I had some unfinished business in my last night in Cologne. Two years ago when I did my first world tour of open mics and jams I spoke to a busker in front of Cologne Cathedral asking him where on that Sunday night I could play my guitar and sing. “Any open mics?” “No, but you can play your guitar and sing at Flanagan’s Pub in the karaoke they have on Sunday night. You just need to bring your own guitar cable.”
I had a cable, I went, and I sucked out. I regretted it since then and thought I had indeed simply chickened out. But there was another feeling, and that was , that it just was not the right place. And no one else played an instrument and sang. It was just a karaoke.
I went back last night, having had only one open mic since Thursday in Cologne. This time I realized why I did not do it, and that I would not do it this year either: I hated the atmosphere. In Mannheim last year I attended another karaoke and they allowed me to play guitar and sing and it went great. It was a wonderful break for the other performers too, after three hours of karaoke. But I just didn’t dig Flanagan’s! The place feels a little like a cafeteria, not an Irish pub. So I left and said, that’s it for Cologne. The open mic I DID do at the Tankstelle, was so good that it didn’t much matter anyway….