Things are looking grim on the battlefield searching for an open mic or jam. So grim that I can’t bear to go into details about it and don’t want to bore the dear reader. So here is a point-form, bullet-method, approach to last night:
- Went looking for the House of Oud which is reputedly behind the One-To-One Hotel and which has jam sessions on the oud. Result: Spent an hour wandering the streets finding nothing.
- Went to the F1 Fanzone on the Corniche where there is a small stage that apparently became a kind of open mic for locals on Wednesday and where further up the coast as part of the Yasalam festival of music and fun, there was a bigger stage that shows off local talent as well as international stars. Result: The small stage was closed, the action had moved to the big stage, but I was not allowed into the area of the big stage because I had a camera and no cameras are allowed.
- Went to a small and cool pub at the Sheraton Hotel. Result: No music.
- Wandered the back streets near the Sheraton for an hour in amongst the small gentlemens’ cafes and chicha joints in search of any sign of local or other music – an off-the-beaten-path serendipity approach. Result: Did not even see a single oud.
- Went to the reputedly wild and crazy “Heroes” bar at the Crowne Plaza where there is a live band and a place where one person told me in the past that if anywhere, that would be the place to play. Result: The guard at the door stopped me and told me I could not enter the bar with my guitar. “Wait, isn’t this a live music joint?” I asked. “Yes, but only the artists can have their instruments.” He told me to check it outside in a closet. I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” It did not, like on the first night, sound like my kind of place.
- Returned to my hotel/apartment. Result: Played my heart out on my guitar and singing in my empty living room before packing it in and going to sleep.
One night left in the so-far barren adventure. I have a little tale about trying to find the House of Oud again this morning, but I will save that for tomorrow.