Manchester Open Mic’s: Whiskey Jar #2

After the amazing performances we saw last week, the bar was certainly set as high as it could be for this week (Tuesday the 17th of January). But, as expected, the open mic night at the Whiskey Jar has exceeded expectations once again. Further cementing it’s roll as the best open mic night in Manchester. If you don’t already know, this night is held twice weekly (Tuesday & Wednesday) at the Whiskey Jar in Manchester, hosted by the legend Joe Bagpipes, check out his social media @joebagpipes on Instagram.

We started the night off with Will Edgar. Will is a very promising talent, the 14 year old came down to the open mic night and really displayed his talents in his debut at the Whiskey Jar! He sang, played guitar and piano, in-front of a packed room and he left everyone stunned. Will performed a song called ‘I love you?’ a beautiful piano ballad where Will demonstrated the full range of his vocals, hitting high notes and silencing the audience as they watched on. As a younger artist, Will is definitely one to keep an eye out for as he has so much potential left to fulfil. Despite this Will already has so much prowess, an immensely impressive young lad. If you want to see more from Will you can find him at @willedgarmusic_ on Instagram, so make sure you go and see what he has in store!

Walter Kocays was another of the amazing acts to play this past Tuesday at the open mic night. Walter just recently released his debut EP called ‘All My Love & Shame’ so make sure to go give that a listen! Walter has plans to record another single and a B side to his recent EP within the next month and have them released within 3 months so he has plenty of fresh content coming soon (Keep them eyes peeled). Walter performed a song from his EP called ‘Bird Bath’, a slower paced tune more focused on Walter’s vocals to set the atmosphere. The song breaks down in the later stages as he sings “Au revoir, arrivederci” before leading into a breath taking close to the song, where he sings with enough grace to make any man cry. Soon Walter will be playing at the Sindercombe Social in London on the 30th of January, so if you’re in the area make your way over to see him! If you want to find Walter on social media his handle on Instagram is @wocays1 and remember to listen to his recent EP!

There was one act on Tuesday that really stood out as different, and that was John Paul. John used his own voice as his instrument, literally! He used a loop pedal to overlay the sounds he was making with his voice in order to create some astonishing mixes. His second song of the day he played was a song called ‘Old Hill’, about how John himself and people as a whole, get older but does a hill get old? Well regardless of the answer John’s performance was one for the ages, with quirky comedy between tunes and an amazing talent to perform in this style, you really don't get any more impressive. In ‘Old Hill’ John starts out by laying down his beat, playing all aspects of the tune such as his own bass line, the melody and drums, followed by some great singing to compliment it. John sings “Where have I gone in my life” a statement on how time passes by us and we can feel lost with what we’ve done in our time. John knows how to entertain and get a crowd involved by getting the audience to join in by being his backup vocals. John Paul really is one to catch live his stage presence is gold! You can catch more of John at @johnpaulmusicuk make sure to check him out!

Neeve Zahra is another act to have graced the open mic night at the Whiskey Jar. Neeve’s first song ‘Because I Love You’ seemed to be an American inspired love song, using a 'twangy' sound that can be commonly grouped in with American-country based songs. Neeve has a beautiful voice, really being able to hit her high notes when she sang parts such as “it gets me further in life” really peaking the notes without any strain and reaching those upper octaves, really unbelievable to witness! Neeve along with her co-performer Drew Palmer, performed 3 tracks together on the night. An amazingly talented singer and songwriter who alongside Drew gave a fantastic all round performance, if you want hear more from Neeve you can find her on Instagram at @Neevezahramusic and you can also find Drew at @drewpalmer92 make sure you give them a follow!

Another talented act who performed at the open mic night was Casper Mason. Casper played three songs on the night, called ‘Just Cause’, ‘Signs’ and an untitled track that are due to be released as an EP. Casper’s vocation is autism and he’s a patron of it, by raising money for autistic people and spreading awareness about it, Casper himself is a testament to the fact that autism isn’t a bad thing, he has autism himself and has pushed through it to be able to play and perform at such a high level. Casper is a great singer and a good laugh to be around, a very warm spirited person with great ideals on him. Casper has A LOT of shows he’s performing this year so to keep up to date with where you can see him then give his social medias a follow @capsermason on Instagram and Facebook!

South By Zero are the only full band we got to see on Tuesday, a newer band that started as a duo but now have their most recent addition of band mate Emma. Tom, Matt, George and Emma clearly work together well as they heard enormous applause after each song they played on the night. Their first song they performed called ‘A Thousand Miles Away’ which originally is George’s song that’s based on his girlfriend who lives in Spain (which can feel like a thousand miles away). The song was upbeat and lifting even though talking about someone who is so far which can be very tough on a relationship, the bands chemistry could be shown with pitch perfect harmonisation in sections such as “I can’t be trusted alone”. They create satisfying sounds with background harmonization to compliment George’s lead on the track. They are due to have their first release around March time so make sure to keep your eyes on these guys social media to find what else is in store for the band, you can find them at @southbyzero on Instagram!

Christie was one of the final acts that performed at the Whiskey Jar’s open mic night, she has a very heartfelt, yet profound voice that she especially showed in her first song where she hit challenging notes in sections like “then why not me” hitting the higher octaves with ease, it genuinely left the crowd in awe. Christie has a calming presence on stage where she captured everyone’s attention in the room, which can be challenging to do at times. Not only a gifted singer but a gifted songwriter and guitar player Christie really is the whole package. If you want to see more of this incredibly talented artist then you can find more of her over on her Instagram at @christiemusician!

Thank you for reading the latest entry into our new open mic series. We apologise to any artists who we missed on the night, we'll be sure to catch you next time! Big thank you to everyone involved at the Whiskey Jar, we're looking forward to coming back already.

Written by Sam Wright.