Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Summertime Bonheur

July 6, 2011

I clearly felt the effects of the summertime at the open mic at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance. There were just as many people attending, or more, than usual, but there were fewer of the regulars, and there were tourists. In short, it was as jam-packed as usual, but somehow felt different – summer in the air.

I took a few videos, but the one I wished I took the most – for once – and didn’t, was my duet with Emma Guignebert. I tried singing “It’s all over now, Baby Blue,” of Bob Dylan. The hard thing about doing the same open mics in one place so often is trying to find enough material that you feel confident about to vary the show. There is just no point going and singing the same three songs all the time. But that Dylan song is one that I feel I get right very rarely, and usually then it is only when I’m in my own living room all by myself. Last night I was so stressed out about it that I not only felt I was not doing the best job, but I stumbled over and forgot a line or two here and there.

That threw me off so much that I was desperate to change the course of history, and I saw Emma sitting in the “front row” and asked if she knew “Mad World,” and she said she did, so I coaxed her up to join me on it. There, I felt much, much more relaxed and actually enjoyed myself immensely with Emma’s harmonies. Wish I’d got that on video. You can see Emma in her duet just after mine with her.

I am baffled every time I still get up behind the mic and feel human and vulnerable! But that is precisely what live performance is all about….

Ollie’s Twins and Triplets – or is it Duos and Trios?

March 16, 2011

I will refrain from writing too much here, as it was yet another night in Paris at Ollie’s open mic at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance. The main lines here, though, are that after a slow start led me to believe that there is something in the air this week reducing crowds at open mics, it suddenly picked up and was pretty much as busy and as successful as ever chez Ollie.

The salient point for me would be the great new duos and trios. Or rather, two duos and the everlasting Natas Loves You in trio (before its concert at the Maroquinerie this Saturday).

The first new duo was that of Aurore and Tristan, and they did a nice number together – fully unexpected; and then there was the further development of the duo of Emma Guignebert singing with Yaco playing guitar, doing a song written by Yaco, and called, “Carry Me Back.” I really like it, and Emma’s voice is hot.

Then there was Natas, doing a couple of their songs and a couple of covers…. I’d love to put the Beatles cover they do down here again in video, but I’ve done that before… so space for the rest….

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