There’s a lot going on in London and area as we come into spring. A recent trend in London’s club scene has been the emergence of open mic and jam nights. It’s a great evening out, whether you’re in the audience, or on the stage. Our part of the country produces a lot of musical talent — get out there and discover it, or show it off!
The grand-daddy of them all, the London Music Club’s long-running Electric Jam Night, runs every Thursday at the Colbourne Street venue. Hosted by guitarist Rick Joyce, this jam leans towards electric blues. It attracts some of the region’s most seasoned and talented musicians, and welcomes aspiring players.
The LMC is also home to a monthly Irish ceili, with live music with The London Irish Folk Club, and an open stage.
Over at the Eastside Bar and Grill on Hamilton Road, Allstage Music’s Jim McCormick and his wife Barb Whitney host the Allstage Eastside Bar Wednesday Night Jam every week. Backed by The After Eight Band, local musicians and bands of all stripes and ages can test out their chops on a full backline provided by Bellone’s Music. The Jam goes from 8pm to midnight.
Local troubadour Stu Warrington hosts Stu’s Open Mic Jam every Monday at The Grinning Gator on Richmond Street. The Grinning Gator also presents an ongoing series, The Gator Girls Gala, featuring some of the area’s talented female performers such as Nikki James, Saidat Abrai and Amanda Underhill.
If your musical tastes lean towards country, drop in at the Bull & Barrel Urban Saloon on Talbot Street for Tuesday Open Mic Nights. The popular eatery also features many local country artists, and often ties in with events being held at Budweiser Gardens.
London’s longest running free music festival, Home Country Music & Arts Festival, holds its annual fundraiser concert on March 12 at the Former First Spiritualist Church on Rectory Street. Headliner Prince Edward Island-based musical powerhouse Irish Mythen will be joined by local singer/songwriter Marty Kolls. Tickets are $20 in advance (plus service charges) or $25 at the door (subject to availability). Advance tickets can be purchased online at EventBrite.com.
London’s award-winning Aeolian Hall in the city’s Old East Village has a packed schedule for March and April, beginning with Sunfest’s presentation of The Outside Track on March 4, and The Lula All Stars on March 18. David Myles returns on March 11, followed by Grammy Award-winner Judy Collins on March 13, with special guest Garnet Rogers.
Sunfest presents Barbra Lica on April 2, and Johnny Clegg on April 6. Frank D’Angelo and his 15-piece band take the stage on April 15. The Light of East Ensemble performs on April 16 and Nobuntu on April 30. The ever-popular Emm Gryner performs at the Hall on April 23 with special guest Sarah Smith. Then Joel Plaskett Emergency gives two evening performances, April 27 and April 28.
Beatles fans can get their fix with two events at Centennial Hall. First up is Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles on March 13, and then Classic Albums Live! The Beatles Sgt. Pepper on April 26.
The London Music Hall presents The Sheepdogs on March 4, The Trews on March 12, Sean Paul on March 18, and Twenty One Pilots on April 2.
Over at the London Music Club, Craig Cardiff takes the stage on March 26 followed by David Francey on April 23.
The ever-popular Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd Tribute fundraiser returns to the Grand Theatre on Saturday, April 2, with proceeds benefiting prostate cancer research. Some of London’s finest musicians join forces for this annual much anticipated performance. Tickets are available through The Grand’s box office.
All in all, it’s shaping up to be a very musical early spring.