PARIS – I discovered the Escargot Underground open mic in Paris around two years ago, just after it opened – or pretty much at the beginning. It started really slow, just like an escargot, but after two years now, it has swung into high-speed, high-motion, high-emotion territory. I attended last night for the first time in maybe a year, and it was nothing like my memory….
My memory was that this was a good, cool, intimate open mic with the strange location of a cave (basement) of a Russian travel agency! It is still in the basement of the travel agency, but they have now decided to reshape the playing area, but putting it in the smaller part of the room, while sitting chairs and cushions in the larger part of the room for the spectators. They also have a better sound system – quite good sound, in fact.
And they have a little temporary bar for beers – as long as they last – and wine. (At escargot prices – i.e., weak ruble prices, i.e., not expensive.) With the new setup there is an even more intimate feel to the place, but a fabulous, true underground atmosphere. And it was bursting full of musicians and spectators.
In short, the Escargot Underground open mic – judging by last night’s edition – is one of the best in Paris at the moment. But if I get a lot of readers of this post, then it could end up killing the thing, because it feels as if it is running at its ultimate crowd capacity at the moment, and could not bear too much more success!! I’ll be back, though…