Discovering the Paris Music Scene

Dancing in Paris has always been more difficult than expected. At one level, it is a thriving cultural city as well as London and New York. But assuming you did not count boys in striped t-shirts playing accordions in the subway, the Parisian music scene has always been a bit more hidden.

Of course, there are big venues like The Bataclan, which is the Brixton Academy or Radio City Music Hall, where you can book pre-sale tickets for major UK and national tour groups. But what about those places where tuition fees are low, low ceilings and challenging behaviors that are central to all local music scenes and are always the most fun?

If you have just come to Paris (you will find tips to get there cheaply) and looking for a good evening, do not panic: these five places are in fashion.

The club

The small independent London club is very close to the Pompidou Center and offers a variety of club nights, from heavy metal to punk to burlesque.

The Carmen

If you are looking for a more elegant moment, venture into The Carmen. The former home of opera composer Georges Bizet owes its name to his most famous work, but today houses mostly rock and electronic music nights.

The Belleville canteen

While the outside may look like a normal coffee / bar, go down into its cavernous abdomen for a sweaty little concert hall. Rock and indie concerts by local groups designed for bigger things are the norm.

The pompom

One of the hippest bars in the city, its hipster credits mean that prices are high and queues can be long. But to find the coolest cats of Parisian art, music and fashion in an old synagogue, this bar near Strasbourg St Denis and the Château d’Eau is the place to be. DJs and bands play until late in the cellar.

Pop-in the panel

A classic rock pub with a room in the basement. This classic dive bar is located in the heart of the Parisian music scene. Like many of these places, it smells like beer, the music is loud and everyone is crowded.

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