We went to our local pub last night for our weekly fix of live music. The Friary has an Open Mic night every Monday evening which is by far the best night out of the week. Since September of 2003 my housemate and I have been regular attendees of this night. When we first started going, we were merely observers into this new and exciting world of free live music; people getting up on stage with just a guitar and singing a mixture of cover songs, and their own works. My housemate built up the courage (thanks to copious amounts of beer) to go up and sing...she blew everyone away. I have to say though, in those early days, she was by no means the best one there, as her confidence was pretty low. She would have her words written down in front of her, and was almost always a little more than tipsy! But as the weeks went by all could notice a great improvement in her performances. Not just her of course, but everyone who played there on a regular basis.
During this time there were a few people who stood out from the rest, and they seemed to form a kind of elite which those who were not of the same standard as them, were not allowed in. It was almost like being back at school, when if you weren't cool enough you didn't to join whichever gang was the lastest craze. However, over the time, Daisy and I (because I am a total groupie!), DID get to become part of the elite, becuase she played every week and gained enough cool credit to be allowed in. And because I'm a groupie was also there every week, I managed to muscle my way in as well. Now, once the elite had its final member, the Open Mic's really became memorable. At the end of the nights, or if players were getting a bit thin, the whole group of them would get up on stage and just jam. They were no longer performing to a crowd, they were up there having fun, and seeing what music was made in the process. These were my favourite times, as it was so much more relaxed and you could tell that they were all just having a blast.
The reason for this mini flash-back is because last night's Open Mic was very similar to 'the old days'! As it is the Easter Break for the University Students, who make up the majority of the Open Mic's audience, it was pretty quite in the pub. Because of this were only 4 people willing to get up on stage and sing. Daisy, Al, Danny and Dave, who runs the night. We all know each other, and they are all FANTASTIC performers, so for them to get up and sing together is no big thing (for them!). Once again, it was night of getting up and playing to a crowd, it was just the 4 of them on stage having a jam. At some points I really do think they forgot that the audience was watching! It was just great all round entertainment with some great tunes, from the fairly obscure Jason Mraz and Ryan Adams to the more well known Oasis and Damien Rice.
If anyone reading this lives anywhere near Derby, I suggest you get your Butts down to the Open Mic night, every Monday at about 9.00pm! It's a great way of keeping Live Music alive! "Keep on Rocking in the Free World" people!