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The Cool and Laid Back Scene of the Café Jean Open Mic

February 13, 2015

Cafe Jean Open Mic

Cafe Jean Open Mic

PARIS – An open mic is made in a big way by the location, by the MC and of course by the musicians and the spectators who turn up. I’ve been meaning to go to the Café Jean open mic in Paris for something like a year, but as it was at first once a month it took a long time for me to find the right month. Now it is twice a month, and I finally got there last night.

One of the reasons I was really keen to go was because it is run by Nicolas Blampain, a wonderful guitar player and singer, and great open mic host who ran the open mic at the Lou Pascalou bar in Menilmontant for a couple of years or so. He did a great job there, but the bar itself was somewhat limited in its layout.

So I really wanted to see what Nicolas could do in another location. The Café Jean is a little on the edges of Paris, near the Ourcq metro, not too far from the Abracadabar where there is a monthly open mic and a lot of live music – but really on the edge of things. In any case, I was surprised to find at the Café Jean a very hip sort of café restaurant with what looked like great food.

The public did not really look like it was there for full involvement in the music, but when the food is that good looking, it’s no surprise. On the other hand, Nicolas does such a great job of hosting the evening, and makes musicians feels so welcome – you can play covers, your own stuff, or even sing to his guitar playing if he knows the song – that it was a real pleasure to play at the Café Jean last night.
The sound system was good, the public was definitely listening despite the chatter, and the people running the bar felt really open to the music. Definitely worth a visit on the second and final Thursdays of the month. But don’t forget the competition at the Escargot Underground open mic the same night!!!

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