Our French reporter Jules writes about what's past and what's coming up in Paris the fourth, fifth or sixth city in Europe. Click the headline for reviews of Hustlaball @ Scream last Saturday, Wake Up at Theatre Rouge and previews of Labs 1st Anniversary at Scream tonight, La Demence Basket and 23 Years Party Weekend.
I was treated to two of my favourite DJ's last weekend at Scream, and the best new soiree that has been launched since I am in Paris. The theme was of course Berlin Hustlaball and music was kindly provided by guest Herr Chris Bekker and resident Monsieur Ben Manson. Entertainment was provided through-out the night by way of les Soeurs Soleil dancers.
It is blatantly clear that the parties at this venue are currently going from strength to strength. The venue is a rather grungy venue called le Gibus which until recently was more associated with indy rock concerts than cutting edge gay house and techno nights (the site of the Gibus originally hosted the first British Circus in Paris in the 18th century) and has a definite underground edgy vibe. The district of Republique is also a wee bit seedy and sleazy (sadly its the subject of significant redevelopment as Place de la Republique is being fully pedestrianised and tarted up in works that are due to finish in 2013) adding to the underground feel. Since June the cruising area / backroom has been authorised to re-open, The fact that there is a proper backroom is one of reasons that the Scream party was such a success since its opening in June 2011. It was briefly closed down by the Paris Police prefect (ok it was closed for over 5 months) but changes to the backroom notably more security (girls can enter the club but not the backroom LOL) and changes in the Paris Police Prefect. The incoming President from a new political gathering typically fires all the key civil servants with political links to the outgoing government. So taking the example of the Paris Police Prefect the whole team of senior civil servants was effectively moved to other positions and replace by appointees of the PS government, Whatever your political views of the policies of the French Socialist Party, they are much more tolerant of minorities including gays and lesbians. So the fact the Scream's backroom re-opened within a couple of weeks of the election of a new PS President of France is probably not just a coincidence.
Aside from the politics the party at Scream last Saturday was the biggest that I have ever seen!. The organisers probably would not confirm it as I am not sure that the venue is designed to handle such a capacity but I reckon there could easily have been 3000 clubbers present. Improvements have been made to the sound system and the lighting, Purely technically in terms of sound and light there is still quite a long way to go to get to the standards of venues like Pulse, Area and Fire. However on the other hand the French boys are drop dead gorgeous, the ambiance with a huge, suitably dark and dirty darkroom and the quality of the resident and guest DJ's are second to none up there with the best parties in the world. It's great to see the Parisian gay scene beginning to take off after so many years in the doldrums. A few tips - get a flyer in the Paris Marais (Freedj, Spyce, Raidd, Cox, Open etc) first you can get he flyers off car windscreens on rue des Archives and rue du Temple. Get there early last weekend the queues were massive (no later than 12.30). The flyer gets you in free before 1 am and sometimes also you get a free drink. Be aware that drinks are much more expensive than in London. If you buy any other products for your parties whilst in Paris be aware that pills here tend to be stronger than those you might get in London so don't get carried away - you may pay a bit more but the quality is probably going to be stronger. Less is more.
2/ Wake Up! @ Theatre Rouge 23rd September 2012
The After Rouge party took a break for a few weeks over the summer and then a couple of weeks ago a new After party was launched by Scream at a new venue on the left bank of the Seine in the 13th arrondisement. The new party was called Wake Up. I was unable to attend but I gathered that despite music by Steven Redant and resident Ben Manson the overall effect was mixed (sound system average, same for the lights, ambience of converted offices). Anyway now I believe I know why this venue was being used. The excellent Theatre Rouge venue was having a major makeover (new dance floor, lighting, improved sound, toilets). Anyway last Sunday morning from 7 am to 1 pm the place absolutely rocked. Aside from special editions of Under and Matinale and After parties during gay pride I have never seen such a big turnout for an after party. The encouraging thing is that this is a weekly party. Yes as I said in the last edition After Rouge now called Wake Up! continues to go from strength to strength.
3/ Previews : Hard Gay Night, Labs 1st Anniversary, Green Komm World Tour @ Wake Up!
More big parties coming to Scream include a Hard Gay Night this Saturday (which reminds me of some of the men only sex parties held at the excellent Red and Blue club in Antwerp, Belgium) which is a men only sex-themed night. On Saturday 13th October Labs celebrates its first birthday party. The lineup for the night includes Pagano, DJ RW (Rapido) & Ben Manson. The icing on the cake is the after party at Wake Up! from 7 am - the Green Komm World tour returns to Paris for the second time since the first edition of Paris Circuit Party in 2011. The lineup for Green Komm is Jon Doe and Labs residents Xavier Leno and Tom Nikso. Also, further ahead Scream has just announced a new edition of their Minuit a Midi (midnight to midday) marathon 12 hour clubbing fests to take place on the 31st December to the 1st January. Question is will I have the balls to do this part as well as the world famous New Year's day party at La Demence? I already tried to reserve my Thalys TGV train to Brussels on the 1st of Jan only to find that reservations for this date aren't open yet.
See www.scream-paris.com for more details and for those all important VIP Q jump free entry passes.
4/ Previews: La Demence Basket 28th October and La Demence 23 Years Party Weekend 31st October to 4th November
So just bought my ticket for Queer On Bus from Kristoff for this Friday's edition of the world's best gay party (IMHO). Kristoff for the last 10 years has organised this excellent service for us Parisians who don't want to fork out over a 100 EUR every month for a return on the Thalys to Brussels for a night's clubbing. Everyone is invited (forced at threat of death) to bring onto the bus as many alcoholic beverages as possible and it's a great way of meeting other clubbers that you would not always necessarily talk to once inside the club. A return ticket on Queer on Bus including free entry to La Demence costs around 50 EUR. Details of the service follow and it's certainly something to consider if you happen to be in Paris on a long La Demence weekend: http://lademenceonline.fr or call / text +33 (0)6 16 59 99 99.
The DJ lineup for La Demence Basket 28th September is as follows:
22.00 - 00.30 - Andre Stan (RO)
00.00 - 03.00 - Micky Freedman (DE)
03.00 - 05.30 - Steven Redant (ES)
05.30 - 08.00 - Marc Grayham (BE)
00.00 - 03.30 - Dikky Vendetta (NL)
03.30 - 07.00 - Elias (ES)
07.00 - 11.30 or later - Ben Manson (FR)
The lineup for the 23 Years Party (long) weekend 31st October to 4th November is as follows:
- Wednesday 31st October - Opening Party 22.00 - 12.00
Fuse Club - 208 rue Blaes
- Thursday 1st November - FSM Sex Party 18.00 - 00.00
Steelgate Club 52 rue des Charteux
- Friday 2 November - Mirano Continental 22.00 - 08.00
38 Chausse de Louvain
- Saturday 3 November - Main Party 22.00 - 08.00
Ancient Casino, 14 rue Duquesnoy, Brussels
- Sunday 4 November, Closing Party,
Fuse Club - 208 rue Blaes
The full details of DJ lineup and more info on accommodation in Brussels is available on La Demence's excellent informative website : http://www.lademence.com/party/
This year there are, for the first time, darkrooms in all the venues !! Last year at the Easter party I got to experience the Ancient Casino including its darkroom for the first time and was not disappointed. The venue is very modern compared to the Fuse club but just as good including the huge darkroom upstairs. La Demence attracts a very fit and sexy crowd : lots of Italian, French, Belgian and German studs all with massive cocks dying to fuck you in the backrooms this is one opportunity of 5 days of clubbing and sex heaven that you do not want to miss!!
As always enjoy the parties and stay safe!