I keep on forgetting about putting the extra “e” on “Arte,” and I might well borrow one of those “e’s” from the no doubt unnecessary two “e’s” on Orphee. But one thing is sure: Both venues hosted their open mics on Thursday and Friday respectively, and while both were not quite so full as the last time I attended, both were still very much worth going to.
Having said that, I left early from the Orphee in Pigalle since I did not feel really entirely into the groove. But I stayed as long as I could at the Arte Café, which has never let me down. The Arte Café open mic, as I mentioned in the past, exists in this tiny, sandwich-shop-sized bar with barely room to sit down for the spectators and musicians. But each time I have attended, I have ended up having a great night, thanks to the people who run the bar and those who attend.
It’s also great there is an outdoor terrace where you can escape from the confines of the inner nest of a bar. Out there you can talk and drink and smoke and just let go a little, until closing time. Somehow, don’t ask me how, the neighbors have not called the cops. Actually, I think it has to do with the basic respect of the clients and people who run the Arte Café, and all closes down at a reasonable hour – late enough that I cannot remember precisely what it is.
I arrived a little late for the open mic and only saw a couple acts before it was my turn to perform. I took advantage of the quiet room and captive audience to sing three pretty quiet songs – all of my own, at the request of the great crowd. I sang, “Crazy Lady,” “Except Her Heart,” and “Lara, Lara.” Then, next up behind the mic was my friend Marianne BP, and so as we have done before, I accompanied her on my guitar. But since we had not done it for so long, I was a bit rusty and forgetful as to which chords precisely I should use. No problem, Marianne has an amazing way of singing around and through and in and out of anything you throw at her. As a reminder, I’m going to put her superb video up on this page again. She has a few others, and a new one soon coming out – so get ready….