“They say the world was coming to an end… Well..
It was by our own hand. Turned out the world kept turning, only we ended
All the evidence was there… The punishment of faith creating animosity
between our brethren…
The dissolution of humanity in all cultures… The reluctance of acceptance…
Bigotry, ignorance and
narrow mindedness destroying our world…”
First time I was there was with Liam, a good friend of mine from New Zealand who introduced me to this bar. Every single night you’ll find not only all sort of random people, but also real bar flies playing pool, watching the hockey game, having a pint, chatting outside while having a cigarette, watching the concert of the day… in short, flying around.
Carefree atmosphere and peace is what I recall when I evoke that good times when Liam and I used to spend hours there; playing pool and watching all sort of concerts. I’ve learnt a couple of good movements playing pool against the regulars, who day by day you’ll get more and more along with if you come over often. That’s the spirit of the Barfly. Good music, good games, good people … what else you could ask for!? Ow, yeah! Cheap beer! 5.75$ the pint, men!! (Tips not included).
Sunday evenings are special to me; the Blue Grass Night is happening. Don’t ask me why, but listening to a band playing a banjo at Barfly makes me feel happy and a bit home sick but embraced by the charming of the place. If you’ve already been there you might be thinking… is this guy talking about the same place I know? Yeah, it is! I know that it’s gloomy, smells like a cave, the stage is tinny, and everything is sticky, but that’s not the point. The point is: who cares about cosmetics when you can get cheap beer, hockey, friends, music and free pool in the same place? Ah, and the pool table is in pretty good condition, if you are wondering about it. I only miss an open mic night… that would be awesome!
“This is like being at home, at you own living room”, Liam used to tell me. Well, I guess you have already figured out what kind of place I’m talking about. Check it out, dude!
You can find it at: 4062, Saint-Laurent Blvd.
Last Thursday I felt like having a blast, so I hit the road with a clear objective: “Tonight, I’m gonna get drunk and have fun”.
Immediately, “The Rockette” came to my mind: “Today it’s Punk Night up there!”
No sooner said than done. I finished my cigarette off, took my camera, some money, and lots of energies. How could I miss that shot!
At first sight: Deep red light all over the place; a sign of privacy and chaos.
The music was loud enough to make you feel the beat, but low enough to have a small conversation. Who wants to talk when good rock and punk music is bumping against your head?
Old British and American punk rock music was all I needed to warm up, needless to say that the 7 bucks pitcher during the happy hour (before 10pm) made things easier. In one hour I was shaking my body and drinking beer as if it was gonna be forbidden.
After a short chat with the DJ I understood why “The Rockette” keeps that special atmosphere. We don’t admit suggestions; this is what we are, and it is fine like that. Following with his philosophy, he didn’t play any of the songs I asked him for… fair enough. I enjoyed every song he played though.
After 4 hours walking around, talking, dancing and drinking, I headed off with the impression of having covered all my expectations: good music, stress out and get slightly drunk. Such a nice Thursday!
By the way, on Thursdays, there is no cover.
Address: 4479, Saint Denis Street.
I have something to confess… On Tuesday I fell in love… with the Arts Café open mic night. Sitting there and seeing the anonymous nomad artists sharing their passion for music while they were playing just in front of me, was like a straight shot to my heart.
It’s been a while since I didn´t experience music in such an intense way, and I felt lucky being there warming my soul. Furthermore, if you are a musician who would like to shoot strangers hearts with your music, this is the right place. Therefore, this is the perfect place for those who want to seduce or be seduced by music.
Arts Café has been hosting this open mic nights every Tuesday at 8pm for two years, and I am pretty sure they´ll keep rocking for a long time. A plus? Their cozy “Modernist American Style” decoration and their delicious brownies (Thanks Kat!).
PS: I hope you enjoy the lovely pics from my beloved photographer Kat!
ARTS CAFÉ OPEN MIC: To book a date please contact Jean-François at email@example.com. Registration at 7.30, show at 8 pm.
Address: 201 Fairmount St. W. Montreal, QC H2T 2M8. (Close to Laurier Metro)
“Too many tables and chairs for a concert. Where the hell is the crowd going to dance?” That was the first thought that came to my mind when I got in “Quai des brumes”. The answer was obvious… put a good musician on the stage and people will just put away everything doesn’t let them dance. That was exactly what happened last Friday, March 5th.
When I arrived to the bar, Shane Philip was already playing his didgeridoos and drums. The tunes filled up the whole place with a mysterious atmosphere that made you stand open-mouthed while he was increasing the intensity of his performance to the point that everybody ended up dancing together. His performance was divided in two halves, but I couldn’t notice any difference between them. It was on porpouse of course, so Shane had the time to take a breath and a couple of pints. That was time enough to make the audience become more excited about the second half. And it didn´t disappoint anybody.
The bar was barely half-full, which is something quite common at “Quoi the brumes”, and, to be honest, that’s something I appreciated a lot. Enjoy this bar, seriously. Almost every time I went there, I saw a band playing and making people dance and scream in happiness. The atmosphere is pretty easy-going, and the kinds of bands you will find there will always please you… at least if you like soft rock indie naïf music.
In short, go to “Quai des brumes” if you want to chill out with your friends and feel good vibes of a kind of hippy bar while having a pint of blonde beer for 6 bucks (tips not included), and listening to an always good band. Or, at least, visit www.shanephilip.com for information about Shane Philip next shows and last album release. I swear it’s worth it. I was part of a tribe for a couple of hours. Those didgeridoos are still sounding in my head.
I’m pretty sure that walking on St. Laurent street one day you’ve noticed this bar because of the life bands playing there and the people dancing (which you can see through their glass walls). If you finally go there, I’m sure you’ll think; “Aww ok!! It’s that place!!”. At least, that’s what happened to me. This bar has been part of the music culture of Montreal since 1994, and it is still a classic.
On Saturday, March 6, I saw Syncop ( http://www.myspace.com/syncopmontreal) at Les Bobards (7 Dollars Cover), a multicultural band that made people stand up and dance with their charm and international style. On their myspace site, they describe themselves as a mix between raï, chaoui, reggae, chaâbi, raga and hip hop… quite eclectic.
I had the pleasure to talk with their violinist, Anit Ghosh (www.myspace.com/violinanit), and he explained that we can see them there once a month, because “this place is the world music medium bands supporting bar”, he said.
To conclude, if you like the “tam-tams” at Mont Royal Parc during the summer, you’ll like this bar. Les Bobards is the kind of place for people who like music of the world and multicultural ambiance with an easy-going atmosphere, where all sort of people dance freely without being judged… For example, you could find a “California Barbie” dancing in harmony with a punk grandma. As for the decor, it’s fair enough to mention that this is not one of their strengths.
Address: 4328 Boul. St- Laurent.
Pint of beer: 6 Dollars + Tips
Just one advice: Be careful with the waitress!!! She’s always in a hurry 😉