You may or may not know that Music Unbuttoned started life from a discussion between two friends at an open mic night. For this reason we have always had a soft spot for open mic nights. They are there for no other reason other than to provide joy. The musicians play for free, simply because they love to play. Because they play for free, we get free entry. Everyone's a winner, so there is no excuse not to go and find local musicians performing original music.
Last month we visited a humble open mic night in the rural town of Sturminster Newton called 'Last Monday At The Exchange'. The exchange is a large multi purpose venue equipped with a modest Theatre which seats 300. But the open mic doesn't require such extravagance, so instead it is held in a large conference room on the first floor which is closer to the bar. The room can at times feel clinical but once more people arrive it soon feels friendly. Performing here is very different to many other open mics, playing in these surroundings is normally something a budding musician would aspire to. The PA has been purpose bought for this open mic and is engineered by Tom Clements who has engineered many events including Behind the Castle music festival. Last Monday At The Exchange is run by Steve Chick who comperes each month. When we visited, we agreed to record every artist who had an original song to perform. Our recordings allow you to hear how diverse music is even in a small market town.