Open mic night at the Cock & Magpie, Bewdley - 02.01.12

I'm a big fan of open mic nights, which give the chance for new musos to flex their gigging muscles and for more established artists to try out their newer numbers. There's a fair number now around the two counties (a lot in Malvern!) but have to say that I finally got round to probably the best one I've been to.

Run on alternate weeks by the mercurial Dave Onions and Naked Remedy frontman, the open mic at the Cock & Magpie on Bewdley's waterfront on Monday evenings is an absolute delight of an evening out. This week it was Dave Onions' turn at MC-ing so there was a bit more of a folk/blues feel as he opened the evening. I've been banging on about this geezer for a while now as he's in my view one of the great musical talents we have on our doorstep. Oh and he plays the electric mandolin like Hendrix by the way.

I'd cadged a lift to Bewdley courtesy of the This Wicked Tongue crowd - and it's been a while since I've seen frontgirl Tina V in solo guitar mode.

Just about the whole of the vibrant Kidderminster & Bewdley musical scene had turned out for this incredible evening of improvisation - and great to see my number one 'watch out for' act of 2011 playing a semi-unplugged set of numbers including their own Bleed and their trademark cover of In A Broken Dream. Vault Of Eagles have done great things over the last year - including reaching a national unsigned act final - they've got a great momentum going and could just hit the big time if they can nail that one killer number.

A wonderful evening closed off with an unplugged set from a stripped-down Naked Remedy with quite the best free-for-all mix'n'match jam to end off, featuring most of the evening's acts in some form or another. A brilliant venue - great sound and totally well-organised - and if you're running an open mic night - get yourself along to this one and pick up some tips - it's absolutely first rate!

Andy O'Hare

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