cent fight it out for charity. Since I don’t know the identity of 2-Cent, my bet is on Luke.

  • TheCatalyst
    11/19 07:40 PM

    LMAO!! Wow! I missed this somehow! I thought us ex-Stingray flies were loyal!

    I’m sure Chris will do a great job. I never found King’s to be too welcoming of an environment…

  • poshnoshcatering
    11/19 07:55 PM

    WOW!  And I call this city home?

  • Seann
    11/19 09:15 PM

    I really wish people would stop talking about how super-duper Kings was. As a bar, it was pretty meh (just my opinion) Kings ain’t coming back.  LET THE DREAM DIE!!!!

  • Erik
    11/19 09:23 PM

    Folks, let’s take a deep breath here.  I have been a musician in this town for years now and I have performed in several Cover-Ups.  The thing I have always loved about playing music in Raleigh is the sense of community this town has established.  That goes for the musicians, the bands, the music fans, and of course the venues.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree that there was a lot of confusion and miscommunication concerning this upcoming event, but it is going to happen, whether you choose to boycott it or not.  Everyone has the right to make that decision of whether or not they attend. 

    I, too, questioned some things concerning this event once I discovered it wasn’t sponsored by Kings.  However, after speaking with Chris Tamplin and Steve Popson a little more about it, I honestly feel that everyone’s hearts are in the right place, and I think it’s going to be a great time regardless of what bar it happens in.  I miss Kings as much as the next Raleigh resident and I hope they reopen some day.  But as a musician, I am happy to play ANYWHERE in town that supports local Raleigh music, whether it’s Slim’s, the Pour House, Tir Na Nog, Sadlacks, or wherever…

    The only other thing I’d like to add is that Chris is honoring Kings’ wishes and is changing the name of the event.  And yes, I was concerned that in participating that I would be turning my back on the Kings legacy, but Steve Popson told me himself that he, in no way, wants to discourage anyone from participating, and that they have no ill feelings against anyone who plays that night, because they know what a good time it is.

    It is impossible to forget the glory days of the Great Cover Up at Kings, but come on people, let’s stop scrapping and just have a good time come January…

  • sasquatch
    11/20 05:54 PM

    sasquatch not understand controversy,me just want to play log in band playin other biped from yesteryears tunes,maybe me be GG allin and throw poop on people after crappy punkrock song,yeah me no care ,sasquatch just want to be like girls and have fun.

  • Bill Bailey, I want you in my arms
    11/21 01:31 AM

    I read this raging debate with some amusement. I can certainly understand how some people are a little upset about this, but it really seems somewhat regressive to dwell on the past and make this into some sort of ridiculous pissing match.
    All things considered, this is something that is really between the original organizers at Kings and the individual(s) who are organizing this new version of the Cover Up. I cannot really understand how it is anyone else’s business.
    If one were to visit this page, they would not be unjustified in concluding that Raleigh is a small town, populated by a few overly nostalgic prima donnas who are apparently too cool to know what is in their best interests. I am primarily speaking to comments like this: “...not Rock-n-Roll. No one owns the name, but my issue is the venue. To me, it’s just like Pour House, bad venues for rock or anything I want to do.”
    There are so many things wrong with this ridiculous statement (and other subsequent statements by the same individual). So you hate Irish bars, huh? Me too. You think TirNaNog is a less than ideal place to see a show? Me too. But hell, at least they are doing it.
    You completely lose any credibility whatsoever when you venture to suggest that the Pour House is a “bad venue for rock.” So what is a good place to rock in your opinion? The bar at the Jackpot on a Tuesday night? I would be really interested in learning what criteria you base such judgments upon? By the number of geeks standing in the middle of the room staring at their shoe laces?
    I played at Kings many times. I played at several Cover Ups. I attended others, when I was in town and not playing at some random, shithole club in Randomtown, USA that would likely not meet your exacting standards. And I played at the Pour House many times. I played all of the “cool” clubs in New York City that probably meet your standards. I played at similarly “cool” places all over the country, for that matter.
    My point here is that, in all honesty, and as much as I loved Kings, it sucked as a place to rock compared to many of these places, the Pour House included. The irony here is that this “suck” is more a testament to Paul, Steve and Ben’s resiliency and commitment to keep the doors open for years despite this town’s ability to sustain a rock club. The room was a less than ideal layout. I would guess that approximately 30% of the place had decent sightlines to the stage. The acoustics were as bad as any room I have seen, unless the place was packed, which it very rarely was. And this was for those on stage and for those in the crowd. Half the speakers on the PA were generally blown and the monitors sucked. Again, I would like to reiterate that I think the guys at Kings did an amazing thing for a long time. But I also recognize the true reasons why it was a less than ideal place to play. Few packed nights=no money=no way to fix the PA’s blown speakers. Those are the realities of a rock club. They are harsh realities and I can guarantee you these realities are so real and harsh that the last thing any town needs is a whiny ass hipster not going to see the bands a place isn’t “cool enough.” You accomplish and contribute nothing with your coolness. It is apathetic and pitiful.
    Running a club that presents live, good music is no walk in the park. Rather than criticizing these people or engaging in silly boycotts of places because you don’t think they are “cool enough,” why don’t you try to just rise above it all and just go out and enjoy it? If that is not possible, then why don’t you just shut the fuck up. Or even better, start your own cool club that is a rock utopia. Go ahead brother. I can assure you, it will not be fun or cool. So instead of sitting on your barstool, sipping on your PBR and lamenting the lack of good places for rock, you should be thanking these people. You should be thankful that they open the doors of their businesses each night, so that your town sucks just a little less.
    I lived in Raleigh when the Brewery was cranking and there was the Fallout Shelter. The Fallout Shelter closed and all you had was the Brewery. And it seemed to be on the verge of dying at any time. That would have left Raleigh with zilch, zero, nado, zero places to play or see music. Things slowly improved over time, thanks to clubs like Kings, the Humble Pie, the Lakeside Lounge, Sadlacks Heroes and other places that would have likely not met your high standards for rock. And luckily things are seemingly better now. They are by my standards anyway. This place is a Disneyland of rock clubs compared to how it was 10 years ago. So just shut the fuck up and enjoy the rock.

  • Micah
    11/21 04:14 AM

    Bill, fucking YEAH!  I read your post and wondered if maybe I had too much box wine and wrote it myself earlier and forgot.  BRAVO!

  • CF
    11/21 09:16 AM

    If nothing else, I now have the term “emo snots” to throw around.  for that, I am forever grateful.

  • Skillet
    11/21 11:10 AM

    Thank you, Bill Bailey. I believe this ridiculous conversation is finally over.

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