Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

From Delerium in Brussels to the Two Monday Night Joints in Paris

August 30, 2011
bradspurgeon

delerium cafe brussels

delerium cafe brussels

I’ve been having to double up a lot of blog posts lately with all the travel I have been doing giving me little time to update. But the level of the jams and open mics in Brussels and Paris on Sunday night and Monday were so high that there is no problem matching them together. I finally made it to Delerium, the massive, multi-room, multi-venue, multi-style bar in Brussels, off the Grand Place. I had discovered the place in early August on my personal holiday there, but I was not present at the right time to play. After finding Liege deserted musically with no available jams or open mics, I drove off to Brussels after the race on Sunday, and I did not regret a minute of it.

Delerium has two jam sessions each week, the acoustic one on Sunday nights and a full-fledged electric one with a big stage on the Thursday night. At least, that is what Delerium says. But since the plays is completely delerious, the truth is, it has two electric jam sessions: The one on Sunday night is in no way acoustic at all. I was able, however, to use my acoustic guitar, and I played along with a bass player, drummer and bongo player. Also present through the evening were several lead and rhythm guitar players, a keyboard player, a saxophone player – you have to hear him on the videos – and other bass players, bongo players and singers.

The evening is hosted by Dexter, who warms up the joint beforehand with a few songs. I loved that it did not start until after 11 PM, the jam. That meant I could have a meal first, and then warm myself up with a beer or two. In fact, Dexter asked me if I wanted to play alone with my guitar or with backup, and I opted for backup. So this jam that calls itself acoustic, can in fact be acoustic. There were some cool singers and musicians, and the vibe was very lively with an audience of mixed ages. The Delerium really is a wild place, the bar across the street from the one I was in is massive, and there are hundreds of Belgian beers. The only problem is that it is located in the tourist area of the city, and you don’t want to waste your time getting trapped in the restaurants there – it’s just like all those Greek restaurants in the Latin Quarter at St. Michel.

From there I drove back to Paris on Monday, and after an aborted evening thinking of doing something else I ended up back at the Tennessee Bar and the Galway Pub. I had a great time at both places, even if the summertime blues have still affected the number of musicians attending at least the Tennessee. I was delighted to find that my friend Joe Cady decided to show up a few days before his concert at the Baroc on Sunday, bringing his violin in order to jam. So I had Joe as backup at both the Tennessee and the Galway. And that permitted me to not worry about doing all the same songs I frequently do, like “Mad World,” since with Joe on the violin it became new and different.

There were some other interesting musicians and mixes of Joe and other performers, but the latter happened only at the Galway.

Check it all out in the huge backlog of videos from these last two musical days.

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