Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night at The Fareham Pub, Trinity Street, Fareham, Every other Sunday.
Marcus and Linzi are the brains behind this amazing event and to top it off they recently celebrated their 1 year anniversary of Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night at The Fareham. We where impressed at the turn out, there must have been some 15 to 20 Singers, Duos & Bands wanting to get on the stage so we knew this was going to be a packed evening. The evening was buzzing not only on stage but the audience as well, The Fareham was full with everyone enjoying themselves. Even throughout the evening artists where turning up in the hope of playing that evening. The acts where amazing and the age group was varied, there was even a few debut’s which is always good to see at an open mic night. The atmosphere was friendly and anyone is welcome along to sing so if you want to go along to sing it is recommended as everyone is fantastic.
As well as talk to Marcus and Linzi we also got a few words from Martin Munns who is the Landlord at The Fareham, we asked Martin what he thought about the event, he said “it’s great,especially when a few of them get together and jam, it sounds really good”.
As it was their 1st year anniversary we managed to get a few questions to Marcus and Linzi about Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night.
Q: When did you form the event?
A: I first started Mr Jones’s Open Mic back in November 2012 in The Heathfield Arms in Fareham and those first few events were quite hard with PA’s not working at first and then one or two events when no-one showed. We decided to relocate to The Fareham around June 2013 and our new home supported Live music every week already and we were in the heart of Fareham. It was the better place for us in the end.
Q: How long have you been hosting Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night?
A: I have always been the host and am always working on better ways to make it enjoyable, friendly and as professional as I can. It’s one thing to be a musician with an idea it’s another to be a good host. I had to learn quickly and I’m still learning today.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night?
A: My personal experience with Open Mic’s gave me the confidence to start performing regularly in front of an audience and I was soon asked to do my first gig. I was travelling 30 miles + to get to the Open Mic I first started at and thought that someone should do one here in Fareham. I soon realised that I was someone and got to work.
Q: Did you realise Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night would be so popular?
A: I always hoped it would be as this area is swarming with brilliant talent and I still think I have only scratched the surface of potential performers out there. Having Linzi post videos and photos has made a big difference and I know this has helped a lot. I think most of our acts have one of our photos as their Facebook picture on their profile. We plan for bigger and better things next year so watch this space!
Q: How are you finding things at The Fareham?
A: It’s a great location and the landlord Martin Munns and his wife Diane has been very supportive. It’s important to get the full support from the venue.
Q: Whats your favourite thing about hosting the open mic nights?
A: Where to start really – I get a lot of pride from seeing the growth in the acts that we have seen come through those doors. Some have been playing only a year and have starting gigging already. The regular events I think also keeps the musicians on their toes as they don’t want to keep playing the same songs each time. It’s rewarding to see so many people get inspired to play and perform more. It’s also a great place for more accomplished artists to get exposure and still take time to perform at the roots level. I get great feedback from everyone about how friendly and welcoming it is here and I will always try and maintain that. I’m also front of the stage with the best seat in the house and sometimes I also get the chance to perform with some of these guys which is great. My favourite has got to be meeting so many great people in this musical sharing community.
Q: We saw you on stage at the one year event, how often do you go up on stage?
A: I tend to perform at the beginning to warm things up as not everyone wants to be the first to perform. I also do another spot if there is time but I then pull other people up with me that have played that evening for a more spontaneous jam.
Q: Do you go to any other open mic nights?
A: Yes we go to a few and try and support other Open Mic’s where I can. People in the south are starting to wake up to live music events and it’s important to support them.
Q: What advice would you give to people who want to play at open mic nights?
A: Come to one and get an idea of what they are all about. Most will welcome all styles. If you decide to perform start with playing something you feel most comfortable playing and don’t stretch yourself too early.
Q: What sound equipment/mixers/pa etc is used for the event?
A: We have a 1000w PA and I use a Beringher 2222x USB mix desk. We also add drums on occasion as well as guitar and bass amps. I also have a spare guitar and other instruments and percussion. We currently have 3 mics available.
Q: Have you had any famous acts pass through in your time doing Mr Jones’s Open Mic Night?
A: Our acts are up and coming and often unsigned but that isn’t a sign of just how good some of them are. We have had the pleasure of hosting guest spots from artists that have released EP’s and Albums available on Spotify and ITunes. People can check out our Facebook page and YouTube Channel to see their performances at our Open Mic too.
Q: What kind of music do you both like?
A: We love all styles of music from heavy metal to classical pieces but my heart lies with Folk and Indie music.
Q: Do you play anywhere else?
A: I perform as a solo act doing the classic covers and I also have a band Iolar (iolar) which is a folk / country with a dash of bluegrass. We will be playing at The Fareham on the 9th August.
Q: Is there any advice you would like to give to our readers?
A: If you or anyone you know plays a musical instrument or sing then you should share your talent. You are amongst friends at an Open Mic and we get a mix of all kind of levels and it’s nice to meet people with the same interests as you so go to an Open Mic near you or come and visit us. You’ll be glad that you did!
Thank you Marcus and Linzi for taking the time to talk to us.
If you want to find your nearest Open Mic Night then see HERE for a map of Open Mic events near you.