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The Calm, Cool and Rarified Atmosphere of the CPH Listening Room Open Mic, in Copenhagen

March 20, 2017
bradspurgeon

CPH Listening Room in Rahuset

CPH Listening Room in Rahuset

COPENHAGEN – I came to Copenhagen for a film festival, because the film festival has a very strong music category to it called Sound & Vision. But I also, naturally, wanted to piss on another territory in my worldwide open mic adventure. But I was very worried I would not find any open mics in Copenhagen, after many internet searches seemed not to entirely guarantee anything. I should have realized that any city that can have as strong and cool of a music side to it film festival is also going to have a strong musical culture, and open mics. Not only did I attend the most amazing open mic Sunday night – between films (!) – but I have now heard that the city is apparently swarming with open mics and jams.

But let me step back to the CPH Listening Room, located in the Rahuset building. The open mic has existed for around 10 years, and has been run for the last three years by Martin Tomlinson, a British expat – not to be confused with the musician of a certain strangely named UK band that reminds me of yesterday’s post about the Bunch of Kunst film. Tomlinson is a gentle, warm host, with gentle warm songs, that sets the tone for the evening.
A walk (with lousy sound but cool image) of the CPH Listening Room in Copenhagen

As he said, the open mic is also of a style that follows the name of the venue: People come to listen. You can hear a beer placed on a table during any particular act, so quiet and attentive are the listeners. Also as Martin said, this is a listening room with a bar in it, rather than the usual open mic venue that is a bar with a listening angle to it. Located in a cool, loft-like building in a kind of community center not too far behind the main train station, the ambience of the room itself is fantastic.
Bjorn feature act

The stage is beautifully lit, the sound system is excellent, and there are a couple of videographers on either side of the stage there to immortalize every performance.

I was also absolutely delighted to hear several musicians playing songs they had written in Danish. Yes, it may have an Englishman running it, and there may be a lot of musicians singing in English, but this is a Danish open mic all right. And one of the best song writers of the night was the feature act, who is Danish, but whose songs – the three I heard before I had to go to the next film – are written in more than impeccable English.
Fifth at CPH Listening Room open mic

That was Bjørn Stig Møller, but there were other interesting writers and as I say, the Danish side made this like a gold mine for me on my international open mic travels. And I am looking forward to finding and playing in other places on this trip. Oh, my only criticism? We only got to play two songs each, and I was just starting to feel better and better up on that stage, and would have loved to stay all night!
First at CPH Listening Room

It’s no surprise that there is also a Copenhagen Songwriters’ Festival that takes place in the CPH Listening Room and a neighbouring building.
Fourth at CPH Listening Room

Oh, by the way, I decided to try out my Osmo camera again, and did a walk around of the venue so readers can see it all. I also decided to test for the first time my new mic method of the Osmo. After finding that my old Sony voice mic was not very good for recording music with the Osmo, I set out to find a better method before coming to Copenhagen. In the end, I decided to use a Zoom recording device as a mic, and feed it directly into the Osmo. I was too uncomfortable with the idea of recording the acts at the CPH Listening Room with my bulky and impressive looking Osmo, but the small test I did with the Zoom as mic is more than promising. Compare the sound on the brief test to the sound of the Osmo’s built-in mic during my walk around. The difference it mind boggling.
Second at CPH Listening Room

Anyway, I ran off after the open mic to see a fabulous, and extremely important film, which I will write about later….
Sound test of Zoom on Osmo at CPH Listening Room


Third at CPH Listening Room

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