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The Rock-itt : December 2010
Hi guys, this last month has been a real eye opener for me as to just how many young under 18yrs artists are out there looking for somewhere to perform. At Avalon’s “LA” Café bar and restaurant the first Sunday of the month, Open Mic had to be extended to a 6hour show to accommodate the large interest shown by our local acts young and older alike, even then there simply was not enough spots for all those wishing to play. So we’ve decided to also have a second open mic on the third Sunday as well, as the “LA” beer garden is a perfect venue for families with young children to come and play and support their friends and family. On the 7 th November we had acts as young as 11yrs old and quite a few musicians from Pittwater High and Barrenjoey High schools. Further testament to the increasing number of young aspiring musicians is that Billy Hyde Mona Vale has installed three more tutoring rooms lifting the number to 12 rooms with 20 teachers such as Tully Dingle, Brian Compo and Mat Robinson all of whom are professional singer songwriters in their own rite. This tells me more regular venues are needed for the under 18yrs musicians. As well as Avalon’s “LA” open mic there is the Narrabeen RSL “Songs Alive” on the third Saturday night of the month and the Narrabeen Sands Hotel on Thursday nights. (contact Russell Neal 0411827571). These venues will have tim e restrictions for under age performers and will require adult supervision. Sometimes a random jam can just pop up and that’s precisely what happened a few weeks ago at the “LA” café when a Sunday band booked to play couldn’t make it, a few friends and I decided to just turn up and play. Andrew Dennison played keys and sang some old classics as did Dan Reed, Jaymai Johnson, Julie Anne, Richie Howard who played guitar and mouth harp, Phil Crowley played percussion for just about all of us as we pulled out our favourite old covers that we struggled to rem em ber but som eone always seemed to know the songs next line. Now that is my idea of fun. The first Sunday of the month is the “LA” Open Mic. As I mentioned earlier we extended it to go from 2pm till 8pm. This was a packed house monster. W e opened with a young girl wearing a crimson beret coming all the way from Petersham to perform for the first time under the stage name of “She’s a Wolf”. Although small in stature but big in vocals, Eleisha’s originals were a great way to start. The second act, Jules, a long time open mic’er, teamed up with friend Brigit, an open mic virgin, despite her nerves the quality of Brigit’s vocals cannot be denied. Next a young man with a lot of moxy and a great young voice, at mere 11yrs of age Jarrod Cowper may just be the next Justin Beiber and I actually got to play back up for him. Act four was Bella and Luke, a young duo from Newport, performing their originals with a couple of covers that the increasing crowd appreciated. (So much talent on the beaches). Dan Reed introduced Yvette Wheeler, a friend of only three days and another open mic virgin. They just made music together, it really worked well and Yvette seemed well at home on the mic with their songs reflected resounding applause. I do love Liz Briggs, her song “Riding in Cars” had seasoned professionals acclaiming her style. Ben Osmo came up to Avalon to give us a polished set, Ben is a great song smith with a smooth funky jazz style and lyrics that stay. Ben is also a film location sound recordist. You can check Ben on his myspace site, www.myspace.com/benosmo shUnky zE’n were up next, a cool funky trio with a tight sound, with Mat Young on lead vocals and guitar, Brian Mountsord on bass and Nic Robertson on drums. These