Almost every pub in Swansea has an open mic night, with a range of different people who participate. Some will feature almost exclusively musical acts, whereas others will cater more to the comedians or poets.
This is exactly why I found the newly organised open mic night at The Perch so intriguing. Not only have they fashioned a wonderful little night out for many to enjoy on a Sunday evening, but it was also a reminder of how raw and unsuppressed an open mic night can be; an open mic night where anything goes.
I really didn’t know what to expect when I was on my way to The Perch. Apparently it was on Wind Street, but I’d never even heard of it before, let alone seen it along that road that I’d walked a million times. Well, I learned very quickly that it wasn’t tucked away in a dark corner somewhere, but it was right opposite The Griffin, on full display. A cute little cocktail bar, it seemed that it was always there, I was just too oblivious to its existence before, that or I was too drunk.
The interior was wonderfully hipster, if that’s your cup of tea when it comes to a cocktail bar, and the open mic setup was nothing too flashy, just a spare guitar, and a microphone. Simplicity is probably always best with this kind of thing; it allows the greatest deal of flexibility. In my opinion, a good open mic night should make you want to get up and perform yourself; at least, that’s what I look for. Diversity is always the key to that, and that is what The Perch has. There were no regulars, and no routines, people just got up, one after the other, and did their thing.
I went there to see a friend perform, and in the end, left having seen a veteran recording artist, a few amateur musicians, and the owner of a pub who performed some brilliant slam poetry. There were no rules, and that should be the essence of every open mic night. The idea is to let performers perform, no matter what they do, and that is what I enjoyed most about The Perch.
By Joshua O’Mahoney