Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Nelson Open Mic

Last Wednesday, 24th September, I drove down to the open mic at the Nelson Inn, Burtnwood. I'd been teaching a guitar lesson somewhere between where I live and Burntwood, so when I finished I went straight to the Nelson, using my brand new and rather exciting A to Z. I'd never been to Burntwood before, and very pretty it is too, although the very narrow and dark country roads just by where the pub is were just a little bit worrying when added to the normal pre gig nerves. I found the place OK, and walked in to a piratically empty room, where I was approached by a member of staff, who seeing my guitar said, "oh you must be Mike then."

I wasn't Mike, so I told him so, and it turned out he meant Mark anyway. I wasn't Mark either, but a duo called My Mate Mark were hosting the open mic, and I think he was expecting them to have turned up by now. My Mate Mark are two guys called Mark, one of whom, Mark Bennett, I had met at the crossroads blues jam (see a few posts back) When Mark and Mark arrived I had a good chat with them both, then Mark Bennett kicked the night off with a solo set. By this time my girlfriend had also navigated her way down the scary dark country roads.

The Marks played solo sets, and performed as a duo, and I did two sets of three and four songs. It was acoustic, and I played mostly my own songs plus a couple of covers I was getting ready for my next gig. The gig was cool, when we started there wasn't a lot of people in the place, but they were listening quite intently. As the night went on, more people came in, but the level of conversation increased more than the level of attention to the music! During my second set, I got the feeling the vocal mic was feed backing nastily, which was a bit off putting, but apparently nobody else noticed.

I really enjoyed My Mate Mark by the way, they had an interesting and diverse set, including a cool jazz/blues take on summertime, plus a really unique take on a supergrass song, Mary. Have a look at their myspace

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