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Another, Even Better, Night Playing at the Bachelite Clab (sic) open mic in Milan

April 14, 2017

Bachelite CLab Milano

Bachelite CLab Milano

MILAN – I finally had the chance to attend my second Bachelite Clab open mic in Milan last night nearly four months after my first time there. As I have mentioned many times before on this blog, Milan is not really that rich in open mics and open jams. But the ones it does have, are fun – maybe for that very reason of their rarity. In any case, last night, what turned out to be my second taste of this new open mic in Milan also turned into basically something like a 1-hour gig, complete with a drummer and pianist backing me up with my guitar….

Running every second Thursday, this Bachelite bar open mic has so far had a perfect score for me in terms of enjoyment. And much fun as I had the first time at the Bachelite, last night was even better. They changed the location of the stage from the high “bird’s nest” mezzanine at the back of the bar to the front area between the bar and the entrance to the venue.

first at Bachelite Clab open mic in Milan

So it was that the piano and drum set were also located in that quite sizeable area, and for the musician you now have a view of the whole venue, including the bird’s nest part, which is now a mezzanine for customers to sit at tables. The effect is that the open mic is much more intimate. This new stage area is also located next to the front pane glass window and the bar entrance, so you can see and play to the people standing outside smoking cigarettes.

second at Bachelite Clab open mic in Milan

In any case, I managed to play in two sets – the closing set being just two songs – a total of probably close to an hour. And most of that with a pianist and the drummer. Great fun. I do wish there were more Italian musicians showing up to this open mic, but the word still has to pass around, no doubt.

third at Bachelite Clab open mic in Milan

The bar, in any case, and its owner, are clearly made for music. There is also a weekly blues jam, as I have pointed out on my Thumbnail guide to open mics in Milan….

Finally, a New – for Me (and, in fact, its Patrons) – Open Mic Experience in Milan

December 17, 2016

Bachelite CLab Milano

Bachelite CLab Milano

MILAN – It has always been one of my greatest frustrations in my worldwide open mic travels that my annual visits to Italy coincide with the Italian equivalent of the French month of August vacation. That is to say, I always arrive in early September, when Milan is still in its annual June, July, August, September and October annual vacation. This is the period when all of the open mics and jam sessions in the city are closed down for the festive half year of inactivity that affects the entire city. Added to that is the fact that there just are not that many open mics in Milan. But now that I am in Milan for personal reasons in the month of December, I have finally been able to attend an open mic of a kind that I would never have attended before.

Having said that, the new open mic at the Bachelite CLab bar has only been going for a couple of months or so. But last night’s edition showed me that this must be one of the most fun, best open mics in the city. The bar is a lively, cool, stylish and easy going joint in the middle of a bunch of apartment buildings near the Porta Vittoria metro. The stage is not on the ground floor, but in a highly perched mezzanine above the bar and drinking area. This makes for a kind of area for the musician – complete with piano – that allows for a feeling of both complete freedom on your own as you perform, but also a contact with the audience below, any time you choose to connect with them with your eyes.
Italian song at Bachelite CLab

And you know they are listening when you see them looking up at the perch. The sound system is devotedly taken care of by the Doc – the guy who runs the open mic – and others, and there is a mic, a board to plug in several instruments, and it was no holds barred in terms of the kind of formation of musicians and the music. Both Italian stuff, and the usual U.S.-Brit-Canada whatever pop rock folk blues stuff….
Another bit at Bachelite CLab Milano open mic

Although it is completely an open mic, it is also totally open to the jam style of event too, where several musicians can go up and play with each other, as happened with me in a second set with a guy on a cajon.
Although I think that the open mic is supposed to go on officially until only around 11:30 – starting at 9:00 PM – last night they decided there were enough musicians and enough enthusiasm to keep going until 1 or 2 AM. The great sign of it all is that I cannot remember until what time we played. If that is not the highest accolade to an open mic, I don’t know what is!

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