Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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From Hungarian Dancing to Simply Madness at Szimpla in Budapest

July 29, 2011

I am caught in another bind of time in Budapest. A full night ahead, a full day behind, but last night was just so spectacular and promising that I have to put down a few words before I speed off again into the adventure of the Budapest night. We went looking for places to play music and that led us to all sorts of bars and clubs, with the most remarkable being this underground thing I forget the name of at the moment, but will put in later. There we found made Hungarian folk dancing that made me think the dancers had all taken LSD. But the greatest discovery was the vast underground – in a different sense – so-called-cafe known as Szimpla.

If I thought the folk dancers were on acid, Szimpla made me feel like I was on acid. It looks like a squat, but I do not think it is. It has a web site, an events calendar, and just too many little bars and businesses inside to really look like a squat. But it is so hip and cool and vast, with its music, wall decorations of every nature, infinite variety of private rooms, narguile pipes – chicha – and fashion statements, that this place cannot be defined in a few words here.

The greatest news, however, is that Szimpla has an open acoustic jam session every Sunday from 7 PM to 10 PM, so I have finally found a bona fide open mic or jam session in Budapest and I will definitely be attending. As it was, Vanessa and I sang several of our songs together last night, playing my guitar and singing in our corner in one of the many rooms, and a few people sang along, and we just had a great little private jam session going on. Despite the loud music that meant few people could hear us. But that is the free nature of this dynamic “cafe.”

Check it out!!!

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