Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Wednesday 3rd April marked the launch of Rukus News’ open mic night at The Chairman on Bedford Street. The evening saw an abundance of revellers descend on the Middlesbrough hotspot, all dancing with anticipation ahead of the Rukus team’s ambitious debut; and it’s safe to say their thirst for music was undoubtedly quenched.
Undeterred by the wealth of recording equipment, open mic host James Lewis Mockett excitedly took to the stage to kick start the evening. His virtuosic musicianship and charming charisma captivating his audience immediately.
The talented songsmith introduced his set with an enchanting finger-style instrumental, complimented further by the ethereal tones emitted by his admirable percussive techniques. After a welcoming round of applause, James introduced himself to the crowd.
“For those of you that don’t know me, my name is James Lewis Mockett. This is an open mic, so if you guys would like to come up and sing a few songs then just let me know.
“I think I’m about ready to sing for you guys now!”
Without hesitation, the talented Teesside local erupted into an epic mash-up entitled ‘Another Very Superstitious Brick in the Wall’; an innovative montage featuring classic material from Stevie Wonder and Pink Floyd.
Yet despite the upbeat tempo of the track, the audience remained relatively reserved, a collective calmness that gradually diminished as the evening progressed and the ale flowed.
In true open mic fashion, Rukus revellers used their new-found Dutch courage to treat the crowd to their own, unique renditions.
First to grace the stage was talented musician, James Bowes. Taking to the stool with confidence, the gifted guitarist hurtled into an incredible blues-style instrumental, immersing the room in the atmospheric tones of his weeping guitar solos.
Yet this was just the beginning of the virtuosic performer’s contributions to the evening, as he joined in blissful collaboration with host James Lewis Mockett.
Although the pair had only just met, they delivered a soul-filled interpretation of the classic Red Hot Chilli Peppers track, Californication; a duet which was met with rapturous praise from the audience.
With necessary confidence instilled, an array of musicians began to bare their souls to the onlooking crowd, whom by this stage were truly submerged in the ambience of the evening. The candlelit room flickered with a certain synchronicity, as revellers emulated the dancing flames.
As the open mic drew to a close, the crowd eagerly awaited the evening’s grand finale, an exclusive 45-minute set from electro post-punk trio, Phantom Radio. The Teesside three-piece added a diverse texture to the evening, an extra ingredient to an already eclectic, musical feast.
Their refreshing, distinct sound submerged the room with the sound of sweet synthesisers and intriguing vocals; the perfect end to a successful evening. Danielle Martin, Head Chef at The Chairman said:
“It’s been an incredible evening. An open mic evening is something The Chairman has been wanting to get involved with for a while now, it’s the perfect location for live music.
“The Rukus evening has been refreshing and brilliant for business, we would definitely love to make this event a regular occurrence.”
Needless to say, the Rukus team were thrilled with the reception received from their debut open mic evening at The Chairman on Bedford Street.
Watch this space for further Rukus event announcements.