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Monday, October 22, 2007

A Nouveau Niche

(article also appears in Ivy Paris) by Jayson Harsin

Nestled in the briar patch of branchitude at 114 rue Oberkampf is a former 1930s cabaret. The building later became an artist atelier. Then in 2001 it opened as home to what is now one of the premier mid-size live music and clubbing venues in Frogopolis—The Nouveau Casino.

The admirable programming team of Dimitri Perrier and Benoit Maume have managed to bring in top-notch acts from the States, UK, Australia, Scandanavia, and the random European group that breaks into the global indie rock scene. Most of the French groups that make the cut at Nouveau C. are opening acts, and they comprise less than 10% of the total groups. Since opening they've managed coups like Sonic Youth (see right photo). Most recently, they’ve brought us Shannon Wright, Malcolm Middleton (Arab Strap), the Supersuckers, Cluster, Les Savy Fav, and Hot Hot Heat. That’s no small feat, considering that they listen to about 20-50 demos per week, in addition to following the indie press buzz before booking their acts, according to David Bordes, the Nouveau C. publicity chief. The Nouveau C. offers about 35 events each month, some of them being clubbing nights in the music mix.

This venue upstairs from its fatally hip café-bar-resto cousin, Le Café Charbon, holds about 380 persons, and boasts a mezzanine. According to Bordes, “the Nouveau C. strives to deliver quality sound to the most technically demanding artists.” While other venues have opened in the past few years, the Nouveau C. clientele has remained fidele, thus testifying to the success of their project. The Nouveau C. clientele are ready to pay serious euros for cutting edge groups that have a cachet. In this sense the venue differs from a venue like the Fleche D’Or, which brings in a higher number of nearly unknown bands.

Like other venues in Paris, the Nouveau C. is perhaps not the best place to go drinking, with their 5 euro Coronas and 3,50 demi-Kros, but then again that’s not the worst price in town. Besides, you don’t go to such a place mainly for the drinks; it’s the buzzworthy bands, silly. Under the classical dangling chandeliers, Nouveau C. is a major landmark in a city that has created a thriving indie rock scene.
75011 Paris
Tél. : 01.41.20.70.95
Métro : Parmentier or Menilmontant

www.nouveaucasino.net

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Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"