This Wednesday night I stopped by Shaika Cafe in NDG on Sherbrooke and Old Orchard to play a set at an open mic. The night had a terrible start, and looked like it was going nowhere fast, but somehow within an hour, turned into an amazing little concert featuring some of Montreal’s hidden underground future superstars.

Not knowing what to expect I showed up early to make sure I’d get a spot. There were a whole 5 people in the cafe. The host Allana Reynoldson, seeming exhausted, would have been happy to cancel the show and go home to bed. There were only two acts including myself, and neither of us wanted to go on first.

I finally volunteered to go on and play for the handful of patrons, and while setting up, dropped my guitar on the floor. It looked alright but when I tried to plug it in there was no sound. I believe I knocked the battery lose, but needed a screw driver to get in there and fix it. Allana tried her pick up but found it to be broken as well. Fine! The show must go on.

After my set Allana decided to do a set to kill time while the only other act came back from his little disappearing act. By the time she was done her three songs there was suddenly a list of performers, including Dan Handelman, Elie Jolicoeur, and David Bernard. David is a fracophone artist, who is not only extremely talented, and quite hot, but oozing with passion when he sings. That’s what I want to see!

The guy who had disappeared, a 22 year old shifty eyed kid, eventually returned and modestly got on stage. When he opened his mouth we were all blown away. The best way to describe him is… weird. He reminds me of a less suicidey version of Radio Head. As much as I’m comparing him to another band, his style is unlike anything I’ve heard. I felt like I should have paid for the show.

Unfortunately this guy disappeared again after his set, like cinderella in the night. I tried to get his name and contact info, but they were very evasive about it. His “manager” took my email address, but has still not emailed me. Bad marketing guys, cause now I’m writing a blog about how amazing you are and you are not even benefiting from it!

I will most likely be back there next week. So, if you are stalking me, or want to hear some great, free music, come join me!

Open Mic @Shaika Cafe
Wednesday Nights @ 9
5526 Sherbrooke Street West
(corner Sherbrooke and Old Orchard in NDG)

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