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Toulouse in song

French songs have the wind in their sails. In Toulouse, certain places have specialised in a programme of French and local artists who are bringing back the traditional French “chansonette” with gusto.  Settle down to enjoy the quality of the lyrics, the harmony of the words, the finesse of the music and the magic of the story; come sit in front of these little stages which may not always be that well-known but which are always very musical.

Sweet melodies in the Cave Poésie

French music and words filled with poetry await you in this little Toulousian brick-lined cellar. Seat yourselves around a tiny table and sip a local brew, you’re at a show. When it comes to music, this place gives priority to poetic bands, newcomers and new creations. People come to the Cave Poésie for Les Nuits de la Plein Lune, an open-mic night when the stage is open to anybody who wishes to tread the boards. They also come for the Chansons à la Cheminée (Songs by the Chimney Corner), where the Toulousian artist, Simon Chouf, invites his fellow musicians along for a round of charming covers that are 100% Toulouse.

The Bijou, a real institution

Located in the back of a neighbourhood bistro, the Bijou is a hidden jewel. This is, however, the historic reference point when it comes to Toulousian songs. Created in 1989 by Philippe Pagès, the location served as a springboard for many artists, because the owner had an interest in and flair for production. Passing into the hands of Emma and Pascal Chauvet in 2012, the Bijou still gives pride of place to established artists and newcomers. It has also retained its events, like the Public Auditions. Once a month, you can go and support a selection of artists who each have twenty minutes to make a good impression. Free-entry evenings with a wonderful atmosphere, where lots of new talent is to be discovered!

Chez Ta Mère, you know how the song goes.

For the last five years, despite difficulties, this charming café has been known for its cheerful atmosphere as well as the quality of its music. Up until the month of June, Chez Ta Mère still has discoveries for us in the world of the French song. Folks like to go there for la Goguette, and create new takes on the classics by spicing up the lyrics. People also flock here on Sunday evenings. They come with friends to enjoy a musical show, in sign language or improv theatre. Just before, you order a drink from the bar. But please note, if you do want a drink, you will need a member’s card… But don’t worry, joining up is free. So we’ll cross our fingers and hope that, next season, Chez Ta Mère will find its cultural second wind.

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