“Closed due to a dead city, please go to a neighbouring capital.”

Nouveau_casinoText: David Britain

So reads the plea accompanying the petition to save Parisian nightlife. The petition, which was signed by 12,000 people in less than three weeks, was started as a last ditch attempt by club owners to stop the clampdowns on noise and police closures of venues and reduce the continuing decline of nightlife in the city. Everyone will have his or her own opinion on Parisian nightlife, but how bad is it really?

According to a report commissioned by the Maire de Paris the city’s nightlife excels when it comes to diversity, large events such as Nuits Blanches and historic nightlife spots. However the report found the city lags far behind London, Barcelona, Berlin and Amsterdam in every other way. This is not particularly surprising news. Paris is known for its history, its vast number of Museums, galleries and monuments, not for its nightlife. Club owners blame the conservative attitude of powerful residents and police harassment but the report also found that feelings of insecurity amongst revellers, the image of Paris as a museum city, expensive and infrequent transport and the strict and often aggressive door policies also play a role in making Paris the worst major city in Europe to be partying after 2am. The Marie’s response is to create a website and consider plans for ‘party zones’ in order to concentrate night-time activity in specific locations. Unfortunately it will take a lot more than that for Paris to be able to compete with other European capitals.

More on: “Closed due to a dead city, please go to a neighbouring capital.”

Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra

Emir-kusturica-and-no-smoking-orchestra Text: Brendan Seibel

The circus is coming to town. Wielding guitars, tubas and violins the clowns are running rampant across the stage, capes streaming behind. Conducting this cacophonous consortium like a cracked carny the ringleader screams himself into a fervor. Elephants are tackling the trapeze, monkeys are flailing in the funhouse and if the audience survives this madness they'll be staggering all the way home.

Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra are coming to town.

More on: Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra

Staff Benda Bilili at Café de la Danse


Text Brendan Seibel

Wheelchairs, crutches and handmade instruments don't conjure images of a soulful dance band. Breakout sensation  are paraplegics and street kids setting fire to the stage, rising like phoenixes from the ashes of expectation. Their potent concoction of African rumba, uncut funk and traces of Nigerian highlife has been dragging crowds to their feet.

An unhinged assault and raw tales of reality deliver the chaotic slums, back alley bars and rutted streets of Kinshasa. Wheelchairs spin pirouettes, a man with withered legs sends himself rolling across the stage, a microphone teeters on the brink of collapse. Convulsing to the music's fevered pitch, a man violently rattles his crutches while scraping time across a gourd. Rocketing from wall to wall the vocals refuse to be contained, then suddenly drop to the melancholic dirge of a tortured ballad.

More on: Staff Benda Bilili at Café de la Danse

Point Ephémère on Canal St Martin

-2Text and image by Will Best

If you allow yourself to meander down the Canal St Martin, you’ll stumble upon the industrial outer body of artistic haven Point Ephémère.  Once a factory, Point Ephémère now buzzes to a bohemian vibe thanks to the foresight and community based initiative from Usines Ephémère, the non-profit organisation overseeing the goings-on. The space includes 5 music studios, one dance studio, a fabric workshop, a multimedia platform and four visual art studios for artistic residence activities.  Professional and amateur artists, dancers, musicians or even large installation specialists are invited to apply for in-house residencies of up to six months, where hard to acquire materials and specialist tools are at hand to render the careful process of developing an oeuvre

More on: Point Ephémère on Canal St Martin

Africolor music festival until 20th December

Aff2009-web Will Best writing for VINGT paris

Glancing over the welcome page of the Africolor website the festival’s ethic, one of resisting the “current musical trend of cloned entertainment”, becomes more tangible and urgent.  Isn’t it disconcerting, then, that on reflection there always seems to be a set ‘mode’; a ‘scene’; a faceless, consumer driven, image into which innovation must find a snug fit if it doesn’t want to be cast aside? The organizers of Africolor certainly think so and for over 20 years they’ve been taking these identikits, ripping them apart, then fusing them all together again without even looking at the manual.

More on: Africolor music festival until 20th December

Jay Reatard at La Maroquinerie

Brendan Seibel writing for Vingt Paris photo by redheadwalking

2489628021_b487f71a4c Fresh on the heels of his American/Canadian package tour Jay Reatard is set to launch a twenty-date European tour in Paris this Wednesday, 28th October ,in support of his sophomore album, "Watch Me Fall" (Matador Records,2009). It's a rare opportunity for continentals to catch the rising star of punk rock's most prolific chameleon as he guns it full throttle deep into an overdriven indie-pop nebula.

The past few years have seen a transformation taking place for this Memphis-based former enfant terrible. Originally known for his adenoidal vocals as well as a blood, guts and booze stage persona, Reatard has been shedding both his desensitized aural assault and his rich legacy of drunken, violent antics. In just thirty years on this planet Reatard has burned through the cathartic garage chaos of The Reatards, the bleak synth noise of The Lost Sounds, and the jagged jangle of Angry Angles, among a numerous cast of lesser-known acts.  Amidst the wreckage of projects past he has retained the various essences of music's sub-genres, distilling them into a ragged but tuneful solo debut, "Blood Visions" (In the Red Records, 2024).

More on: Jay Reatard at La Maroquinerie

On the Agenda: Classical Music Concerts This Fall

David Britain writing for VINGT Paris

You may know of the hazy jazz dungeons in the 5ème, and scene-y indie rock clubs in the 20ème, but don't forget about classical music! Below, you'll find select performances worth getting excited for...

acade Opéra BastilleEveryone should see the timeless classic La Bohème at least once in their life. The opportunity to see Puccini's Paris-set opera in Paris itself makes it all the more exciting and, dare I say, romantic. You can catch it starting October 29th at Opéra Bastille. Opéra de Massy is also showing a Puccini opera, Tosca, on the 6th and 8th of November, with the support of the Orchestre de Radio France.

For something more contemporary, Palais Garnier presents the work of three choreographers as three short ballets entitled Amoveo / Répliques / Genus (between the 7th-22nd of November). It will certainly be interesting to see how the dance is paired with extracts from Philip Glass’s minimal opera, Einstein on the Beach, and the microtonal haze of Romanian/Hungarian composer Ligeti.

More on: On the Agenda: Classical Music Concerts This Fall

VINGT's Autumn Music Calendar

VINGT's editorial team pick out the best of this autumn's musical highlights.

9th Dirty Projectors -  La Maroquinerie, uber- talented Brooklyn-based indie rock band with an excellent new album Bitte Orca.
15th The Cribs - Le Nouveau Casino, indie band -three brothers from Yorkshire who have been joined by ex-Smiths guitarist Jonny Marr.
16th Fleet Foxes - Le Grand Rex, last years album Fleet Foxes has cemented the Seattle folk quintet as a critics favourite.
16th Metronomy - La Cigale, great live sets from the English electro trio.
18th Noah and the Whale - Café de la Danse, English indie folk band have just released a new album The First Days of Spring
19th Annie Mac and Yuksek - Social Club, BBC Radio 1 Queen and French DJ are sure to put on an awesome night of electro.
23rd Revolver - Café de la Danse, French indie band whose first album came out of the 1st June.
24th Digitalism - Social Club, German electro kings and one of Kitsuné's best.
24th DJ Kentaro - La Maroquinerie, Japanese DJ with impressive live shows.
28th The Heavy - Point Ephémère, English based mash of indie/soul - Spin Magazine's best discovery '08

More on: VINGT's Autumn Music Calendar

Rock en Seine - the 2024 Review....... sans Oasis

Nick Forrester writing for VINGT Paris, Photos by Rod M
Rock en Seine is not a festival for relaxing in the sun with a cold drink, or stumbling across undiscovered bands: it is not in the mould of Glastonbury. 

It is however, a well set-up and well organized music festival, with not too many frills attached. There are only three stages - but the two at each end of the festival have a huge capacity and all three have great sound and lighting.

The focus is more on ease of accessing the performances and making sure a lot of people fit in to each area. With a small, but reasonably impressive line-up this is Rock en Seine's trump card.

More on: Rock en Seine - the 2024 Review....... sans Oasis

Rock en Seine, Jazz à la Villette and Fête du l’Humanité

916,jazzok 2009 Rock en Seine On the festival front, there are a few big events in August and September to add to the music calendar.

At the end of August, Rock en Seine has a great schedule of big names playing. VINGT Paris will be there to soak up the atmosphere, with the likes of Oasis, Bloc Party, Madness, the Prodigy, MGMT and a loads more - the weekend should be a cracker.   Friday seems to have the strongest line-up for those not wishing to commit to the full weekend.

Special mention from us goes to three acts not to be missed:

- Vitalic, who is releasing a new album in September, but will no doubt offer French electro delights from their brilliant Ok Cowboy (2005)

- The Horrors from England, who released Primary Colours this year which has been nominated for the Mercury Music prize.

- And finally, the Klaxons who are finishing off things on Sunday, adding a bit of spice to the indie norm. Other musical events to look forward include Jazz à la Villette which kicks off at the beginning of September for two weeks. The 200 artists and 50 groups should confirm that “jazz is not dead”. Then from September 11th to the 13th, the Parc de la Courneuve host's la Fête de l’Humanité with Manu Chao and the Kooks headlining the music stage and a wealth of other activities, from theatre to sport. 

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