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April 15, 2008

Open Mic @ Spice Of Life, 14 April 2008

I was brought up to believe that if you didn't have anything good to say about something then you should keep your mouth shut. In that spirit, I'm not going to rip last night's open mic to pieces. There were a couple of decent performances, but when I left early, at around 21:30, the venue was half empty and I couldn't help but wonder: what happened?

In the past I've been extremely complimentary about the standard of playing and singing at the Spice Of Life, but last night it felt like there was something missing. The rarefied creative atmosphere had gone.

So, what did happen?

After a little investigation on the wonderful world-wide web of misinformation I believe I have found the answer. When I noticed last night that the regular MC had changed and there was a second guy manning the soundboard it struck me as odd, but I didn't think too much about it. This morning I discovered that the "Up All Night" music team no longer run Monday nights at the Spice Of Life. They've moved their regular open mic session to another venue, "The Grand Union" in Kentish Town. Presumably their regular performers have also decamped.

I'm not saying the Spice Of Life open mic can't make a comeback, but it would appear that it's struggling to find its feet right now. Next time I have a Monday night free I'll be heading north to check out The Grand Union instead.

To be fair to the Spice Of Life pub, I should point out that it's just the Monday night programme that's changed. It's business as usual for all other nights, including the blues jam on Tuesdays.

Finally, I just found out about another open mic night, this time on Tuesday evenings at the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, which is where we saw the Oli Brown Band play last Saturday. Ironically, as I sat watching the boys play I caught myself thinking about The Project and whether one day I might be up on that stage, performing... looks like that might not be such an unrealistic fantasy after all!


Axe Victim said...

I just read your blog from start to finish. Very good. I like your writing style and you seem to be a good player in your own write. Drop by my site from time to time if it pleases? If I can be of any help to you in your quest I am more than willing to lend a hand to a fellow guitar geek and Allmans fan. I'm strictly a rhythm player but I want to change all that so I need to go back to the drawing board myself. Your quest pretty much mirrors my own when I started late in ife some three or four years ago now. Have you read Guitar Man by Wil Hodgkinson? If not you should, but it souns as if you have already!

Kenski said...

"Guitar Man"? Nope, not heard of it... judging by the synopsis I just read, though, it sounds like I should run out and buy it TODAY!!!! Did he make it in the end? No... don't tell me... I don't want to be discouraged!

I'll definitely check it out and have a read of your blog, too.

Axe Victim said...

Yes you're going to need some help if you are to reach your goal. That's why the Axe Victim support network is here to help. Think Family Guy's The 'A' Team. Send me an email at and we can start some dialogue about a regular blues jam. I've a great proggy basist and a crappy drummer currently on ice (sorry Rich - you're not that crappy) simply because they failed to find a regular guitarist to join in on Tuesday nights where we play in Ashford Middlesex. See how you're fixed etc. although it might be a bit of slog from SW whatever. Mind you, I live in Whitton Middx and when I first started playing with others I used to drive to Dagenham once a week to have a play. It lasted about three or four months before I ran out of steam but it got me started and gave me the confidence to start a local band which is where we are at today. But I like to play more than once a week. And my wife likes me out of the house so she can watch Desperate Housewives so it works out quite OK for me!

BTW - You ARE Guitar Man.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!