Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Three Open Mics and Two Jams (one non-existent) in Paris

March 6, 2016
bradspurgeon

O'Sullivans

O’Sullivans

PARIS – Days are slipping by so fast as I move into overdrive on the editing of my open mic film. That has not prevented me from attending four open mics and one jam session this week over a three-day period. But it did prevent me from writing about it on the blog…. If excuses are allowed. But the open mics allowed for plenty of discoveries, and fun moments, and some videos to show that….

On Tuesday, it was the Féline open mic time again. I played a three-song set, and left in the middle of the open mic like an ungrateful guy who doesn’t like to listen to other musicians or socialize. But that was not the case: I had simply said that I would attend Rim Amine’s gig at the Petite Mercerie, about a seven minute walk away on Oberkampf. I did that partly – and mainly – to listen to Rim, who I had discovered the week before at the Zebre Rouge. But I also went for what had been announced as a jam session afterwards.
A bit of Melodie’s own song

Since there was no jam – I think they started the gig late – I decided to head on and take my chances at the Café Oz, metro Blanche, thinking I’d be too late to get to play. But no, when I arrived, I found that most of the musicians and spectators who had been there earlier on had now left, and there was room for me to play – so I did. I actually enjoyed singing to the small remaining crowd, since it allowed me to do some quieter, less “crowd pleaser” stuff. (I finished with “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”)
a final one at Murphy’s

Thursday I decided to go all the way out to St. Germain des Près and the O’Sullivan’s Pub where I wrote about the great open mic a couple of weeks ago. This time, it was not an open mic, but a gig – there is an open mic every second week, and a gig followed by a jam in the other week – but I went because I knew that it was guaranteed a fun night, and there would be the jam afterwards. And this time, there WAS the jam, and I played for maybe 30 minutes or more. Played with other musicians, too, and it was fabulous – thanks to the great organization of the pub and Stephen Saxo….
another at Murphy’s

From there, Friday, it was the monthly open mic at Murphy’s in Paris, behind the Opera. Again, I was so certain the atmosphere would be convivial and friendly and that there would be lots of interesting people, that I had no difficulty choosing this open mic over other possibilities. And I was not let down. Plus, I got to meet a new Canadian friend (visiting Paris) and her daughter, who played int the open mic.
band at La Feline open mic

All in all, a worthwhile time at the open mics in Paris – although I’m not sure it makes for great reading…. So there’s always the videos to fall back on!

Rim at the Petite Mercerie

trio at Murphy’s

band at O’Sullivan’s in St. Germain en Laye

duet at Murphy’s

another at the feline

first at the Café Oz

last at the Feline

mc at the feline

Melodie at Murphy’s

second at the Café Oz

4 Comments

  1. What a wonderful round-up you’ve compiled, Brad — truly representative of the open mic scene, with everything from amateur music-lovers to polished pros (*love* Rim!). It’s a pity to hear that the audiences haven’t gotten any more respectful than the last time I was there, though. I suppose it’s a bar and people are going to get drunk and talk loudly, but … geez. Oh, well. At least it sounds like you’re having a ball, and that’s the important thing.

    • Thanks Heather! Yes, having a ball. Well, you know, about noisy audiences… they are really the same everywhere in the world, in my experience. It’s just that there ARE certain open mics where audiences are quiet, and others where they are loud! The first time I ever played an open mic in Melbourne, the audience was so quiet I was afraid! And I jumped to the conclusion that audiences in Australia were quiet! The next night in Melbourne at a different open mic, they talked and talked and talked… life as usual!

  2. Hello Brad! Nous sommes de retour à Québec. Vraiment très heureuse d’avoir pu te rencontrer et merci pour ce blogue et la mention de la prestation de Mélodie et vidéo à l’appuie !!! À bientôt ! Dominique

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