Links to useful open mic guides to Cologne, Germany:
Brad Spurgeon’s findings on Open Mics in Cologne, Germany:
I go to Cologne while attending the German Grand Prix when it is run at the Nurburgring in the south of Germany, near Bonn and Cologne and another city the name of which slips my mind. The point is, there is not much choice in the region for places to go for open mics, so I chose Cologne as one of the major cultural and nightlife cities of the region. It is a wonderful, beautiful city with lots of culture – but a lower than average number of live music joints for a city of this nature – in my opinion. And after my third biannual visit to the city I have still only found one open mic, although I have heard of the existence of two or maybe three others over the years, but they either always seem to close down or never have existed, really. So this will be my weakest, poorest, thinnest list of open mics in any of my Thumbnail Guides to date:
Tuesday – Bürgerhaus Kalk, Open Jam session; every third Tuesday of the month, in Cologne-Kalk in the Bürgerhaus Kalk, Kalk-Mülheimer Str. 58, 51103 Köln, Tel.: 0221 – 987 602 0, Fax: 0221 – 987 602 52, firstname.lastname@example.org. Its starts at 20:00. This is one that I have not yet been able to attend, but I was informed of its existence through the organizer. So check it out, and if you care to report back on what it’s like, let me know.
Thursday – Tankstelle Bar, Kyffhäuser Str. 19, 50674 Köln. The music starts around 8:30, but it goes on until up to around 3:30 AM, which means this is not an open mic where you have to panic about arriving in time to sign the list. In fact, I don’t think there ever was a list. I discovered this open mic in 2009, just three months after it had begun. It was founded by Daniel Klaus, a musician who has since handed over the show to Micha Benjamin, another musician, who is doing an equally great job as Daniel did. I have often arrived early to wonder if the place is terminally dead, only to find that as the evening progresses it gets livelier and livelier, ending off in a crazy mad jam session with sometimes easily eight musicians. But it begins as a classic open mic, the sound system is quite OK, and the pub is a warm and neat place to perform. It is large, and those who really want to talk can move to the bar end of the room, near the entrance, while the more keen to listen can stay up close near the stage in couches, chairs and easy chairs. Definitely worth a visit – well, obviously, considering it seems to be the main open mic of the city, if not the only one, then it is more than worth it… it is essential.