It was a dark and stormy night. . . no really, it was! There was thunder & lightning and driving rain as I made my way to Fionn MacCool’s to check out the open mic hosted by Robbie Hancock. I find the bar atmosphere does not always lend itself to the acoustic singer-songwriter style – loud conversations, sketchy acoustics and TVs to contend with. To his credit, Robbie does a nice job on the sound so there is no need to strain your voice to be heard (or to hear yourself) above the ambiant sound of the pub. The venue also has some “staff choice” prizes to bestow upon their favourite open mic performers. From what I’ve been able to catch (in person and on-line) there is a lot of talent showcased here.
An added benefit for the slightly stage-wary types like myself is how Robbie has positioned the lights. Once I stepped in front of the mic I couldn’t see anyone in the audience – whether they were listening appreciatively or watching the game on TV or rolling their eyes – couldn’t see a thing! This worked quite well for me.
Robbie has extended the potential listening audience by live streaming the open mic (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/robbie-s-open-mic). This way you can tune in even if you can’t be there in person or you can let your long distance or housebound friends know when you’ll be playing.
[Fionn MacCool’s 4287 King St E, Kitchener, every Sunday 7-10 pm, no cover]