When Allen Slinger became owner of The Tiger Inn in Lairgate 18 months ago, Derek’s Open Mic Night had already been running for 31/2 years - a feat in itself! Open Mics tend to come and go - so what is the secret to Derek’s success? Just Beverley headed along to find out!
Derek said: “The secret is to be welcoming of everyone! I’ve been playing for 15 years and remember what it was like when I first started. Which is why anyone who turns up is free to play whatever they wish - folk, contemporary, blues, anything! We have amplification, so people can be heard, and they are welcome to play 2-3 songs.”
Allen said: “I kind of inherited Derek when I arrived! But I know the secret of his success - everyone, no matter who they are or what type of music they are playing, are encouraged and supported. Whether they are playing someone else’s song or one they have written themselves, all are greeted enthusiastically, listened to respectfully and applauded at the end.
“Most weeks, the room is packed full of people, which can be very daunting to new-comers, but they need not be nervous.”
Derek said: “We do have regulars but love hearing new people. We also welcome people who just want to listen. You never know who will be filling a slot - Carrie Martin, who is now quite an international star started here and she comes back to perform when she can - but we have new acts, such as Stuart Dainty, who writes his own songs. If Allen will have us, we’d like to think we’ll be here for the next 5 years which means there are lots of opportunities for anyone to come and play.”
The Open Mic is on every Thursday from 8.30pm except for the last Thursday of the month when the Open Mic is taken over by the poetry and prose of Subtle Flame.
Just turn up!