Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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The Baroc Alternative

January 16, 2014

Le Baroc open mic

Le Baroc open mic

PARIS – I wrote last week about the new open mic off the beaten path at the Blues Bar – which will undertake its second edition tonight – but there has long been another open mic in an area far from the Latin Quarter and not particularly in the thick of live music bar action. But this open mic is definitely a mainstay in the Paris scene, and a place at which attendees should never make a quick judgment.

I’m talking, of course, about the Baroc open mic near the Belleville and Colonel Fabien metro stations. This open mic can vary a lot more in attendance and musical styles to that of the regular places I write about in the Latin Quarter. It can range on through to every different style of music and every different style of barfly audience member, from the most celebrated to the least celebrated!

Tuesday night’s edition was a great one, with musicians varying from a kind of classical/flamenco-like guitarist, to Margot and her pop songs – she of the Highlander and Coolin and other Latin Quarter bars – to a man named Bernie with an illustrious songwriting career. I played, another interesting French folk singer sang, Raphaëlle sang, a kind of reggae-like musician played and sang…. it was different from beginning to end.

You just never know what you will find at the Baroc – except for the warm and fair MCing job done by Réjean Mourlevat, who will also occasionally join you on stage to bang out some rhythms on his portable drum machine thing, or join you on the piano – and there seems always to be a harmonica player somewhere in the wings. (I was delighted to have him play along with a couple of my songs, including the song I wrote when I was 16 or 17 about not being much in the mood, and of which I put up a video of here….)

Whatever you may find, you will almost always be certain to find a real French open mic with real French people – and a complete, open-armed welcome to the foreigners as well….


  1. This is a great blog you got going here. It’s actually interesting for people to have a perspective from the outside.

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