Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

The Lesser Visited – for the Moment and for Me – Open Mics in Paris

October 21, 2014

cabaret culture rapide in the snow

cabaret culture rapide in the snow

PARIS – I’m a little late in reporting about my open mic activities from last Thursday and Friday, but as so often happens, life intervened. But I just had to mark my marking of my territory in these two cool open mics in Paris where I have been in the past but rarely go to. Any other theme? Yes, both have recently had their MCs change, and both have taken on a new feel for it.

The first is in the bar near the Bourse called the Kolok. Every Thursday night now for two or three years there has been an open mic. I attended maybe only once in the past, and at the time I was a little disappointed with the wall of sound from the customers who did not seem to be there for the open mic, but just as a neat, cool, little bar alternative to the more busy Truskel, not far around the corner.

Last Thursday, though, with the open mic now being run by Guillaume, a rock-spirited guitar player and singer who uses and acoustic guitar, the feeling was quite different than my first experience there. I met several people I know from other open mics, and the evening closed off with a jam. Always a great sign. I will returned.

From the Kolok, to the Cabaret Culture Rapide

On Friday night I decided to venture forth to the Cabaret Culture Rapide, an open mic I have attended and written about a lot more than the Kolok. In fact, I often used to go to the Cabaret Culture Rapide Thursday jam session, even though it was not quite my style. But when I learned recently that the delightful Terrebrune has taken over running the Friday open mic, I went.

The one drawback and challenge of this open mic is that it is now, and always has been, completely acoustic. No mic for the voice, and no amp for the guitar or other instrument. So although the bar is postage stamp size, you still have to have a voice that carries – or you have to select your songs where your voice carries best.

Terrebrune has brought a great feel of organization and a warm personality to this open mic, and it was a thoroughly fun evening, again, playing a first set of two songs, followed by a final song near midnight, after the full list of performers for the evening had finished playing. Definitely worth the occasional visit, but keep in mind that lack of mic – both a disadvantage and a challenge…which has its advantages.

Internet Breakdown, Quick Touch of Base in Paris

October 19, 2012

Arriving back in Paris after 40 hours of travel from the south of South Korea, I got home to find my Internet broken down. So this means I have no Internet at home until Monday morning, and I head off again to India and Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. So there will be a short interruption in this blog, unfortunately. I am writing this after a day at the office, at the office…. But lack of Internet does not mean a lack of music and a lack of musical adventures. Last night I attended three venues in Paris, a new one, a recent one and an old one….

The first was a new open mic that takes place on the first and third Thursday of the month. I wish I had more time to write about all of these places, but I don’t. This new open mic takes place at a very cool bar called the Kolok, near the Bourse, not far from the Truskel. I found a very neat, young, with-it audience and the wonderful musician MC named Romain. I found good beer, a warm environment, a couple of mics, great service – and quite a loud audience….

I will give more information about the Kolok as soon as I have tried it again or got a better Internet connection.

From there I went over to the Orphee, which I have written about a couple of times recently on this blog. But this time I was hugely disappointed as the owner or manager of the bar insisted that I pay 10 euros to enter this place in order to entertain the large of audience of people who had shown up for the open mic. There are very, very few circumstances in which I will pay money in order to play my music, when I know I am bringing in people to listen to the music, and when I am also buying drinks for myself. After some discussion it was clear the man was not nice and not smart and not worth it. So I left.

I remembered that across the street at the every and endlessly genial Bus Palladium, I had a friend who was taking part in the musical talent “trampoline” event last night. So I decided to go in and give him my support. It turned out that he was not the only member of the talented bunch of musicians whom I knew. There was the band JFK, whom I ran into almost four years ago at the Truskel and/or Mecano. And it also turned out that I knew some of the judges of the competition, the band Gush. Gush is extraordinary, and if they had done the competition themselves, they would have won. So they were well chosen judges.

As it turned out, Rimed – the tapping guitarist – came in an equal second in the competition. Unfortunately, by the time the eventual winners played their set, I had run out of batteries on my recording device. So nothing to show here.

Powered by