Breakfast Club after-parties at Café Barge, an enchanting break

To say that I almost didn't go...

We are Sunday March 13, it is around noon. I'm chatting with a friend I haven't seen in ages. Even if, this time, I didn't go back to Paris to have a party – but to enjoy my friends – I was there on the day of a Breakfast Club: I couldn't not go.

However, our friends have been harassing me for several hours so that I move my little buttocks to the Café Barge and that I keep repeating that I don't want to move.

Me, don't want to go out? To go to Café Barge, too? To a Breakfast in addition? But what happens to me?

I must say that I have changed since the last time I set foot there. I find my pleasures elsewhere, the party is no longer my priority. I also dropped all my masks, I don't want to be perfect anymore, I don't want to be loved by everyone anymore, I don't want to overplay anymore. So, going back to Café Barge where I know almost everyone, after months of abstinence, and no longer in the same state of mind as before, is a bit like finding yourself naked during the day of the return to school. I am totally panicked.

And then the Café Barge too, it has changed. And this, well before the Covid, moreover. The last afters were not so great. We feel that the boss can't take any more of us. She does not hesitate to stop the music early, to increase the price of drinks, to bring in too many people, and not always the right people. She fired a lot of collectives, which I appreciated, talented collaborators too, technicians, in short, she no longer respects many people and in this environment, when it is known, the clientele (the good ones), out of solidarity, she don't come anymore.

So, already before Covid it was starting to run out of steam, now that I'm no longer so motivated either, what's it going to do?

But around 2 p.m., after many calls and pleas from my friends, I finally decided to go. “Come on, it's a Breakfast after all, I'm sure I'm going to like it no matter what. And then it's time to come to terms with my true self. So I force myself to move.

And my god I did well!

First of all, it's the first time I've arrived so late. The atmosphere is not at all the same as in the morning at 6 am, when the place opens for the occasion. Those who had come to finish the night went back to sleep, it was emptied. If there are still several hundred customers, the barge is much calmer. It's more serene, there's more space, the atmosphere is much less overexcited. And that's very much appreciated.

Then, I'm super happy to find the staff that I missed so much. In particular Wade, Hassan and Étienne, loyal employees of the place so dear to my heart. We quickly talk about the last few months, one of them has become a dad, I tell them about my life in Marseille, we are happy to hear from them. Ah, that's it, I remember why I loved coming so much. Despite its faults, the Café Barge is family, a caring family where everyone (or almost) knows and respects each other, a kind of enchanted microcosm.

As I walk towards the sound, I recognize a few friendly faces among the patrons. Smiles burst out, we don't know each other outside the Barge but we're always happy to see each other there. There is no relou this time and I find the atmosphere of yesteryear. I completely relax.

The Café Barge has always been another world, a kind of place in which the rules no longer apply, where the boss clearly takes us for cash cows, but at the same time, a place where the staff, is never drunk from the childish pranks of his clientele who come to let off steam, where the bartenders are smiling, where the security guards are benevolent and non-violent, and where the director Clément is always very patient with the revelers who harass him to get home.

And when it's breakfast day, the pleasure is even greater. These Sundays the atmosphere is not quite the same, it's special, and that's what attracts so many regulars. Created by the Ra+Re collective, there is certainly always quality chill techno, disguises and quirky decoration, but above all there are handpicked customers. And that changes everything. The Breakfast Clubs are generally held one Sunday a month and for the occasion the closing time is postponed. People have therefore often slept and are in better shape. The clientele is more respectful, healthier and they didn't come here by chance. If it's been a long time since the membership card is no longer required to enter, we still feel the desire to stay among well-bred people. And it's this mixture of regulars and strangers who love good sound that makes the atmosphere so magical.

Et celle du jour a un goût encore plus particulier. Alors que je me dirige vers le DJ Booth, la vibe est étrange, comme irréelle, on sent que le Covid est passé par là. Je ne suis pas la seule à avoir changée. Les gens sont moins excités, ils semblent également beaucoup plus apprécier la musique qu'auparavant. Même si les Breakfast Club c'est LE rendez-vous des amateurs de bon son, avant, on était quand même pas mal à passer notre temps à parler. Cette fois-ci, tout le monde danse et se tait. Après des mois à avoir été privés, on veut, visiblement, profiter. En même temps le dernier DJ, qui répond au doux nom de Matthias/Superluminal, est juste incroyable. Je ne le connaissais pas, il paraît qu'il est italien, mais c'est surtout un putain d'ovni. Sa musique est mystique. Alors qu'il passe pépite sur pépite de sa techno old school mélodique (merci Charles), les bras se lèvent, les visages s'illuminent, les gens applaudissent et la foule entre en communion. Ça faisait des années que je n'avais pas vécu un moment de grâce comme celui-ci. C'est tout simplement magique. Si magique que ça m'a réconciliée avec le Café Barge, et ça, c’était pas gagné !



Je ne suis restée que quelques heures mais elles ont suffi à remplir mon cœur de joie. Pour une fois, je ne suis pas frustrée. Finalement, cinq heures, surtout aussi riches que celles-ci, c’était suffisant. Et même si j'adore ma vie dans le sud, plus calme et plus saine, ça m'a tout de même rappelée que vivre ce genre de moments est nécessaire à mon bien-être. J'ai besoin de ces moments de communion avec la foule, de partage et de toute cette bienveillance et c'est dans la techno que je les trouve. Même si rien n'est immuable, que les ambiances changent, que c'est parfois moins bien, et que de nouveaux collectifs remplaceront les anciens, la techno reste et restera un monde à part, dans lequel je me sentirai toujours bien. Sa clientèle respectueuse, ses us et coutumes bien à lui, les bonnes ondes que l'on y trouve, ces sons qui te font rentrer en transe, y'a rien qui ne pourra jamais remplacer ça.


Attention, la rumeur dit que les Breakfast au Café Barge c'est bientôt terminé, si c'est vrai, c'est une page qui se tourne, une époque qui s’achève, alors pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas, je vous conseille fortement d'y aller dès que vous pouvez ! (En espérant qu'ils ne fassent que déménager.)

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