By Eva-Joy Sargent
With the end of the year drawing near, exam stress and overall adult life issues! Where do we go to escape? What do we do to let it all go?
So in a city like this where would one go to escape these tasking parts of student life? It has taken me a while to find it but when I did, there was no other place to go on a Tuesday night. For in the Northern Quarter sits the Whiskey Jar, a small bar which – until the door opens and the sound of raw talent sours through – sits quietly with just the flicker of candlelight calling you in. Spectators sit transfixed by the artist taking the stage: acts from all over the country rally to give Manchester a glimpse of some of some of the most inspirational musicians out there. The evening is orchestrated by Joe McAdams who scouts the artists and pulls them together for a night of real music. This is where the talent is. Creative, original and ingenious. This is music giving back to the community.
Two musicians who make regular appearances – and the pleasure is all ours – are Lee Parry, who can be found and listened to on Sound Cloud, and Alastair Dickie. Both perform effortlessly and never fail to bring something innovative and wonderful to the night.
Last night was no different, with the likes of Graham Faulkner and Johnny Wheathead taking to the stage. How could we not be taken aback by the sound of the guitar filling the room and the lyrics that chorused alongside it? The talent that poured from them was inspiring. A particular favourite of the evening was “what have we done”, written and performed by Faulkner, about the struggles in Australia, his country of origin. It was political, effortless and from the heart. Faulkner was a long way from home but still walked around with home in his heart, and that was set free within this song. For this reason, Faulkner became one of my top three artists seen so far at the Whiskey Jar on Open Mic Night.
If you enjoy real music and real talent, join us and get involved. It’s hard to find a seat, so get there early or just embrace the mood. Introduce yourself to the person next to you, Instagram a video, blog about it or just buy an EP, whichever you prefer. Just check it out! Be inspired.