Keeping with the on-trend vibe of the East End, weekly jams see the stage swarm with musicians sharing spontaneity and trading solos.

Noteworthy, an open mic now entering its fourth year of life, is commonly referred to as ‘The best open mic in London’ by its patrons – and for good reason! Hosted by Jimmy Logic and Chiu Dat, the now-infamous comedy duo, the night has accrued a healthy mass of regulars whose commitment to attending every Sunday evening speaks volumes about the quality of the event. Due to the popularity of the night, sign-up performers are limited to one song. Regardless of the one-song rule people return week after week, so I can only conclude that they must be doing something right!

Chiu and Jimmy are prominent figures in the London music scene. Chiu, a rapper, was the first ever defending Jump Off! champion, has been featured on SBTV and has released two albums, Chiu’s Day and Piece of Mind. Jimmy is an in-demand sound engineer, working at some of London’s favourite live music venues. He is also an accomplished rapper, beatboxer, guitarist and producer. Jimmy and Chiu maximise on their links within the music scene to bring special guest performances to Noteworthy, which have ranged from Ball-Zee (a world champion beat-boxer) and up-and-coming singer Jerome Thomas and his band (in which Jimmy plays guitar).

The Noteworthy open mic is always well-attended, but is rather jam packed on special occasions such at Christmas, it’s anniversary and on the regulars’ birthdays. It was once, however, a more humble, more intimate affair, albeit a mere stone’s throw away. It began life in the cosy, fire-lit upstairs room of Pub on the Park in Hackney. Due to its popularity it moved downstairs to a larger room until it teamed up with Paper Dress Vintage, which has since facilitated the night in two locations: Curtain Road, Shoreditch and Mare Street, Hackney Central.

Jam Session

With its black and white checkerboard floors, shelves filled with loud accessories and walls of beautifully presented vintage attire, Paper Dress Vintage creates a rather unique backdrop. The quirky shop-come-music-venue is more than an open mic, however. ‘Paper Dress’ hosts gigs on most nights of the week and is open every day for coffee and shopping. Its recently opened yoga studio has hit also the ground running, creating a warm and fuzzy community vibe. What else is to be expected when you’re bang in the middle of Hackney?

Keeping with the on-trend and on-the-fly vibe of the East End, weekly jams (either in the middle or at the end of the open mic) see the stage swarm with singers and instrumentalists sharing spontaneity and trading solos. With a full backline and facilities for other instruments (notable additions include a kora, a homemade synthesizer, an accordion, a trumpet, a cello and a clarinet) there is never shortage of intriguing collaborations between regular and passing visitors. The jams are facilitated by the skilfully rhymed introductions of Chiu, and Jimmy’s beatboxing talent. Due to their background in hip-hop there are also regular cyphers with various visiting rappers (often to the great surprise of the jumper-wearing folky singer-songwriters in the crowd).

Jimmy Logic

This eclectic variety of musicians and music styles is what gives Noteworthy its longevity. One of the benefits of Noteworthy’s comparatively long life compared to other open mics in London is the opportunity for attendees (like myself) to watch the progress of other regular artists. Some of my favourite bands, for example Lewisburg (check them out), would simply not have been formed without Noteworthy and its mini-scene.

Noteworthy is a quality night with quality music, and for that reason you should let it ruin your Monday mornings for much of the foreseeable future.