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Beacon Open Mic

Rob Newton started hosting a new Sunday night open mic session at The Beacon in Loughborough and Jane and I went along. I’ve been to other music sessions at pubs on a Sunday evening where the place is pretty dead apart from the musicians but this one turned out to be lively and loud even before the addition of Rob’s PA.

There were some familiar faces there as well as some I’ve not met before. On reflection, my ukulele probably wasn’t the best instrument to take as it needed a mic to be heard as it isn’t wired for sound. I think it definitely calls for electric or electroacoustic instruments and nothing too subtle on the song front. I did a set of three pieces with a ‘space’ theme: Satellite of Love (Lou Reed), Fly Me to the Moon (Bart Howard but made most famous by Frank Sinatra) and I’ll Fly Away (Albert Brumley – not particularly space themed but I thought the previous two tracks set things up for a more ethereal approach to taking wing).

There weren’t too many performers but we left early – it seemed unfair to make Jane sit through another round and we’d had a busy weekend. Perhaps it was just as well – I’d had Valerie (The Zutons but also done by Amy Winehouse) in my possible second set and, as we left, one of the other performers, Soph Jones, launched into an excellent version with a much prettier voice than I can muster!

I have to say that the pub environment was a bit more full on than I was ready for. It was pretty full and I don’t think anyone was wearing a mask. We didn’t either once I got back from the bar (supping your drinks is hard if you do) but, given rising cases, hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19, it creates an atmosphere that feels riskier than I’m entirely comfortable with yet. I’ll probably go back (perhaps Sundays aren’t so mad when there isn’t a Bank Holiday following) but I’ll take an electric instrument and my own microphone.

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