Open mic nights in the small city of Preston don’t come aplenty, but the event held weekly at The Ferret is a point of interest for the student population and is surely a definite night to check out at least once.

Groups of guitar aficionados take to the stage to perform their music and the crowd listen to the music in a warm, colourful atmosphere with a wooden aesthetic.

The Ferret is usually home to the most raucous bands and independent artists that travel up to Preston, but most musicians performing at the open-mic are solo and carrying only acoustic guitars. Other types of performers are still welcome – it is an open-mic, after all.

Tonight, a band under the name Dirty Secrets display their energy and ferocious attitude, with a sound similar to the Arctic Monkeys in their more energetic pieces. The drummer blasts away like an animal, and the guitarist and vocalist play with enrapturing noise. For their final song, the band leaves the stage and the singer goes at it alone.

The flavour of music you find at The Ferret’s open mic is an individualist sort, where most musicians that grace the stage entertain the crowd by themselves. There have been other types of performers in the past, with the open-mic having given an audience to poets, stand-up comedians and other creative souls.

The highlight tonight came when a Frank Zappa clone took to the stage and delivered a radical electric guitar solo and, oh boy, I was immediately transported to the 1980s. I was witnessing a guitar prodigy – a single person who could deliver on all the energy that large stadium bands such as Iron Maiden, Slayer and others took so long to curate. The music man thrashed through all generations of metal music and was a so-called ‘rock god’.

He was later joined by the animalistic drummer, and that was a match made in heaven. At that point, I knew I would never again witness such wonderful talent in one night.

Open-mic night at The Ferret takes place every Wednesday. Entry is free.

George Pickering

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