Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

The Superb New “La Tireuse” OpenMic in Paris – or Rather, the Ptit Bonheur la Chance Reborn

September 4, 2013
bradspurgeon

PARIS – Unfortunately, I have been working all day and evening in preparation for my trip to Italy tomorrow, so I am unable to do justice to the blog post that the reopening of the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic merits and calls for. But I sure did go last night, and I sure did enjoy myself. I had written for maybe three years about all the great nights at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic, and suddenly it was ended, abruptly, last May when the owner/manager decided to sell the bar to a new owner. All the regular musicians who loved the bar and open mic every Tuesday were sure it was finished for good. Thank goodness, the new owner has had the great idea of keeping it going….

So now it is La Tireuse, and the spirit is still there. The bar has been very little changed, just the old boxing photos and posters were removed. Oh, and… they redesigned the basement room, where the music happens. It is now adorned with low tables, couches, lighting, it is, in short, comfortable in a way it never was before. Even better, the open mic performance area has now been moved from the kind of second-thought of a dark space near the stairs at the entry of the room to the other side of the room completely, the other end, against the large brick back wall (or fake bricks).

To play in this spot is just wonderful. There is now sufficient light on the performer that you can actually see their faces as they play. And when you perform in this space, you feel much more like you’re put in position of value as a performer. It’s funny, there was a feeling of insecurity I could never put my finger on when I played at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, even though I loved the place – and insecurity is a part of performance. But last night, playing against the wall, I felt it was much more like being on a stage, where you can feel secure in a way….

But anyway… there is a downside to this new move: The bar is so successful on the ground floor that there is always lots of chat and raucous noise going on up there. But in the previous setup, the noise from upstairs was blocked by the musician(s) and the amp throwing the sound into the room from the stairs end of the room. Now, unfortunately, that noise permeates the room up to about the halfway point, so if you want to hear most of the musicians – ie, maybe not the loudest of them – you have to sit close to the stage area. At least halfway into the room. There’s just too much noise coming from upstairs for the sound to be distinguishable at the new “back” of the room, i.e., the entrance, where the stairs are.

I hope they figure out a way to improve that, because the new set up is otherwise superb…. And above all, Ollie Joe’s MCing and the whole warmth of this open mic are exactly what they were before, and what made it such a success. If feels now, retrospectively, as if this open mic just simply took a summer break like so many others in Paris. Bravo for La Tireuse!
https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=562184717151567″ width=”640″ height=”480″ frameborder=”0″
And thanks to Wayne Standley for the video he did of me doing my “Crazy Lady” song, above….


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