For the Love of Mic
|Friday, September 29, 2017|
Starts 7:30 pm
The Open Mic people are such fun people to be with. That’s one of the reasons why so many turn up week after week, regardless of the weather.
Many little ‘marriages’ have come to fruition at the Open Mics. Paul Nelson performed initially as a nervous acapella singer. Then Russell Phillips added another voice and a guitar. Now they are a four piece, with the addition of double bass and slide resonator.
We had very small numbers in the beginning. Mike Moroney was very supportive from the start and the club gave us space to grow.
It took several months before word got around and then one evening all these people turned up to play! We didn’t slow down after that.
It did take a while though to get the women in on the show. Carole Stewart was our early stalwart, turning up week after week with Gordon. I think that the message of a safe environment got around. Going alcohol free helped.
I was delighted when a woman from Balclutha turned up with her baby, plus a friend to help out.
Likewise the number of people under 40 was almost non existent. Now we get all ages, including a small number of children who come with a parent, when they can.
We’ve even had two dogs turn up,…... but they didn’t pay.
The diversity is outstanding, the creativity amazing. We have a number of emerging songwriters. We would like a few poets and jugglers and stand ups and….….
We do get a large number of nervous performers, first timers a lot of them. One guy came along for six months before he quietly whispered to me, “Would you play guitar for me on Tom Doley?" I didn’t even know that he was a singer. He sung well and was floating about two foot off the ground after his performance.
I know that there are a lot of people out there singing and playing in the privacy of their homes. A lot have this ambition to perform in public, but they feel sick with nerves when they are put on the spot and often end up declining the opportunity. If they NEVER do it, it will be a regret that will be echoing ‘round in their heads when they are 90. “What If?”
I can still remember the first time I performed solo, chest tight, fingers stiff and my head empty. God what an ordeal. And this kept on happening.
There is no substitute for stage experience. As Bob Dylan said “There is a lot going on, on a stage”.
And so the The Dunedin Folk Club Open Mics offer a safe, fun, empathetic environment, to get beyond the bedroom and out into the world.