HAPPENINGText: Mathieu Araud

Tonight is the night. Every two weeks people my age meet at L’Elysee Montmartre a concert hall in Pigalle. The place usually closes down around eleven p.m after pop-rock shows are over. But for over a year L’Elysee Montmartre had become a hot night spot for parisians aged between 25 to 30 years old. The event is known as “Le bal”. The concept is to recreate in the capital what happens every summer all over the country “Le bal populaire” (summer bal).

A live band plays French pop music all night long. Here, the songs that are played, used to be number ones fifteen to twenty years ago, still every body remembers them. That is the kind of stuff that reminde people my generation the Saturday nights spent watching Michel Drucker’s talk shows on TV or the first kisses during a “boum” (a party).

No House Garage, Techno beat, Jungle sound that night at L’Elysee Montmartre, no famous DJ hitting up the club, just dum French pop songs that everybody likes. The crowd goes crazy when the band starts to sing “je me present, je m’appelle Henry, j’aimerais bien reussir ma vie, etre heureux”… a old tune by Daniel Balavoine, a mainstream French singer that died in a helicopter crash during the race Paris-Dakar. His death made him an icone to millions of French girls.

Not to mention one of my favorites “La salsa du demon” by “Le Grand Orchestre du Splendide”, an outrageous parody by a band that long time deasaped. To keep the spirit of the summer bal, the two bars of L’Elysee Montmatre serve twenty five francs beers, something you would not find in other night clubs in the city. One more reason to have fun until dawn.

Le bal
Place: L’Elysee Montmatre
Address: 72 Boulevard de Rochechoire, Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 4492 7800

Text: Mathieu Araud

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