Sunday Night Live at Q Bar

All Quiet Outside

Falmouth is literally littered with musicians. They roam the streets like stray dogs, except with exceptionally more talent, but just as much hair. By day, they play on the streets, by night they play indoors, and by Sundays, they play in bars…

Gyllingvase Beach Café offers curry and a pint for £5, with rising artists serenading you as you delve into rice from your primary school. Stars like Newton Falkner have been known to grace their musical majesty on the lucky few who manage to cram themselves in to the hugely popular bar, stood on stilts over the sand, with sea views that you can only admire. This is the very best of live performance music, in another amazing environment, with a deal of food and drink that you can’t refuse. At the same time, it’s nothing new…

Jacobs Ladder, an epic mission of a venue that is quite simply dangerous to access, and after a few pints, it is positively perilous to escape from. Luckily, the price of a pint will leave you less change from £10 than the contents of the back of your sofa, so you’ll probably not have too many. Musicians are less publicized at this place, there’s never much hype, not such much as a whiff of an advert or a smear of a poster anywhere. ‘You just know’ because ‘you just do,’ that there’s live music at Jacob’s Ladder on Sundays because everyone says there is. You never really know who you’ve been listening to until you go up and ask them afterwards, which is tricky because the standard is brilliant and everyone else has the same idea. You have to have sharp elbows to get ahead in that place.

On the other side of town, or if you stumble down a mile or so of stairs, you could end up outside Q Bar…

Early and Empty

Arriving early, before people had decided that they had nothing better to do than to watch live music, a lone guitarist was sat strumming away with a handful of people sat at some tables around the bar, seemingly unaware of what was going to occur. A Sunday night at Q Bar is a slightly different experience of live music…

The manager admits to being totally musically inept. When asked if he could even hit a drum, he said, “Yeah of course I can hit a drum, but that’s it, just bash it!” This comment didn’t sit too well with Alex Elsdon, a percussionist and like most drummers; he has developed a thick skin.

“Do you get much stick for being a drummer?” – No pun intended. Alex replied, “Yeah but we get used to it,”

Al the manager, who refused to state his full name, so we know him as ‘just Al’, explained that this regular event is something “for musicians by musicians” or in fact anyone who wants to get involved, even if they’ve never played before. He said that sometimes people just get lured in, with an attractive array of exotic instruments crammed in a corner next to a fully stocked bar. It’s hard to resist, with players with exceptional performances being rewarded with a free pint and applause from other casual musicians and wide eyed bystanders.

Alex on Cajon

A man called Tristan O’Mera started Jam Jar at the Falmouth Q Bar two and a half years ago. Alex describes him as being a ‘legend’ that frequently played “an impossible amount of instruments at once whilst being amazing at each.”

Alex said he was there as just ‘the bottom half on an act,’ his respective top half, Paul Roberts, arrived late and took to a microphone before he could be subjected to ours, however Alex was happy to divulge how Jam Jar works. In effect, the whole event is a fully immersive open mic night, although Paul and Alex have their own set list, people are invited to join in with whatever instrument they have, or whatever they can get their hands on. The pair were not overly keen to be interviewed with a microphone, although they were more than happy to tell me over a pint about how they were photography students at Falmouth University and after they graduated, they became more involved with their music. After the legend of Tristan O’Mera moved on to other projects, the duo took over the show with full support of ‘Just Al’.

Listen to Paul and Alex’s set recorded live from Jam Jar.

Paul on Guitar

“It’s very informal, really relaxed. No pretentiousness or snobbery here. We just want people to have a laugh and mess around.” He says as a regular contender, Nina Bailey delivers a rather professional, stunning performance of ‘Feeling Good’ originally by Nina Simonne.

Listen to Nina Bailey, again record live from Jam Jar.

In comparison to the other live music venues on Sundays, the recently renovated Q Bar seems less popular. The people who do attend seem to thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere, one woman shamelessly enjoyed it more than the rest. Cheaper drinks, great music, and an inspired creative interior, it seems all that’s missing are the masses. Perhaps a sea view, food, and a pool table could help. Just Al quickly plugged before everyone left that on February 10th, a young artist called Emily Howard had a set for Jam Jar, another opportunity for everyone to be a part of a more adept musician’s sound, or another chance for a bunch of randomers to screw up what could be a perfect set. if it’s anything like this, it should prove to be an original experience.