Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

Horror Picture Tea and Belle Vie St. Martin, Two Open Venues if No Open Mics

September 4, 2011

Last night I found no open mics to attend, but I had my friend Calvin McEnron playing at the Horror Picture Tea and I had another friend invite me for a concert at the Belle Vie St. Martin bar near the Gare de l’Est. As it turned out, Calvin after his set opened the mic for me and another of his friends, Max of the band Misfits Galleon. So not only did Calvin do another great little concert, but he opened his heart and the mic for those who never say no.

I then went on to La Belle Vie St. Martin, and there I met my friend Elise, and I immediately recognized a few of the musicians from their recent appearances at the Tennessee Bar open mic. Talk about a small world. One of these musicians was the man I called an Iggy Pop lookalike, but whose name I have now learned is Franck. He and his band played mostly the blues. After they all finished up the bar stayed open until 2 AM, and I sat and jammed with my guitar at our table, singing several songs and having others sing along and bang along. Altogether a fun night, considering the lack of open mic. No, not true. I had brought my guitar as I had planned to go to the Swan Bar’s “Around Midnight” open jam. Just didn’t get there for what would have been the third day in a row.

It was all good warm up for my gig today at the Cabaret Culture Rapide, from 5PM to 7PM.

Also met an interesting poetess who gave me a couple of her magazines, Scarecrowcollective.

Burnin’ Jacks at Horror Picture Tea

May 13, 2011

They announced it as an acoustic concert on Facebook. But the Burnin’ Jacks’ show at the Horror Picture Tea in Paris last night was anything but – it was the full band and keyboards too… sorry, indeed, no drums please. Aside from the drums – the venue is not big enough – it was the whole band. And a great show, they got the joint rocking.

I’ve seen the Burnin’ Jacks a lot, including in their very early efforts at Earle’s open mic at the Lizard Lounge, then the Truskel, then the Mecano. I’ve seen them in bigger venues like the Gibus, too. And I don’t get tire of them. Last night was no exception. Even with a crappy sound system, the show was great. Don’t miss the lead breaks of Felix Beguin, who also plays with me occasionally, like on my recordings at the Point Ephemere last summer.

And at the end I saw something I’d never seen before, which was Syd exercising his hidden musical knowledge, talents and training as he did some keyboard stuff and played The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” Cool stuff.

By the way, the Horror Picture Tea is a very cool venue, with a part bar, a part restaurant, a bit of a horror and gothic theme and if you go downstairs you can have, or watch, a tatoo artist at work – at least you could last night. The web site says it is a tea room that mixes rock and gastronomy. Yeah, it seems to do that, all right.

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