Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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An Open Mic is its People – Hosts, Musicians, Bartenders, Managers

September 8, 2016
bradspurgeon

ant henson

ant henson

PARIS – That above headline is very long for what I am hoping will be a very short post. It’s just to say that I went to two open mics in Paris the other day – Tuesday – and found that the month of August was ALMOST over – despite it being the 6th or so of Sept. – and I had not been to an open mic in Paris for a month. And I found that the thing that really struck me was how everything about an open mic night depends on the people. So I met some good friends at the Féline open mic, played some songs, listened to some songs, but had to run off to meet another friend at the Café Oz open mic, as he was passing through just for one night. Turned out to be an amazing, amazing evening. And that was thanks to the conversation all round, and especially mixed with that, the music.

At the Oz, there were some mighty talented people, including of all places, the woman behind the bar. Suddenly, as one of the finer performers of the night was doing a song the barwoman recognized, she began to sing along. And he had the presence of mind and sense to let HER sing, while he took the backseat. That was Ash Orphan on the guitar – and the barwoman of the Oz. Check out that video.
Ant Henson’s fabulous antiwar protest song

And for me, the high moment of the night, musically, was Ant Henson, from England, passing through Paris after a long trip around this part of Europe and North Africa. His anti-war song, his protest song, that he had just written on the first part of the trip – or just before – is absolutely fabulous. He sang it on his first swing through five or six weeks ago. And he did it even better on Tuesday night. Just a fabulous song, a fabulous delivery, and I really wish he could record this protest song – for me, it speaks for his generation. And to me. He also did another new song, which was really great too – but the anti-war one had grown on me already. Check it out in my video here on this page.
Singing barwoman at the Café Oz

Well, there it is, the highs and highs of an open mic night in Paris, thanks to the participants. Oh, I really enjoyed myself when I did a couple of songs at the Oz too, and particularly when Ant Henson backed me up on “I Won’t Back Down,” on his harmonica.
Jules at the Feline


A new Ant Henson song at Café Oz

Seb MC opens Feline Open Mic

Another at Café Oz open mic

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