Before I arrived in London to visit this past spring, I knew I wanted to check performing somewhere in the city off my bucket list. While studying in London over a decade ago, I only had the opportunity to perform in front of my music major classmates for a crumby grade, never really getting the full experience or appreciation of my own style while studying music and art in such a diverse cultural capital. Aside from late-night songwriting sessions with my Caribbean American friend whom I met in the hallway of the International Students House where our dorms were located, I didn’t have much exposure to music venues that weren’t solely dedicated to the western art genre.
Before my most recent visit, I made sure to put in some time doing research to figure out which open mic night was the most buttoned up and well attended. I stumbled upon a website by creative genius Richard Gregory, an accomplished artist and humanist whom I don’t know personally, but have great respect for alone based on his life’s work, creative pursuits, and research of the London Open Mic Music Scene.
After perusing Mr. Gregory’s website and reading about The Spice of Life, I decided to give the venue a try, especially as the dates of my visit and the night of the open mic coincided perfectly.
I arrived to the venue at 6pm sharp, and the queue was already out the door of the space, into the hallway, and up the stairs. And though I wound up being the second-to-last performer of the night, I was pleased to have been able to see so many serious, talented acts, and proud to have shared the stage with them. Here’s a video of my performance of two original songs at The Spice of Life in March 2015.