Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

Talkin’ Highlander Blues

March 3, 2011

Last night it was back to The Highlander open mic again. And I must say, I did not see that much that excited me in the way of wanting to make videos for this site. On the other hand, I did a lot more talking than I usually do at The Highlander, thus falling into the same crime as about 95 percent of the audience in that open mic. So probably while I was chatting a future star passed before me unknown to me.

It is one of the drawbacks of the open mic format that a lot of the people who attend are musicians who do NOT care for the other musicians’ music and don’t listen…. And then a lot of public is there for only certain friends, and they don’t listen to the others. By the time I got up last night there were only a handful of people left, and they listened. By the time Thomas Brun, the MC, got up to do his final closing bit, EVERYONE listened. But that was as much because Thomas seemed to me at that point – and by then I had ceased to chat much – to be on an even higher level than usual.

I rarely say much about the MCs of open mics here, but it is worth devoting three videos to Thomas. The first is a Nirvana song, the other two are a first and second part of the same song – which, as you will see, takes a certain amount of courage to be sung by a man…. (Someone knocked down my camera or it got turned off, so I did the video in two parts.

I also got Flavie Fontaine’s first song of the evening down on video for this page. She was the second performer of the night, and she has some very interesting, original stuff – this song being a fine example of it.

A Little Bit of Theatrics at the 25ème Est with Marc Arnaud et Les Chacaux and Flavie Fontaine

February 27, 2011

It is rare in the musical world I move around in to find bands using theatrics during their shows. A new band called Marc Arnaud et Les Chacaux – which is the French word for Jackals – put on what I think was their first big performance last night at the cool bar/restaurant called 25ème Est, at the Place Stalingrad in Paris, and used a nice little touch of theatrics – but not too much.

An unusual band, it consisted of a couple of guitar players, drummer, horns and a violin. Marc handled the vocals…except for the sudden appearance in one of the songs of Flavie Fontaine, who is an actress and singer songwriter. She suddenly appeared and placed a chair in front of the stage to kick off Marc and take over the mic herself – they then sang a kind of duo, or exchange, between a couple…. Marc is also an actor, by the way. And Flavie’s songs tend towards theatrical too, in fact, and she was in her element here going up to the stage and playing a role that “apparently” no one was ready for.

It was a nice touch in an interesting evening of music with a great atmosphere – a complete change from my usual open mic experience. The 25ème Est was just brimming full of people, many who had come to hear the music and many other who had come to eat and drink and, hey, wasn’t it great there was music? The moved up toward the stage and listened.

All together an interesting night out. Now if only my concert tonight goes as well! If you’re in Paris, drop by the Disquaires tonight to hear me and my band, and Calvin McEnron and The Romantic Black Shirts: Les Disquaires: 6 rue des Taillandiers * 75011 Paris * M° Ledru Rollin ou Bastille

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