The masochist in me has long been craving the sick-nervous feeling I get when I play in front of an audience.
Despite playing for years, I’ve only minimal talent. This, however, doesn’t curb my interest in belting out a few tunes any chance I get. Just before coming to China I was living in the rootsy town of Penticton, BC. A city, which despite its small size, has a very active musical community.
It was rare that a week would go by and I wouldn’t be out once or twice with my acoustic mixing in a couple originals with some me-rendered covers. It was in this time that I finally sat down and put a collection of my songs on a CD.
It was also great for getting over the crippling stage fright I’ve had my entire life, something that would prove quite useful in the months following when I came to China and was regularly put in front of massive groups of students all staring at me intently.
Sadly, what China gave in audience, it took away in music. I’ve had a few chances to play random parties/bars since coming here, but nothing so regular as a weekly open mic night. I’ve numerous times meant to approach various bar owners and ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving us (I’m a collective in my head) their slowest night to create something with, but just never got around to it.
That is, until I was slamming down as many pints as I could at Suzhou’s local Irish pub, the Shamrock, last Thursday. My friend Alicia recently started working there, and that’s given me a bit more motivation to get out and be social (the 100 RMB/all you can drink bit helped too).
I mentioned the open mic idea to her somewhat off handedly, she in turn did the same to Lee, the bar’s manager.. and smack bam boom, it’s all a go.
So – if you live in Suzhou and you’re reading this… come out to the Shamrock this Monday and support some (not so) local musicians. And if you play, please come and put your name on the list to perform. I may have gotten over my stage fright, but I’m fairly certain I can’t pull off the whole night myself.
775 ShiQuan Road