If you haven’t heard of La Blogothèque by now, we assume you’re living in a cave because it’s probably the best pioneering music website of the last decade (sorry Pitchfork). The concept is simple: musicians are contacted to perform a one off, spontaneous concert in a unique public space; perhaps an abandoned church, a bustling market, a moving van. They show up, put together a unique acoustic version of their track/s, and one of the kids at La Blogothèque films the whole thing. Then they share it with all of you courtesy of our good pal The Internet.
The shows, numbering almost 300 and counting, are incredibly diverse and range from sole guitarists in lonely alleyways to the sweltering mass of a crowd surrounding a 7-piece band. It’s an immersive, often unique experience that makes you feel as if you’re an old friend of these musicians instead of sitting in front of your computer thousands of miles away.
La Blogothèque works well not just because the bands are incredibly diverse and well chosen, but even well established bands like R.E.M have a very different personality outside of their usual environment. It’s almost like they plucked some brilliant busker out of obscurity and instead of that busker being Justin Bieber, they were actually talented.
If you haven’t already trawled through the extensive archives of La Blogothèque’s Takeaway Shows, we’ve picked out 6 of their standout performances in celebration of their 6th birthday. There are many, many more wonderful performances on the site, so it’s well worth your time; you might just find your new favourite band lurking down a Paris alleyway.