Open Mic Nights in Canterbury

Perhaps you’ve been perfecting that acoustic Radiohead cover set for the last year and eight months. Or, perhaps, you’re ready to show the world your grade four violin exam piece in full. Perhaps you just want a 2for1 cocktail. Anyway, whatever the cause — it’s time to get yourself to one of Canterbury’s esteemed open mic nights.


Days: Mondays
Music: Alt/Cover songs/Misc
Kicks off: 8pm

Perhaps the most varied open mic night of all, the Cricketers has witnessed 1920s crooners, synth pop, beatboxing, acoustic Alkaline Trio covers and spoken word poetry. It’s a small, cosy pub, but fosters an aura of camaraderie very quickly. Join them from 8pm.

Tip: If you want a performance slot, make sure to get there really early, as they fill up fast. The smoking area at the back is very cosy.


Days: Tuesdays
Music: Blues/Jazz/Funk/Jam
Kicks off: 9pm

There’s nowhere quite like Bramleys. This is prime first date material, ladies and gentlemen; a dark hip-looking retro-spectacle of a bar, fit with lampshades, decor from the 1920s and a Singer sewing machine. With 2for1 cocktails before 8pm and a stage that looks like it could be a Victorian living room, it’s sure to impress the most discerning date. You can fit about ten people on the stage, so as a bonus it sometimes it feels a bit like a jazz/blues version of Blazin’ Squad. The ‘open mic’ slots are a little unconventional and everybody just sort of seems to go onto stage simultaneously rather than taking it in turns — depending on what you’re into, they have a jazz jam, a blues jam, and a psychedelic jam.

Tip: Initiate dancing. You will have more fun and a better night, but somebody has to start it. Be the change that you want to see in the world.


Days: Wednesdays
Music: Acoustic/alt/cover songs
Kicks off: 7.30pm

The Ballroom feels a little like The Bramley’s younger brother; it has cocktails, nice sofas and a bathtub in the corner just because. On Wednesday nights, music is of course dependent on who shows up, but it’s free and it’s run by local celebrity Handsome Rob, who has his very own prefix.

Tip: There is a drink called the Honey Bee; I recommend it.


Days: Thursdays
Music: Alt/Cover songs/Misc
Kicks off: 9pm

The Black Griffin is a bigger and slightly more rowdy version of the Cricketers, with a touch more ambience and the sense, from the outside, that you may have been transported back in time to the 16th century. The space invader artwork in the garden is the exception to this rule. Get your drinks early, because the bar is right next to the stage and it’s going to get busy!

Tip: There are board games and a Game of Thrones themed pinball machine towards the back. NEED I SAY MORE

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