Rockstore – the sweaty king of Montpellier nightlife

Rocktore Montpellier

CC Image courtesy of denegro on Flickr

Ah, Rockstore, the sweaty king of Montpellier nightlife. It’s a dingy, sticky floored club with expensive drinks and DJs of dubious taste. But I like the place. Where else in Montpellier could you share the dancefloor with a man dressed as Rod Steward – or Tina Turner, it really wasn’t clear – at 3am? Or launch into a Jethro Tull-inspired air flute routine without scaring off too many other revelers? Where, I ask you, where?

And, as if that wasn’t enough, it’s a perfectly passable music venue that attracts some decent acts. Where else in Montpellier could you see Roots Manuva, Toots and the Maytals, Metronomy, Yuck, Yann Tierson, Charlotte Gainsbourg and many others play in recent years? Where, I ask you, where?

Nowhere.

Many would say that’s a good thing – especially the lack of prog flute – but I’ve always had a soft spot for clubs that lie at the dingier end of the spectrum. You can keep your glossy minimal techno temples and dayglo Europop nightmares. I just want a cheap, cozy club. The UK is blessed with scores of such establishments. Places where the playlist changes at the same glacial place as the decor. The sort of place where you can almost set your watch by the time they play This Charming Man.

Rockstore isn’t quite at this level – the playlist is too erratic and the booze too expensive to enter the upper echelons – but it’s as good as it gets in the centre of Montpellier. It’s an old slipper of a club. A little dog-eared but in a strange way kind of kind of comforting.

And for that it’s worth celebrating, preferably with a pichet of beer and a handful of plastic pint pots. To Rockstore!

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