Award-winning singer songwriter and Mancunian Izzie Walsh launched her very own open mic night at The Bay Horse Tavern, in the heart of the Northern Quarter. Downstairs in the Victorian-esque pub the stage it set for a night of music. With a carefully curated line up of acoustic acts and a mid-set beat boxer, it was a night of fun and free beer. Beer was kindly provided by Camden town brewery.
Each act played two songs each bringing Tennessee vibes to the trendy northern quarter.
Most of the acts were well versed in the open mic nights of Manchester, most of them being somewhat resident musicians at the iconic Whiskey jar open mic, it was great to see a broadening of horizons and the start of a new open mic night that I’m sure will become a fixture in Manchester’s nightlife and acoustic scene.
The night ended with a mass sing-a-long of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, led by Izzie herself. It was joyous and topped the night off perfectly.
Every act was supportive of the next and it was clear that the room was filled with people who we’re there to enjoy the music- respectfully and wholeheartedly. The atmosphere was welcoming and even those who had come alone or had not performed before felt at ease and we’re making friends with other musicians.
A stand out moment for us at One Manchester came towards the end of the night when one of the acts told an accompanying story to one of his original songs- he used to be a resident musician at a bar in New York and lived a few blocks down from a school, teachers frequented the bar and knew him quite well, there was a school shooting and around 90 of the children couldn’t get home safely and were in a near-by church, the teacher’s asked him if he could play to the kids and calm them down- and he did.
It was an emotional crescendo to an otherwise light-hearted night but it only added to the community feel that was already radiating around the Bay Horse Tavern’s basement.
A wide variety of acoustic acts, young and old, first-timers and open mic veterans took to the stage to make for an eclectic and successful first night for Izzie’s Walsh’s open mic night.
The open mic night takes place every Thursday from 7pm downstairs at The Bay Horse Tavern on Thomas Street.