PARIS – Again for a change, I decided to head off to the Baroc open mic in Paris last night instead of a couple of other places where I maybe have spent more time in the past, but where I can be more sure of finding the same kind of evening all the time. At Le Baroc, I never know what I’ll find!
But last night it was a very cool, if low-key open mic at this mainstay of the Paris open mic scene. Le Baroc has held an open mic for years, but changed from organizer to organizer. For the last few years it has been organized by the genial Réjean Mourlevat, a nice, low-key musician who joins in on the piano or drum machine from time do time during the evening, and always makes sure musicians feel comfortable behind the mic.
The Baroc is a bar with an interesting character, with carpets hanging from the ceiling over the stage, the big mirror behind the stage, and a side room where you can sit and chat a little while still seeing the stage. It has a real 1980s feel to it.
The musicians vary from week to week, and last night the accent was definitely on French musicians singing in French – which is really refreshing for an otherwise pretty anglo kind of scene at many of the other Paris open mics.
It is also a place that emphasizes a real open stage, and if you’re into it, expect to be joined by other musicians while you play. Last night my last two songs I had a guitarist or two and a guy who played keyboards, and it was lots of fun. Especially on my Year of the Cat, which I had a friend film for me….
Well worth the detour out of the Latin Quarter and up to Belleville….