May 16th, 2010

The Fizz Montpellier

On Friday night I went to the Fizz for the first time in about a year.

The Fizz is a weird place. When I first moved here and didn't have a lot of freelance jobs/responsibility I used to go there three or four times a week. Now, 10 years later, I tend to only go when I have friends visiting like I did this weekend.

This is mostly because it doesn't open until 1 a.m. which means you are generally useless until the next afternoon, which is fine once in a while but not great as a routine thing.

Anyway, since my last time there it's changed a bit. I've always said it's both the worst bar in the world and the best bar in the world at the same time. That's because it always seemed to embrace its status as a quasi-legal after hours club where pretty much anything can happen (seriously, I've been there on nights when people decided to just get naked for no reason and get up on tables and pretend to masturbate while dancing to weird old Serge Gainsburg tracks remixed to a disco beat. Nobody thought this was odd.)

The thing is while it used to go out of it's way to have a completely seedy vibe there was never any real trouble there because of its giant bouncer, Theiry, who would every couple of months simply beat the shit out of someone as an example to everyone else to be as weird as you wanted to be as long as you didn't bother anyone in even a mildly threatening way. In this way it quickly became one of the few after hours clubs in the world where single girls could go and never worry at all about getting groped by sketchy guys they didn't know - simply by the unspoken threat that Theiry would put you in the fucking hospital for grabbing ass that didn't want to be grabbed.

(When my brother came here about five years ago and told my dad about his trip, my father asked him to explain the Fizz. His comment "The Fizz just is, dad. There's no other way to describe it. The Fizz just is." )

So, I was a bit disappointed to find out when I got there that they've redone the top floor where the entrance is - and now made it look nice and classy!

It's weird but I don't want my trashy, seedy, guilty pleasure after hours club to actually look nice! That said, the ground floor where the dancing happens is still as shitty looking and weird as ever, so they haven't quite ruined it.

The thing is I'll now no longer be able to take people there after saying "yeah, you are not going to believe how nasty this club is, but also not believe how much fun you'll have."

Now, it's just fun.

Also, Theiry has been promoted and is now bar manager instead of just "Giant Dude Who Breaks Bones."

Of course, I'm sure he still kicks the shit out of people when they misbehave, but now he wears a suit and tie and actually exchanges pleasantries with patrons. It used to be that if he started talking to you it meant you were going to be in a cast soon.

But, life evolves and I'll still consider it one of the best bars in the world - unless they make the ground floor nice as well.

If that happens, my mind will melt and I'll know that the gods must be crazy.