I Did This: Open Mic Night @ Pilgrim Pub in Kennington


Baritone Philly Desai (centre) on popping up at the Pilgrim Pub

Guest post by Pop-Up’s Philly 

Feeling that my life needed more public embarrassment, I have decided to explore the Open Mike scene of south London: the lure of the sticky carpets and crackly PAs was irresistible, so I tuned my guitar and headed to Pilgrim Pub in Kennington for their Thursday Open Mic Night.

The other guys – yes, they were all guys – were super-friendly and appeared to be all best mates. So, a noisy but appreciative audience. This isn’t a moment for soulful originals, I thought – play something they’ll know.

My rendition of Aint No Sunshine silenced the chatter for a few moments, and being only two minutes long I like to think it left them wanting more. Then, Ted from Holland takes to the stage, and he surprises everyone by appearing to have practiced rather a lot.

“This guy is too good, get him off before he ruins everything,” whispers the next performer, who is sitting next to me. I can sympathise… that’s why I went first. Dan and Mitch, the very friendly hosts, encourage me to stay for a “Night of 1,000 Guitars” jam after everyone has played, but I’m sticking to the plan – quit while you’re ahead.


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