16 April 2014

Open Mic night at the Grey Horse (16 April 14)


The Open Mic nights at the Grey Horse have become something of a habit recently thanks to circumstances keeping me at home during the week and also keeping my Wednesday evenings otherwise free. It's a good habit to have.

There is a certain similarity in the acts each week but either the performers change enough or their songs do for it not to be representative. Instead it is comfortingly familiar.

This week, for example, Maria Ahearn (the event organiser) sang an acoustic set in the middle of the evening rather than playing some rock and blues at the very end. She performed with a guitarist who I've seen play there for other singers. I've not caught his name yet but Maria introduced him as "not my Dad".

A highlight for me was the instrumental session by Richard Stickney (picture at the top). He played a mandolin through a loop machine so that he could build up textures and rhythms. The folky music was pleasing enough but what made the session was Richard's relentless joviality. These are meant to be fun evenings and Richard epitomised that.

I also liked another instrumentalist who used loops to build his sound. These sounds were quite experimental with a hint of the progressive. I was impressed enough to seek him out afterwards to thank him personally for his performance.

Catherine Paver was there again, this time with feather earrings, a colourful native-American necklace and a song sung in Spanish.

It was a little quieter than usual, possibly because it was the week before Easter, and some of the regular acts were missing and some of my friends were missing too. However, it was still a lively and fun evening which I spent mostly with two mates and managed to get to speak to quite a few other people, including a young lad wearing a Sparks t-shirt.

It was another fun, entertaining and sociable evening and that's why I keep going.

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