Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Art Café Saves the Day

August 25, 2012

Just when I thought that the month of August in Paris had hit its lowest ebb, I was perhaps proven correct! A message came in over Facebook from the organizer of the Friday night open mic at L’Art Cafe, Amelia Bolt, saying that the open mic had returned after its August break. So I tripped off to the Parmentier Metro with guitar over back and middling expectations.

When I entered this tiny bar with the colorful walls, photos, and barely a place to sit, I said to myself, “Okay, not that many people here. But I remember well how it turned out last time upon entering and finding it with a minimum audience.” That is, it ended up being a monumental night of jamming and open mic music.

So I went in with confidence last night, with delight that here I was on a Friday in August in Paris and there was actually a place to play and an audience – and WHAT an audience! A mix of musicians and listeners, the open mic proved to be almost exactly what it had been the first time I went. I have only been once before because it is a new open mic, and I went just before the summer break.

The Art Cafe in Paris is the proof that what makes an open mic great is the people who attend. Last night it was not as full as the previous time, as it is indeed still a new open mic. But it was just as fun and well organized. All musicians started by doing three songs, and then after that we jammed for an hour or so.

There were some wonderful acts, including, of course, Amelie herself, with her rock ‘n Roll Silvertone guitar and guitar case amplifier, with Theko – who is holding her own concert in the same place tonight – and with the big voice and emotion of little Audrey, whom I had never heard or met before. We jammed together quite a bit afterwards, and I have rarely had so much fun in a jam as I did with Audrey and her voice!

I will return again as this open mic is sure to grow – even if it has little space to do so!

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