Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sauvage Saturday

It might have been two days ago, but I have to write a post about Saturday, because it was Amazing...

Me, Anna and Kayt had tickets for Rebel Rave which I think... is the tour... of an album... released by a label called Crosstown Rebels?

Oh come on, we all know I have no idea what I'm talking about, but the important thing is that Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and Damian Lazarus were playing and they all had residencies at DC10 this summer, where I loved the music, a lot. Also, Ricky (my very own Resident Advisor) said that I should 'Go! Go!' so I was as eager as a beaver and very excited.

Saturday daytime was the Techno Parade, which I only managed to catch the end of last year. This year I wanted to experience the actual parade, instead of just the resulting riots. But as the day wore on, me and Kayt found ourselves drinking tea and discussing plans with each other on Skype, without actually making any attempt to leave our Cinderella rooms and get to the Techno Parade...

By the time me and Kayt got our act together to go, and met up with Georgie on the metro, it was about half five. We literally arrived at Place d'Italie to see the back of a massive carnival float driving away, with an American voice blaring out: "Goodbye Paris! Thank you!"

As that plan crawled into a hole to die, so we decided to use the opportunity (of being awake and out of bed) to do Something Cultural. We went to the Palais de Tokyo near the Eiffel Tower to see some modern art and guess what- the Palais is having some work done so we ended up sitting in the café having 6, non-alcoholic cocktails. I am slightly concerned that any plan of ours involving Something Cultural results in us sitting down in a café attached to the musuem we were planning on visiting, having an over-priced drink and not seeing any art or historical wonders.

The Palais de Tokyo is a really interesting place, although the upstairs toilets are a little too interesting if you ask me (they have translucent doors that open on both edges and have no locks- I went in, freaked out and swore never to use them again) but I wouldn't recommend going at the moment, because Georgie paid to get in and she said they only have three pieces to see.

After our non-cultural, non-alcoholic cocktail, we went back to Kayt's with a very large bottle of vodka, a large bottle of coke and a large can of Red Bull. 'Rebel Rave' was on until 7am so there was no rush; we had the whole evening to get nicely smashed and dance about to Shangaan Electro, which sounds like this:

As Georgie was going to 'the country' early the next morning, she wasn't coming out with us but she did get drunk with us and do an impromptu photo shoot. Now, Georgie is a professional photographer, but I'm not sure how great the photos will be, considering we were trying to dance exactly like they do in the above video...

Anyway, Kayt cooked us a lovely chilli so we ate that as we drank and danced. By the time we had faffed about putting lots of make-up on and posing for silly photographs, it was about midnight, so we set off for Cabaret Sauvage and the rave that was waiting for us...

Cabaret Sauvage is a venue at Porte de la Villette, which is in the North-East of Paris. There's a really nice park there with a canal and the 'largest science musuem in Europe' and they have lots of good music events (such as Villette Sonique that I went to in May) BUT that part of Paris is a bit dodge, especially at night.

This sounds really arrogant but we didn't want to dress too nicely. We weren't like 'Oh if we look our best we will surely get raped because we will look so attractive and the peasants won't be able to resist'; we just put a bit of thought into our outfit choices, which means leaving the heels, bare legs and little dresses at home. (Don't literally take your legs off and leave them at home, I mean, take your legs out by all means, but cover them up with some sort of clothing.) If you are going to places in East Paris, like Porte de la Villette, or Glaz'art for example, you have to be sensible and not dress like English tourists, who everyone in Paris assumes are binge-drinking slags. (If you are wondering what we wore, we went for jeans, a nice top and wedges, with coats on top.)

Anyway, our journey to Porte de la Villette was fine. Once we got off the metro however, we found ourselves in a pitch black building site. Luckily Kayt is quite good at Finding Places so she steered us in the right direction. After a few minutes we spotted more people walking ahead of us who looked like they were going to Rebel Rave and we could hear the bass in the distance.

When we got to Cabaret Sauvage, we had to wait outside these tall, metal gates because Anna had our tickets. Unfortunately, there were some weird men who insisted we accompany them inside, clearly because they needed girls with them in order to get past the bouncers to the ticket booth. After a bit of half-hearted joking with them, they really started to get annoying and they did that thing that only men in Paris do- they just. don't. quit. The conversation went something like this (in French though):

- Hey girls. Are you English?
- No, we're Greek.
- Ok what do you know about this, is it just for bobos? (a word for rich, liberal hipsters)
- Yes.
- Good, I'm a bobo!
- Ok off you go inside then.
- Lets go in together.
- No.
- Yes, lets go in together.
- No. I don't speak French.
- Ok, come on girls, lets go in together.
- We don't speak French.
- Ok, lets all go in together, come on.
- No.
- Yes, lets all go in together.
- I don't understand, I don't speak French.
- Ok... Why don't we all go in together?

ARGH this went on for about ten minutes. Kayt finally went up the bouncer and asked him if we could hide behind him because weird men were bothering us and he was so nice about it. He let us through the big metal gates and we waited for Anna. While we were waiting it got busier and busier and soon there was a huge crush of people trying to get through the gates. Some people had tickets but some didn't. There was tickets for sale on the door, but to get to the ticket booth you had to get past the bouncers and they were only letting in 'certain types' of people. Basically, anyone with thick, Geeky glasses who looks like they shop at The Kooples.

Anna called us to say she'd brought her new housemate with her and she didn't have a ticket, so I quickly got in the queue and got her one before they sold out. Eventually, Anna and her housemate, a lovely French girl called Angélique, managed to push their way to the front and the bouncers let them in. I was so glad we had pre-bought tickets.

On the door to the actual venue, it was mayhem. They had no barcode scanners, so everyone had to present: their printed-out ticket; a form of ID; plus the card they paid for the tickets with. After a lot of explaining and pushing, we managed to get in to the venue.

As soon as we got in there, I loved it. As soon as you step inside, you are greeted by a little stage with heavy, red velvet curtains behind it. I knew what lay beyond the curtains because I researched Cabaret Sauvage (sauvage = wild) on the internet before we went, but it still took me by surprise.

You step through a small gap in the curtains...

... and suddenly you are at the circus.

The venue is circular, with luxe material draped across the ceiling, making it look like the dome of a real circus tent. The main floor is surrounded by wooden platforms that you can imagine crowds sat on, cheering at painted elephants and sequined tight-rope walkers. There were flashing lights, multi-coloured lazers and hordes of huge, helium balloons, in the shapes of animals and stars. Some of them had floated away from the pack, so that shiny zebras and carousel horses bopped about on the ceiling.

And the music... the music was brilliant. As we walked in we saw Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones were up playing, together. This YouTube video might give you an idea of what is was like to be there:

We did go outside to smoke and chat with people, as well as going to the bar and the toilets a couple of times, but mostly we stayed in the crowd, dancing and smiling and generally having a Brilliant Time. We stared into the bright, trippy lights and watched the shiny helium ménagerie shake and jitter above us.

There was one horrible moment at about 4am when Damian Lazarus was playing and the sound cut out. The lights stopped and everyone was left standing still, holding their breath in the sudden silence whilst frantic techies tried to get the music started again. It was an awful, awful moment and after about ten minutes it seemed as though things would never be ok again. Kayt pulled gently on my arm as the crowds around us left the dancefloor in disgust. "Lets go outside for a minute while they sort it out."

But I couldn't move, I kept thinking about how good it would feel when the music started again...

Time sped by. Nothing happened. I was imagining the journey home, sad and disheartened, when all of a sudden there was a PFFFUUUUUUT as something spluttered into life and the music was back and we were surrounded by people again, cheering and whistling, looks of relief and happiness all round.

From then on it was great again. But like all Class A nights, it was over far too quickly. All too soon Damian Lazarus was playing his last track, which luckily there is a video of on YouTube. In this video you can really see how amazing the venue is:

Even though that was his official last track, he played Night Air by Jamie Woon as everyone was leaving. It was perfect for the moment and it gave me goosebumps. I've already posted three videos so I'll let you find the song yourself if you want to hear it, but the lyrics go like this:

Night air has the strangest flavor
Space to breathe and time to savour
All that night air has to lend me
Till the morning makes me angry
In the night air
The night air

I've acquired a kind of madness
Daylight fills my heart with sadness
Only silent skies can soothe me
Feel that night air flowing through me
In the night air
The night air

It was such a perfect song to leave a rave to! We said goodbye to Anna and Angélique and walked out into the night air...

Dawn was coming and the sky was like a yellow pearl. We walked back to the metro along the glittering canal and even though I was sad that the night was over, I was still happy and everything looked beautiful.

By the time we got back to Kayt's and had a cup of tea, we had to shut the blinds to keep the morning away.

Sunday was spent in bed, watching shit on Kayt's laptop and eating lots of carbohydrates, trying to Come Down from the domed ceiling of Cabaret Sauvage. We finally made it out into the fresh air at about six pm, just in time to see a bit of daylight before the sun started setting. We walked from Kayt's place to mine, through the quiet streets of Paris where everything was calm and pretty.

So that was my weekend. I can't believe it's Tuesday already. Soon it will be the weekend again, then it will be October, the month that I now WON'T be going to England. I just sighed a very sad sigh. Is anyone a fan of Spaced? Because I'm reminded of something Tyres says in the second ever episode:

"Last Night was an A1, tip-top, clubbing, jam fair. It was a sandwich of fun, on ecstasy bread, wrapped up in a big bag like disco fudge. It doesn't get much better than that. I just wish that I could control these FUCKING MOOD SWINGS!"


  1. I am a huge fan of Spaced and also of you and your blog. That sounded AMAZING I wish I had been there! xx

  2. Thanks Mairi! It was amazing, its a shame only four of us were there... how good was Spaced?

  3. Ah ! I wanted to go to this night so much, but as I was new to Paris and hadn't made many friends I didn't want to be the bad nobhead who made everyone pay to go to a night they might not enjoy. Sounds amazing!! X

  4. It WAS amazing! I know what you mean, there's loads of nights I've missed in Paris because I don't know enough people... Thanks for commenting! And by the way, I think there is going to be another Rebel Rave in Feb!

  5. Sounds like a challenge.. Haha, if you fancy some company I'd love to go for rebel ravey times - will comment nearer to feb and see if you have plans. Maybe I'll get Harriet on board (she directed me here) tooo x

  6. Yes check back here nearer the time!