Audiences and acts returned in-person at the Pack Horse in early Autumn 2021 and our resident blogger, Declan Campbell, wrote this review of from Thursday 9th September
Cloth Cat’s open mic night – more than just music.
The return of Cloth Cat’s open mic night @ the Pack Horse pub (Hyde Park) has been gradual, yet entertaining, nonetheless. Many people are still making that transition back to normal life, and so venues remain at a limited capacity, to manage Covid-19 issues and any residual nervousness that people may have. This was my first event as a Cloth Cat volunteer, having joined in the November of 2020 – so I was eager at what awaited.
I began by meeting the wonderful Shelly, who’s tiresome work never goes unnoticed by our charity regulars. It was the first time I’ve set foot in the pub that wasn’t after a long day on the Otley Run, and a crisp pint of Moretti had me ready for a night of live music. The attendance was minimal, but the mood was high, and so too the quality of the acts. On the night there was a rumour going round that the iconic guitar amp brand Marshall Amps will be providing some kit to help support the Open Mic night which will be fantastic for future performers and audiences.
Nick Wood opened the night on guitar, and we never looked back. His craftsmanship with an instrument was a sight to behold. After his three songs I introduced myself and found the event perfectly encapsulated in one sentence, as Nick said: “I’ve never done this for the money or fame, I just love music” Which is a core value here at Cloth Cat, and it’s great to see our supporters share those feelings.
Jimmy Connell was up next, and the vibe of the room changed. Behind every word of Jimmy’s songs was a story to be told, he sings of his experiences working with homeless people, of which he has done for over 30 years. With one hand in his pocket and another on the heart strings, Jimmy had the room gripped, and it’s passion like his that makes music so fantastic. “Every time I listen to Jimmy, I learn something I never thought I would” finished Shelly.
After a couple of online acts and a quick cameo from David Sowden it was time for the main event: The Beer Snobs. A band that would be comfortable playing in front of anyone, their quick wit and stage presence meant that every second was a performance for them, a band who could’ve played all night to an audience who wanted to listen, it ended the night on a true high.
The truth of it is that Cloth Cat’s open mic night is about more than just music – it’s about togetherness and unity through music, it’s a branch of one person’s life work and dedication to making our great City that little bit greater. After just one event, I felt a real connection to this great charity and joined a friendly local music community.
Mos Eisely Cantina Cloth Cat Open Mic night takes place in person every Thursday at the Pack Horse in Leeds (Hyde Park) and currently takes place online on Tuesdays. Check the Facebook page for updates.