Went off to the so-called Barman’s open mic at the Culture Rapide bar in Belleville in Paris last night. I’ve done this place a number of times, and it is usually a fun combination of music, poetry, stories, etc., and NO MICROPHONE. That is usually not a vast problem. But last night the bar was hijacked by a large group of people – 50? – celebrating a birthday party. So, little did they care that it was the soirée of the barman’s open mic, hardly anyone wanted to keep their mouths shut to listen to the musicians and poet who came to take part in the open mic.
So the whole thing ended very, very rapidly. In fact, all it amounted to was one guy citing a poem – through the noise – and he was followed by me playing a song – through the noise – and then a blue duo playing a song – through the noise. That was it. I took pleasure in deciding to sing, “Mad World,” since that is exactly how the situation felt.
But ultimately, I bear no grudges at all against the Culture Rapide bar, which remains a cool and fun place. And I was just as happy to see the group of people celebrating the birthday party; it definitely should take precendence to three or four people hogging the stage….
But I wanted to make sure I could catch the ambience for this blog, so I recorded the blues duo and turned the camera araound the joint to show the mania of the crowd, all the noise, and the impossibility of hearing the musicians play. Having said that, my choice of “Mad World,” did ensure much handclapping to the rhythm of my guitar, even if my voice was inaudible even to me. Check out the video ambience below in what amounted to the third and last act in the aborted open mic: