Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

Brad Concert at the Cabaret Culture Rapide

September 5, 2011
bradspurgeon

Cabaret Culture Rapide

Cabaret Culture Rapide

One of my personal objectives this year from the outset was to do more and more concerts as opposed to open mics. Given that I have about three or four different careers or big projects going on at the same time – Formula One journalism and travel, open mic book, open mic film documentary and the learning and writing of my music itself – taking the time to get concert dates and work with the other musicians I play with is a very difficult thing. But I have already succeeded in doing more concerts than in the previous two years since I started playing music again. I did a concert with the band at the Disquaires in February, another at the Green Room in July, and yesterday afternoon I did one with Felix Beguin, of the Burnin’ Jacks, on lead guitar at the Cabaret Culture Rapide in Paris near the Belleville metro.

With all that going on I entirely forgot to make any sound or video recordings of the concert! So you will just have to trust my word here. It started badly, or at least with a lot of stress, when I found that my microphone did not work in the sound system that Culture Rapide had to offer. So the first set of 45 minutes or so was entirely done without a mic, but with my guitar in acoustic mode and Felix doing his lead at a lower volume than usual.

Every song I sang I feared ripping my vocal chords apart as I desperately wanted to be heard by everyone in the bar. Even if I was told on several occasions that I could be heard, the urge is to belt it out louder than you should just to ensure that you ARE heard.

But later, just as I began my second set, Calvin McEnron, the friend who invited me to sing at his gig the night before, arrived with a microphone. It worked, and henceforth I could relax completely and do my music in full peace. There is a massive difference when you can let go completely and submerge yourself in the music compared to when you have some horrible concern on your mind about the delivery of the music. (Having some horrible concern about life is something else and can actually fuel and fire up the music and emotion.)

So the second and last set of 45 minutes or so went very well, was lots of fun, and I enjoyed the concert thoroughly. Felix played his usual fabulous lead, worked in his usual relaxed manner, accepting my errors and minor changes in structure of the songs here and there as I decided on the spur of the moment that we needed a long musical interlude or I just plain forgot something. We also improvised very well for certain songs we had not played together on before, such as “Year of the Cat” and “Runaway Train.”

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