Acoustic Rooms Weekly
Rescue Rooms hosts an open mic night every Monday from 8pm until late, and The Mic magazine will be going down every week to keep you updated on who’s performing, including weekly interviews with a performer from the night.
To set the scene, Rescue Rooms has been an iconic music venue in Nottingham since it opened 15 years ago, hosting a variety of artists from The Killers to Bloc Party to The Libertines. The open mic night is run by Laurie Illingworth- another notable name in the Nottingham music scene. Every week, a variety of artists take their turn to perform around three songs, and they get a variety of new artists, weekly regulars and guest performers from further afield.
Starting the night off was Tom Pryce who performed some of his own songs. We got to speak to him afterwards about his music and his life:
So how did you find performing here at Rescue Rooms tonight? Was it your first time?
I’ve played gigs around and about before, with my band and I’ve been going to a lot of open mic nights. I’ve been looking for opportunities like this and joined a load of open mic night events on Facebook, so I can play in a variety of places. This is my first time at acoustic rooms and I love the lighting and the set-up they got here.
Do you find playing Open Mics helps with getting feedback on your work?
I mainly make music because I love to sing, it’s about the performance. I’m not necessarily looking to get feedback and suggestions it’s just good to play. It’s a different experience playing in settings like this and it’s completely different playing on your own to playing in a band.
What drives you to make your own songs?
As I said, I was in a band, but I find that now that I’m working solo I have more creativity in terms of song-writing – I can go on stage and do what I want. I used to make experimental, computer-based music, which I particularly liked but I’ve noticed I tend to make more mainstream music nowadays, which I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not but I’m enjoying it.
Are there any particular influences that shape the way you create or listen to music?
Yeah, mainly Oasis and Noel Gallagher’s work. Also a big fan of The Smashing Pumpkins. I wasn’t a fan of them at the time but now 10-15 years later I really appreciate their music.
What topics do you like to write songs about?
Mostly it’s my life experiences. Things that I think people can take something from or can relate to. There’s been a lot going on in my head and this is a way just to get it out.
What’s in store for the future of your music?
I’m working on an EP which might become an album and looking to continue to play open mic nights.
Continuing the night was Fred Stacks, who’s powerful voice and impressive piano skills brought some energy to the venue. He ended up playing a full set of songs as the night was more quiet than usual due to it being bonfire night. A highlight was his own song “Bird in a cage” which was written about feeling as though you are trapped and can’t move on. His voice is very similar to Alex Clare and his performance was very enjoyable.
Omari Marsalis performed next, mixing up the mood of the night with his rap music. He was very confident, speaking to the audience between songs, and ironically forgot the name of his song “remember this”. He ended his performance with an a cappella song and it was obvious that his lyrics came from his heart.
Mark Blant performed an unexpected few songs on a guitar that wasn’t his own. He explained that he had rushed down from work and had enjoyed his afternoon drinking, but considering all of this, his guitar playing was extraordinary and hopefully we’ll get the chance to see him play his own guitar sometime soon.
Ending the night was Steven Lai who performed some relaxed and calm songs with his guitar, one of which was a new song he had written only last week. It was a peaceful end to an enjoyable evening.
The Mic will continue to report of Acoustic Rooms Weekly and we hope to see a busier week next week now that bonfire night is over. If anybody is interested in performing then get in touch with us or visit Rescue Rooms on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get in touch.