Letter from Paris

Here are three venues beloved by both Parisians and Anglophones in which to shelter from the cold:

Salut mes amis, it’s time again to hear what is going on in the city which is the musical nerve centre of la belle France: Paris. 

It’s autumn, the cold is setting in and the leaves on the trees lining all those picturesque avenues are turning golden, falling to the ground and forming a rich, thick pulp underfoot which makes it all the more difficult to sit outside on the pavement and drink. It’s time to head inside. Open mic season has begun.

Here are three venues beloved by both Parisians and Anglophones in which to shelter from the cold:

Le Caveau des Oubliettes -  what looks like a rundown Irish Rockers pub upstairs but is actually a chi-chi cellar hide out for the swinging cats of Paris? Yes. La Caverne des Oublittes. This place actually bills its self as a jazz club, but the music you find on offer here is far more progressive than just a few jazz standards on a saxophone. Here you will find funk and hop-hop that will make you reconsider the 5th’s reputation as a stayed pasture for the middle aged to wallow in wine and moules frites, although the price tag is definitely in keeping with the region. Entrance is free but drinks aren’t cheap – eight euro for a kir, anyone?

Au petit Bonheur la chance - what looks like a rundown rockers pub and is a rundown rockers pub?  Well, rockers pub might be going a bit far, as this place houses just about everyone from painfully hip twenty somethings to sixty-something American expats with battered acoustic guitars. If you want to hear a broad programme, ranging from acoustic covers of RnB chart tunes to the hits of the 50s, you will find it here. Entrance is free and the drinks are a steal, particularly considering it nestles practically at the side of the Pantheon.

Pop Inhttp://popin.fr   pop in, pop out, pop all about – but you just won’t find an open mic session that is more painfully hip than this one. Sunday is the day to catch live acts performing to a packed basement and meet a just about every English speaker aged under 25 who happens to be living in Paris.  This place also has its own record label. That’s how cool they are. Entrance is also free and the drinks are decent value. What’s not to love?