Open mic tour, day 1, the Yardbird, Birmingham

Birmingham has big buildings.

Birmingham has big buildings.

I grew up in a city that felt like a city – skyscrapers, six-lane highways – at least like they are on TV. Central Birmingham, more than any other British city I’ve been to, including London, feels like a proper city.

It certainly has parking charges to rival any city. We arrive in the centre, coming after work, and get inadvertently shunted underground. It’s £2 to get out so we opt to stay for the full hour that entitles us to and have a look for our hotel.

Instead, we stumble upon the venue, which is a glass-fronted bar in the middle of a brutalist shopping centre, which seems somewhat bizarre to us Oxfordians. But this is handy. We speak to the organiser of the Acoustic Lounge Lizard, Jason, who tells us that they are just about to start with a few featured acts and that if we come back around 9.00 he can stick us on the bill.

Moogieman in the hotel, before the Yardbird open mic

At the hotel, before heading to the Yardbird.

We go off to seek our hotel and cheaper parking.

Returning an hour or so later, we find one of the featured acts, Kaliq, in full swing. It’s an interesting combination of acoustic guitar/vocals and tabla. The singer is pretty good, with a lot of presence and tabla is excellent. After that there’s a few acts playing mainly covers, including a nice rendition of Love Will Tear Us Apart and then we’re on.

Lewis goes first, doing Angie and Drowning My Sorrows. He gets some pretty raucous applause, with the singer from Kaliq whistling loudly in appreciation.

Then it’s me. After telling Lewis that the first rule of the open mic tour is to plug our CDs I make sure I introduce myself and explain we’re doing a tour. I play Economy Of Love and Skylab, and remember to plug my EP at the end. Not that I sell any.Jason does say he likes Skylab, though, and suggests that we could go on as featured acts in the future if we’re up in Birmingham again.

We might well do this.


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