Monday, 10 October 2011

France - Paris 3

France - Paris 2

"The Hardcore scene in the city of lights isn't as big as you'd think, and it's plagued by two major issues.

First of all, the nightlife around Paris is dying. Lots of venues in the suburbs are shutting down for economical reasons, while some others in Paris have to turn into nightclubs for a couple of days every single week to stay afloat. That applies to the smaller venues like Le Batofar and to the biggest ones like Le Bataclan. L'Elysée Montmartre closed its doors a couple of months ago after it was burnt to ashes following an electrical incident.

Secondly, Most shows around here are booked by DIY promoters: the only actual booking agencies around here aren't really into Hardcore or Punk as a whole. As a result, it's getting harder to see well-established HC/Punk bands in Paris because of this lack of available venues and serious promoters: our town often gets skipped.

On the bright side, the kids who do contact bands and set up shows are doing a great job. Every now and then we manage to see great bands in the tiniest venues I have ever seen. A couple of days ago, Trial and Anchor played in a bar with support from Birds in Row. A few weeks before that, we got to see Birds in Row open for Loma Prieta in a cafe's basement. The sound was awful, the heat was unbearable, but the feeling of intimacy... I can't find the right words to describe it.

I never really bought into the idea that Hardcore is a family, but the one thing I do like about our scene is that you always see familiar faces. Lots of people who pay 5€ tickets to see a modern hardcore band will attend a Screamo show the next week, pay another ticket to see a local band after that... After a while, you're pretty much forced to meet people and actually talk to them, which is something that doesn't happen in bigger scenes.

Now, let's talk about the music itself. There is absolutely no hype around parisian bands that aren't playing Metalcore or Beatdown Hardcore, but that doesn't mean there aren't a couple of acts worth checking out.

I'm thinking about the likes of…

Donkey Punch - who will be on Toxicbreedsfunhouse's upcoming Euro compilation

Black Spirals

Arms of Ra


Perhaps should I also mention some bands that aren't from Paris but regulary play there and get warm receptions…

Aussitôt Mort

Birds in Row


Plebeian Grandstand

...Namedropping isn't really what I'm going for, but each and every one of these bands sound completely different and it'd take way too long to describe them all.

I live twenty minutes away from Paris, in the suburbs, like most kids who attend shows, so we usually are on the same train home, haha!

I don't know much about zines and I'd say that they aren't that popular here. For us frenchies, it's mainly an online phenomenon.

I also forgot to write about one noteworthy label that's based roughly 300 kilometers away from Paris called Throatruiner Records. The guy who runs it, Matthias, isn't from here but he does wonders for us. He's signed british and french bands and releases albums by himself, but he also distributes some records that we couldn't get anywhere else without paying insanely high shipping costs. The label's releases can be shipped anywhere in Europe, but are also sent to actual (small) record stores in Paris. That represents a huge amount of work for a single person, and a huge gamble because record sales are really low these days, so I have nothing but respect for the man.”

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