The Gov Debriefing

Posted on 28 May 2009

A year and half back I went to The Gov open mic night in order to find some talent to include in the Fly Glass Wings variety show. I very fortunately heard the talented Jamaica Bastiras that night and convinced her to join us. She was one of the big hits of that show. I had people asking after her and wanting a copy of her CD for months afterward. That same open mic night I heard another woman read some of her poetry.

At the moment The Rhino Room is THE open mic night for budding Adelaide comedians. They have so many hopefuls lining up that you’re doing well if you can get two spots a year at that venue. I’ve been toying with starting my own venue with a slightly different flavour to its comedy. I also thought it might be good to just show up at other open mic nights, even though they may not emphasise comedy.

So, it was back to The Gov. I checked the details for their open mic night online, then turned up. This was not the same event I experienced more than a year ago.

I brought with me two lyrics/poems. Everyone was helpful with getting me onto the board for my moment at the mic. Let me tell you it was a weird night to be at The Gov. Pink was playing at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre just across the street.  I ended up being the second person up and after the third group, the pub just emptied out, as most of the customers hussled off to the concert. So, it was musos playing to musos. Though, it was more than that, this wasn’t so much open mic as jam session.

Jokes were made that they were doing karaoke, because they had a black book of songs. People would sign up to do a song as singer or musician, then a group of other people would bung together in order to create something musically glorious. I even sang a little backing vocals. Mind you, I could have sung along with the romantic guy, I could have sung along with the edgy guy, but no…I throw my towel in with the guy playing the ukulele. Gads, I’m hopeless.

My lyrics went down fairly well. It was fun being the belle of the ball when some guys started talking about how they might set them to music: “I can hear that happening in D major.” The thought of collaborating with someone on music excited me.

Some people were a little suprised by my reading and they asked why I had come. I pointed at a poster on the wall and said, “Well, you advertise for poetry readings as well.” It was hilarious seeing a whole table of musos turn as one to look at the poster. “Oh yeah,” said one woman, “I’d forgotten we do that.”

The musical highlight of the evening was a group of soul/gospel singers who turned up late. They did “House of the Rising Sun” and “Mustang Sally.” The musos were falling over one another to back these guys up. I was over the moon with their bright big sound. It reminded me of that night with Jamaica. So after their set I spoke to one of their lead singers, talented vocalist David Ari Michos. I’ve been seriously thinking about doing a show at next year’s Adelaide Fringe, and do I ever want these people in it. I’ve begun the wooing process and emailed David today.

I love it when things turn weird and wonderful. Stay tuned as I check out a few more open mic gigs.

Peace and kindness,


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