Walking to the Highlander open mic last night from the Odeon metro to the Seine, I noticed a number of bars and businesses closed for the month of August – as goes the Paris cliché. These included the Cavern, where I had thought of maybe dropping in for the vocal jam session. So I went only to the Highlander, and I saw immediately that all the business that the other bars had decided to ignore and get rid of and close the door to, was congregated at the Highlander for the open mic.
It was just jam – no pun intended – packed with clients, musicians and people who might have gone to some of the other bars had the bosses not so intelligently shut the bars down for the “quiet” month of August. I thought that this might end up being a boring night at the Highlander, nevertheless, as there were lots of faces of people I had never seen before, and I just had this feeling….
ALLLLLL wrong. In fact, after a few regular musicians that I have seen numerous times there came a period in the middle of the evening when suddenly the stage was inhabited one after another by really cool, impossible to ignore, and really quite inspiring musicians. This included a duo from a band called “The Confessions,” and also Séraphine Pinpin, who said she has practically no other experience singing outside her shower….
I wanted her to invite me into the shower – to hear more of her singing, of course! -, but I didn’t suggest it just then. She had one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard – you cannot imagine the effect when she backed off from the mic and belted things out and we had the impression of having our eardrums blown out on the purity of her lungs and vocal chords alone. I really started getting off on her when she sang in French, too, as it turns out – then got into the English stuff more.
I got the open mic once again so late that I was probably No. 891 on the list. I did not get to get on stage until just after 1:30 AM, and even then Thomas Brun made an effort to give me the stage – as he had already been instructed to stop the music. I was thankful to him, since contrary to the feeling I had the week before, this time I was really hot to go. And I decided to finish with Mad World, since it was such a mad mic…. It went well.