I wrote a while ago about the Wednesday night neighboring open mics in Paris, The Highlander and The Cavern. The Cavern is not exactly an open mic in the sense of most I write about here, because the venue provides a live band and the guest just goes up to sing a song with the band.
That last time I wrote about how I chickened out singing at the Cavern, although I’d sung there once before. This time, I did not chicken out, and that was thanks to my sense of pride. You see, I went to both of these open mics with my son, Paul, and his band The Euks, which I also wrote about here in the past. The Euks consists of my son and three of his friends, Antoine, Vincent and Sébastien, and they were looking for a place to play in public with the band for the first time. They knew about the Highlander and I said I’d join them if they didn’t mind. They also brought their friend Calvin, who writes some good songs too and sings solo. So we all went to the Highlander, and The Euks made its debut, and Calvin sung some songs, and I sang some songs, and then we all went off to celebrate at The Cavern.
Now the Cavern usually has some very, very hot singers who get up behind the microphone. In fact, that is the norm, and it’s one thing that bothers me about the place, because although it is called an open vocale jam, and it really is open to anyone, most people are scared shitless to get up and sing because the quality is professional, and very high. Well last night, Calvin and Antoine went up as the first volunteers of the night and sang a French rock song that Calvin said he had never heard before! They both had great fun, and I think the audience did too.
But then up went a fabulous singer who sang a George Benson song with the band, and this guy was your typical pro at The Cavern. Scared the life out of everyone. We had to catch the last Métro anyway, so all got up to leave. But I could not accept that my son’s friends went up on stage and sang at the Cavern and that I would not do the same out of fear and the knowledge that I’m lost at sea when I sing with a band without my guitar in my hands. So I decided to get up and sing “Stand By Me,” which is the only song on the band’s set list that I sing with my own set list.
I did it, and I made a fairly big mess out of it. But at least I did it. And the genial guitarist, Rémi de Coudenhove, agreed with me in advance that it was indeed difficult to sing alone with a band if you’re used to doing it with a guitar in your hands.
But the most important part of the night was that Calvin played some of his songs, including a nice new one, and The Euks had their public debut. It went very well, even considering that they are an electric band and they had to play acoustic and didn’t even have the drum set. They all agreed that it was a good workout.