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Ubean Coffee House: Home of local talent

By Alice Coleman

I had only been in Ulaanbaatar a couple of weeks when I heard about the open mic night at UBean Coffee House. It was always spoken about in a positive light and it wasn’t long before a group of us decided to make our way down there.
As we walked through the door our noses were greeted with the tantalising aroma of fresh coffee. There was warmth you expect from coffee houses, along with a variety of cakes laid out on the counter before us. Local artwork was hung on the deep blue walls and papers and magazines rested on a rack.At the back of the room was a man with a guitar softly singing a cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’. His backdrop was a yellow wall with the word Ubean behind him in coffee brown. In front of him were tables and comfortable sofas, with people sat, relaxed, some talking, some watching. I fell in love with the place instantly and it is now a familiar scene.
Since then the regular Saturday night open mic has become increasingly popular. There is always a variety of acts from bands, solo singers and even dancers. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you’re welcome on that stage. It’s easy to understand why it has its regulars and newcomers, there is no prejudice, only advice and if you’re an up and coming artist then it makes sense to be there. Showcasing your own work and seeing other people perform in a welcome environment is only going to encourage you.
It would take up more space than I am allowed to discuss each individual artist but there are a few that I will mention in this particular article due to their dedication, passion and obvious talent. This takes nothing away from all the other performers, each and every one of them are brilliant, but I have seen these artists regularly and feel that I have more of a feel of their work than anyone else.
The first is Clifton Hurt, I saw him on the first night I ever went to UBean and he completely mesmerised me just with his voice and simple guitar, a natural musician. He has a charisma that draws you in and makes you comfortable. His voice can be powerful, melodic, soulful and soft depending on the song. He could sing with no instrument at all and you wouldn’t think that anything was missing. Each week he takes to the stage with something new, recently performing his own music; unique in sound and deep in lyrical content. He is someone that deserves to be discovered and I have no doubt that he will be, it is just a question of when.
Second is ChimkaGan. The first time I saw her she had her own slot at UBean on a Wednesday evening, she performed a whole set effortlessly, a mixture of covers and her own work. She is a welcome alternative to folk music; her lyrics and style are simple but layered and her voice completely unique to herself. A regular at the open mic night, she draws in a crowd with a soft and beautiful voice. Those that are interested can find her on facebook under AM Time.
The last that I mention is a newcomer to the open mic, Lewis Blackman. His talent lies not only in his voice but on guitar. His vocal range is truly impressive and covers difficult songs that capture the room. His performances have a habit of drawing you in till the last note is played. His passion is obvious and it shows on his face and in his voice.
These are a just a handful of performers that frequent UBean on a Saturday and due to the popularity they have started doing special theme nights. Last week was a tribute to the Mongolian band ‘The Lemons’. Not only this but the band was present, performing and presenting a prize to the best performer.
If you are a local musician that is looking for a new place to perform or simply someone who loves music, good coffee and an awesome atmosphere then get yourself down to UBean. You can find them on facebook under ‘UBean Coffee House and Roasterie’, which will provide directions and details of all their nights. I hope to see you there.

 

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Posted by on Dec 2 2012. Filed under Топ мэдээ. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Ubean Coffee House: Home of local talent”

  1. How about directions for us benighted folks who are not on Facebook?

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