After going through a slow period on its Monday night open mic, in recent weeks the Galway on the Quai des Grands Augustins has returned to its grands jours. (Big days.) It has been very crowded in recent weeks with both spectators and musicians, and last night was no exception. I returned from a long drive back from Germany to find that I was just slightly too late to try for my usual Tennessee Bar AND Galway open mics on the same night, so I did the Galway – and then dropped into the karaoke at the Pub St. Michel, just five minutes walk away.
Now that I think of it, that is a triple-header possible on every Monday night, as the karaoke goes on very late. After what I wrote about the karaoke in Cologne, some readers might wonder why I returned again to another karaoke. Karaoke is NOT my thing. But I am realizing that I can strengthen a lot of aspects of my musical delivery, playing, presentation, etc., by taking part more often in karaokes. I am WAAAAY out of my comfort zone when I am not playing my own guitar and doing songs MY way. The karaoke can help me get better, no doubt. But anyway…no, this blog will NOT turn into a worldwide karaoke adventure and source. But I suppose they deserve to be there once in a while.
The Pub St. Michel, by the way, had a predominance of men, and was pretty small and intimate, but good fun.
The Galway had some interesting acts, including another visit by Kensuke Shoji, the wonderful Japanese violin/fiddle player.
I played three songs with my friend Vanessa, our usual “Mad World,” “Just Like a Woman,” (in which she features as the “little girl”) and a song she insisted on doing AND learning with me last night. It usually takes me three months to feel secure enough learning and playing a new song, so there again I was out of my comfort zone as I played the chords – reading them from my iPhone – and she sang the lyrics. But it was essential that we do the song now, so she was right to force me to do this thing against my better judgement – and we pulled it off, much better than I expected. It was a homage to Amy Winehouse, with the song, “I’m No Good.” Unfortunately, no good as I am at videoing myself, I did not get a video of it.