I first met Olivier at the original Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic in that cellar joint near the Pantheon. Actually, we met before that, but what the heck. Olivier took over the running of the Ptit Bonheur very early in the history of this astounding open mic, inheriting the job from his friend Olivier. (Don’t ask for an explanation on that, please.)
The open mic of the Ptit Bonheur la Chance lasted around three years, give or take a year, and it was the coolest open mic of the period. It attracted cool musicians from all over the world and was set in a very neat, intimate, cellar environment in a fabulous bar. The ground floor was a meeting place and a talking place, leaving the cellar room the quiet place for listening (or singing along).
Eventually the bar lost one of the three or four key ingredients when its owner decided to leave to open a café-restaurant not too far away in the neighbourhood. Another owner came – renaming it La Tireuse – and despite being somewhat sympathetic, they managed to screw up some of the ingredients, like changing the design of the basement room where the music took place, and it was never the same again.
I made a little film of the last open mic at the first incarnation of the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic (before La Tireuse), which I will put on this page to allow people to remember this period – and Olivier, if you are not quite sure who I mean!
Short film of the end of the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic
Olivier had a stint running the open mic of the Tennessee Bar as well, but it never recovered from the loss of its original MC, James Iansiti, despite being a cool setting. Olivier then moved on to take a role in running one of the longest-lasting open mics in Paris, the one at the Pop In. The Pop In being the only bar in the world from which I have been banned – read about that horrible Pop In story on this blog – I never did take part in Olivier’s MCing at that place.
Finally, Olivier ended up starting this open mic at the Some Girls bar what feels like a couple of years ago, but may be less, or may be more! I went many times, and found Olivier to be doing his usual great MCing, and music playing.
I have seen something somewhere about Olivier advertising for some kind of bar staff, so without actually speaking to him, I have a suspicion he may be involved in setting up his own bar. But that is completely speculation on my part. If he does, of course, maybe we will be lucky enough to find him having an open mic at his own bar. Then we’ll have two of the essential ingredients of a successful open mic combined: An enthusiastic and sympathetic bar owner, and a great MC.
(Note: I have learned since posting this that Olivier has indeed bought his own bar. It is called Le Rosalie, and it is located near the St. Ambroise metro, not far from the Rush bar open mic I have mentioned many times in recent posts. So a great stop off point before the open mic????)
Olivier, I cannot forget to mention, since it was the key to all the rest, is a great musician too. His latest musical effort being a band he calls Sundown.
So if you really want to take part in what I can only imagine as a great final night for Yaco on Tuesday at the Some Girls bar (not sure yet if the bar itself will continue an open mic), I’m linking again the Facebook invitation as I did in the first paragraph above, for the last Some Girls open mic, and the last of Olivier Yaco Mouchard Sundown.