Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

From the International to Ollie’s open mic

January 5, 2011

Sick of the dark glasses and knowing I was in the company of many friends, I decided last night to go out without the dark glasses. First I went to the International to hear Lou Rebecca and her band, which includes Etienne Shades of The Shades. She was cool as ever, the music was strong, the sound good at this interesting venue with a downstairs stage and speakers all over the place. I mentioned Lou Rebecca on an earlier post when she played at the Rex Club a few months ago. Oddly, I found the sound to be clearer at the International than at the Rex club – unless it was just my memory that had fogged over since the previous venue….

I then took a cab to the Ptit Bonheur la Chance at 18 rue Laplace to take part in Ollie’s open mic, the first of the year. It was “happy new year’s” and all that, and, of course, “What happened to your eye Brad????” (I was briefly worried that Ollie’s dog might take me for a dalmatien and try something on me, but it’s a decent dog and nothing happened.)

The cave room used in Ollie’s open mic seemed much brighter than usual, however, so I found myself on the little wooden crate used as a stage, and explaining to the audience why I had a black eye. I used as few words as possible, ie, “I got attacked on new year’s….” Then I said something about imagining that maybe I was defending a woman who was not worth it, and the following songs would work along that same theme. So I sang, “Andalucia,” “Borderline,” “It’s Easy” (which is my love song about the impossibility of falling out of love with someone), and then I finished with “I Won’t Back Down,” by Tom Petty, which also seemed on theme in the fight mode…. It all went really well, I felt at ease, happy, and again, exorcised – at least briefly.

Ollie and his girlfriend, Matilda Kime, surprised us all with a fabulous duet – we’d never heard them sing together – and they played a Richard Thompson song. I pointed out just before they played – as you can hear on the video – that Thompson (formerly of Fairport Convention, but long a renowned solo artist) had just been named on the Queen’s Honors List.

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