Unexpected Discovery: Ghost Highway in Paris

On my first night in Paris during a work trip, still getting my bearings and exploring the city with my boss, we stumbled across an in-store gig by a rockabilly band, Ghost Highway, which was a really unexpected introduction to the music scene here. I had no idea that there were many French rockabilly bands, or that they’d have such a hardcore following, but I’m really glad that we got to see them play.

Ghost Highway - Rockabilly Band in France

The French rockabilly band Ghost Highway take the floor.

Afterwards I did a bit of research about the rockabilly scene in France and it turns out that it’s definitely alive and well, with most bands adopting American names, such as Howlin’ Jaws, Curfew or Kathy and the Firebrands. One bizarre translation I learned along the way was that batterie is the French word for drums, which kind of makes sense but seems pretty violent as it reminds me of ‘assault and battery’ (“I’m afraid we’ve charged your son with assault and drumming, madam”, etc).

Anyway, linguistics aside, here’s a little photo essay of the night, in the Gibert Joseph music store on Boulevard Saint Michel (the nearest Metro stop is St. Michel).

Double-bass player in French music shop

The bass player makes it look easy.

French man with rockabilly quiff hairstyle

You couldn’t move for quiffs and hair gel in the crowd.

Stray Cats t-shirt Rockabilly

The Stray Cats are one of the biggest rockabilly acts around, so it wasn’t surprising to see one of their fans here, proudly wearing the band’s t-shirt.

Rockabilly fans in Paris

This guy caught my attention: yellow bomber jacket and a really edgy haircut. I salute you, sir.

Double bass

Double bass solo.

I did also take some videos but, as I’m far from being any kind of video editor, I decided not to inflict them on you. But I’d recommend checking out Ghost Highway on YouTube if you want to hear what they sound like (pretty damn good).

This kind of experience proves to me that you don’t have to know your way around a city in order to have fun – sometimes the best thing you can do is just wander aimlessly and see what you find. Especially if it’s a gig.

One response to “Unexpected Discovery: Ghost Highway in Paris

  1. Pingback: Parisian Culture on a Budget | The Travelling Calavera·

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