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Folkestone Jam/Musicians Night – The Party Bar – Review 16.05.13

Folkestone Jam Night (30)

Now here was an interesting request for an evening, Folkestone Jam/Musicians night.  Interesting for a number of reasons, the first being I’ve not been invited to one of these before with regards to reviewing.  The second being, this was a Jam/Musicians night with a difference.  I was fully expecting your usual average sort of open mic night really, the only clue to the contrary was that a band was going?  A band, open mic?  This needed further investigation.

Off I go in search of this The Party Bar venue… thinking I’m sure I know that address, but isn’t that Jolsons?  OK, I’m showing my age here, to me it was Jolsons and probably always will be so, just as Onyx (had to look that up!) is The Priz to me and many generations it would seem.  My own son called it such, to my bemusement.  In fact, this has just caused me to search and there is actually a Facebook page for it:  The Priz.  I digress.

Walking into The Party Bar and I’m greeted with nothing that I remember.  A wide open spacious room set out with an entire sets worth of musical instruments, PA and lighting rigs.  I think again I’m in the wrong place, this is a stage set up for a gig, must be a band booked.  Not at all.  This is a Jam/Musicians Night with a twist, a pretty awesome twist if you ask me, completely unique and I think you’ll struggle to find anything around like it.  A few people have got together with a fantastic brainwave .. what puts a lot of you guys off or what do a lot of you struggle with?  I’ve seen many a band have to pull out of a gig due to transportation issues.  No transport issues for equipment needed here.  Just turn up, whether a singular musician fancying a play or a full band.

How does this work I hear you ask?  As I mentioned it’s the brainchild of a few.  First up we have Folkestone Guitar Shop.  They provide all the instruments and heads/amps needed for an entire band to play: guitars/drums/bass, you name it, its there sitting pretty and begging to be played.  Next up you have Sound Experience Disco & PA Hire who, as it says on the tin, supply the PA and lighting for the event.  Everything is there, provided free of charge and all you need to do is walk on through the doors.  How cool is that? (of course you can bring your own instrument if you so wish)

Folkestone Jam Night (13)

So, what do you get from such an evening.  The results produced in my experience are also entirely unique.  Put a whole group of musicians into a room, give them a load of instruments and let them loose.  Amazing.  I never did quite figure throughout the evening how they all did it.  Now this is a relaxed, chilled out atmosphere where pretty much anything goes really.  A band can come and get up and perform together if they so wish, but what also happened a lot was, someone would get up, ask for a bassist, a drummer etc and people would just get up.  If they didn’t know a song, they had a quick play to work it out and off they went.  Now I’m not saying that everything performed here was amazing lol… throw musicians together, not all knowing a song, some not even being their main instrument but just stepping in to help out, its not always going to be.  However, just due to this it was astounding in itself.  Some of the music created on this night was amazing.  At one point some soldiers came in just for a drink and one of them decided to get up and play the guitar with some of the other guys.  That’s how welcome everyone is.

I’m guessing that this evening changes week to week depending on who turns up.  I for one will be going along to a few more of these, as just never know what you are going to get.  You kind of feel that you’ve stepped into a private, exclusive little world but one where you are made to feel very welcome indeed.  These guys want to play to you, they want you to come along and hear what they have to offer.  How often in life do you get to see a more, ‘behind the scenes’ sort of vue point on how musicians work and put things together?  Other nights you’ll get to see full bands just do there stuff and guess what?  This is all for free.  Not only is the event free but the drinks are cheap!  In fact a fair bit cheaper than some of the surrounding pubs in the area.  What more can you ask for really?  You can relax on the sofas, sit at a table or just stand around chatting with the artists and organisers, all are very welcoming.

I seriously suggest that everyone gets down to these evenings.  Something very different you won’t see anywhere else locally and it feels like an exclusive kind of club.  You’ll never be able to predict what you will see/hear which makes it even better.  So I hope to see some of you down there very soon and don’t forget to spread the word!

Evening currently held weekly on a Thursday night, doors open at 8pm.

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Find the Folkestone Jam/Musicians Night on Facebook 

Find The Party Bar on Facebook 

Find Folkestone Guitar Shop on Facebook 

Find Sound Experience Disco and PA Hire on Facebook 

Give them all a like!

Here follows a very small amount of photography taken on the night, for full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

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