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Tar0&Jir0 and other Amazing Performers at Ollie’s Open Mic

April 20, 2011



I was all ready to find myself regretting depature from Asia and the fabulous fun of the open mics in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai when I dragged myself, dead tired and jet lagged from my comfortable home to the open mic at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance bar in Paris near the Panthéon. Ollie Fury’s open mic, that is. And wow, there was nothing like an evening at Ollie’s open mic to wake me up and jolt me to my feet and realize that Paris may be a little routine for me, but the people it attracts are anything but. In fact, the electric shock of the night was a couple of brothers from Japan who have been hanging around in Europe in the last couple of years – mostly London and France – and electrifying audiences with their high-voltage duo act of frenetic guitar, vocals and movement.

THAT was a long-winded paragraph, but how else could I wind up the night’s activities? These guys call themselves Tar0&Jir0, and their real names are Kimitaro & Tomojiro Kukae… or perhaps not. Just check out the videos of Tar0&Jir0 and no doubt you will have a small idea of how mad these two are. I bought their CD and played it this morning and found the same electrifying – or electrified – acoustic scramble, and was glad I’d spent the 10 euros. I thought these brothers had named themselves after a couple of dogs who saved some people’s lives in a failed Antarctic expedition, but that is not the case. It’s just a coincidence. But I could fairly say they saved me last night.

I played three songs, not at all prepared, and only realizing how tired I was when I got up behind the mic. But it went well. I did “Streets of London” for the first time from beginning to end with only one real slip up in memory of the lyrics. I did a Dylan and my “Except Her Heart.”

There were lots of other fabulous performers and sounds, like another visit by Natas Loves You, doing one of their own and a Beatles they don’t often do. There was a trio of young people singing Dylan, The Band and something else – and I found it really refreshing. There was soo much variety – a new person coming in the form of Zoe Kelly, from Sidney, who has a very nice voice and style, and self-assuredly pulls it all off. Some regulars like Aurore Clement, and Tristan, and others. And finally, Angus Sinclair played Ollie’s for the first time in a nice set, the last song of which got the crowd really rocking.

Finally, I was not the only one electrified by Ollie’s great open mic. Ollie’s dog was also one of the best listeners, at least when Ollie was playing his songs to start off the evening. Check out the video of his dog listening to his master’s voice….

Angus Sinclair: When the Highlander Meets the Tennessee

March 4, 2011

Thank goodness for a half bottle of Chateau Camarsac Bordeaux Superieur that just gave me the idea for that post headline. I can’t think of a better way to sum up the little concert I went to last night at the Tennesse bar than that.

I am in the habit of going to the open mics at The Highlander bar and the Tennessee bar – especially during the F1 off-season – as readers of this blog will have noticed. And at the Tennessee I sometimes see this guy named Angus Sinclair, who it turns out is Scottish – ie, the Highlander. But last night for the first time I went to his gig with his band at the Tennessee bar, and I found that this particular Scot has a fairly American south sound to his music – whether it be the south of California or the deep South, I’m not sure which.

In any case, it was a very cool concert of nothing but songs by Mr. Angus Sinclair and his make-up band of the moment, with among others my friend Joe Cady on violin. (Joe having played my brunch and also the violinist and guitarist for The Romantic Black Shirts, who played at my concert at the Disquaires last Sunday.

In any case, this Angus guy is interesting also in that music is his sideline, even if it sounds fully fledged professional and ready for Top-50 hit-making. He is a longtime Paris expat with a business in graphic designs – making logos – and he likes to design music for fun. Great songs, good cheer, and an hour and a half long set without a break. The man has a voice, presence, charisma, charm and a song-writing ability. I would have liked to hear a little more solo-playing out of Joe and the guitar, but maybe next time!!!! (And Joe told me he was strictly there to fill out the sound, so what do I know?)

I’ve put down a couple of songs, including the last, long, one in which he introduces the band.

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