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Dividing Myself Up for the Paris Open Mics

April 2, 2012

As I mentioned yesterday before I went out for the evening, there was a larger than usual choice of open mics and jams to attend in Paris last night. I was not sure where I would end up entirely, but I settled for the novelty of a new one and the necessity of a once-a-month one.

The new one was at the El Tonel tapas bar near the Louvre, on the rue des Pyramides. This was a tiny little place so small that I wondered if there was even a toilet… I found there was, and made my grand entrance by falling down the stairs to the cellar as there was a loose step – twisted my ankle but thanked incredible luck that nothing really bad happened, no pain remains – and then I sat at the bar and had a great half an evening.

This open mic runs only every other week, it is new as I said, and it is run by the genial Vincent Lafleur, whom I met at the Cavern last Wednesday. It was a classic open mic, but there were enough musicians of different kinds that they joined in with their various instruments to make it a kind of jam in addition to an open mic. I had a woman sax player, and there was the cool Lyllou the woman violin player. There is also a slight karaoke aspect to it since there is a songbook and anyone wanting to join in singing a song to the music of the other musicians, may do so.

I was having a great time and I debated whether I should stay the whole evening. But I knew that the Lizard Lounge was only three metro stops away on the same line, near the Hotel de Ville, and I knew it ran only once a month – first Sunday – and I also knew that I had a great time there last time I went, two or three months ago. So I could not resist the temptation.

And I was glad I did not. The atmosphere was as usual superb, but this time every slot was filled by full bands. And as I arrived late and was the last slot scheduled, it meant having to follow full bands with my voice and guitar alone. In the end, it worked out fine as I did songs that I knew the people could sing along to….

We then all joined up afterwards and did a jam of two or three songs, with several of the musicians from the evening joining in, including me. All in all, I was delighted I did not miss either of these. Wish I could have gone to ALLLLLL of the open mics last night, but I would have had to divide myself into several pieces… which come to think of it, is almost what happened falling down the stairs at the El Tonel.

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