Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Persistence Pays: Playing at Paddy’s

May 28, 2011

I would never have believed it after the first few nights that I would end up playing my music at Paddy’s Pub in Nice. As I said in the previous posts, I kept on having conflicting information and experiences leading me to believe that Paddy’s Pub was a dead end. But last night, out of principle, I persisted. I ate a great meal at an interesting Nice-style restaurant, and then I decided to go to Shapko’s Bar because there was supposed to be a good singer. But on the way, I decided to stop in at Paddy’s once again, just for the sake of good form.

It was Friday night and there was a two-piece band called Spacecats, with a New Zealander named Angus and a French/Brit on guitar, named Stephane. I went in, bought a pint of beer, and parked myself and my guitar at a table not far from the stage. Business was kicking and so was Angus.

They played a couple of songs after I arrived, and then announced they were taking a break. I suddenly remembered that I had seen Angus playing in the open mic at Ma Nolan’s pub in Nice at the Old Port two years ago. He had seen me come in with my guitar, so he came over and immediately asked me if I wanted to play some songs while they took their break. He did not know who I was, he did not remember me from two years ago, and seemed to barely remember the time he went to Ma Nolan’s.

Then Stephane came over and encouraged me to start playing immediately. These guys did not know me from a hole in the wall. So this was a superb example of the kind of openness that I just love and so rarely find in bars around the world where there is not a formal open mic. Angus told me that they were happy to encourage people to go up and play a song or two at Paddy’s, although he said for certain other big gigs it would not be the same thing.

In any case, here it was, my second opportunity to play in Nice on this trip, and in similar circumstances. It also turned out that Angus had in the past played in a band with some of the guys who are now Hobo Chic, and he had also played at Shapko’s Bar. Talk about a small community of music in Nice, small world.

I played four songs, and later another guy went up to play, but the audience loved what Spacecats did so much that they were occupied until after 1 AM doing song after song after song and the crowd wouldn’t let them go.

Loved that evening!

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