Went to the Highlander last night and met up again with the wonderful brother duo from Japan, the crazy Tar0&Jir0 band. They whipped the Highlander open mic audience into a frenzy. And that is no easy thing to do. Well, all right, drinking songs will often do it. But Tar0&Jir0, who are off to Switzerland at the end of the week, and then soon going back to Japan, got the crowd going crazy on their rhythmic and lively – to say the least – presentation. And their knowledge and talent at drawing the audience into the show.
There were others of interest, too, last night, especially Brice, a Frenchman who sang a traditional French song a cappella, and who also did Jacques Brel’s “Amsterdam” a cappella. But the boys from Japan were again the stand-out moment of the evening.
I was all ready to find myself regretting depature from Asia and the fabulous fun of the open mics in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai when I dragged myself, dead tired and jet lagged from my comfortable home to the open mic at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance bar in Paris near the Panthéon. Ollie Fury’s open mic, that is. And wow, there was nothing like an evening at Ollie’s open mic to wake me up and jolt me to my feet and realize that Paris may be a little routine for me, but the people it attracts are anything but. In fact, the electric shock of the night was a couple of brothers from Japan who have been hanging around in Europe in the last couple of years – mostly London and France – and electrifying audiences with their high-voltage duo act of frenetic guitar, vocals and movement.
THAT was a long-winded paragraph, but how else could I wind up the night’s activities? These guys call themselves Tar0&Jir0, and their real names are Kimitaro & Tomojiro Kukae… or perhaps not. Just check out the videos of Tar0&Jir0 and no doubt you will have a small idea of how mad these two are. I bought their CD and played it this morning and found the same electrifying – or electrified – acoustic scramble, and was glad I’d spent the 10 euros. I thought these brothers had named themselves after a couple of dogs who saved some people’s lives in a failed Antarctic expedition, but that is not the case. It’s just a coincidence. But I could fairly say they saved me last night.
I played three songs, not at all prepared, and only realizing how tired I was when I got up behind the mic. But it went well. I did “Streets of London” for the first time from beginning to end with only one real slip up in memory of the lyrics. I did a Dylan and my “Except Her Heart.”
There were lots of other fabulous performers and sounds, like another visit by Natas Loves You, doing one of their own and a Beatles they don’t often do. There was a trio of young people singing Dylan, The Band and something else – and I found it really refreshing. There was soo much variety – a new person coming in the form of Zoe Kelly, from Sidney, who has a very nice voice and style, and self-assuredly pulls it all off. Some regulars like Aurore Clement, and Tristan, and others. And finally, Angus Sinclair played Ollie’s for the first time in a nice set, the last song of which got the crowd really rocking.
Finally, I was not the only one electrified by Ollie’s great open mic. Ollie’s dog was also one of the best listeners, at least when Ollie was playing his songs to start off the evening. Check out the video of his dog listening to his master’s voice….