Freshly Squeezed is a new open mic night welcoming musicians and spoken word poets. Ernest, a cool bar-cafe on Boyd Street, sets the perfect scene for an intimate performance space.
In a small room in the back, hidden behind curtains and bathed in red mood lighting, a microphone stands before an eclectic collection of beanbags, benches, and sofas. There was a fairly young crowd there, a mix of students and generally artsy looking people, who were all intently focused on the performances throughout – a rarity for most open mic crowds.
The night opened with a few acoustic musicians, with a mix of impressive originals and fun covers. A girl called Sask performed what she called “Sad Song number one, number two, and so on”, a well-crafted set of personal songs. Her voice was beautiful and could barely tell that she was new to performing.
Quite a few people approached me afterward to congratulate me and say how my poetry resonated with them
As someone who cannot sing and instead performs poetry, I was apprehensive about changing the mood of the night with my turn next. I was terrified of sharing a few really personal poems. I needn’t have worried, as the performance went brilliantly! Quite a few people approached me afterward to congratulate me and say how my poetry resonated with them. This is my favourite thing about open mic events, the support and the warmth of those watching, and knowing my words meant something to them.
The most unusual performer was Ben, who created incredible and haunting soundscapes using an electronic soundboard, loop pedals, and his voice. He was followed by some other spoken word poets, who I really enjoyed – it’s nice to see the poetry scene coming to life here! Ernest is a great place to go soak up some sounds and maybe get inspired. The next one is 7th December, so don’t miss out.