Various Artists – Best of Sussex Open Mic
Open Mic Night is a known stalwart of the campus arts scene, and one which you can now enjoy in the comfort of your own home thanks to a new compilation CD of last year’s ‘hall of fame’. Launched last Wednesday at Falmer Bar with a live performance, most of the album is made up of the kind of mellifluous singer/songwriter and acoustic guitar material that Open Mic night is best known for, interspersed with some very different material. One such track consists of spoken word over heavy percussion, reminiscent of a kind of coffee-house Faithless, alternated with some pretty astounding beatboxing. Another great moment is Train of Love, a 80s rock ballad pastiche which (to my ear) sounds like a synthed-up Always by Bon Jovi, but with better lyrics and funnier backing vocals. Across the album, the performance and production is genuinely impressive, the variety and strength of the voices excellently showcased in the original compositions and live recording.
Plus there are some pretty fantastic lyrical gems to be found – from condoms breaking over someone’s face, to a reference to Patrick Swayze that I’m sure was less tragicomically tasteless at the time of its writing. Copies of the album can be bought at the next Open Mic night (this week at Falmer bar), where you can also get a preview of this year’s talent for yourself.