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From an old website, Alien in Montreal

Barouf.jpg

Do you ever have moments of clarity in the middle of a drunken evening? A brief moment when you can look at the scene around you with sober objectivity? When you can see all the slurring, red-faced fools around you, in fact, including you?

So, I have a moment of clarity in L'Barouf. It's 2.30am and we're well into our umpteenth pitcher of Cheval Blanc. Several of us are singing.

No, not singing... shouting would be more accurate. One of our number can actually sing, so there are brief moments (the verses) of pleasantness, followed by rowdily shouted verses.

This is the nature of beer, and happy people of course – to sing with joy and without restraint or false modesty.

The manager eyes us with a world-weary, bemused look as we sing.

"...I wish I was in Sherbrooke now... I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of..."

We wail. I think this song came about because the group of English friends we have in town for a few days are going to be visiting Halifax soon. Of course, this leads to a loud folk song on the subject. Obviously.

Barouf is well suited to such evenings. They have ridiculously large machines filled with beer that you can have on your table, which make you to drink at a much-too-fast rate - the bar positively encourages drukneness. It's also very red, which, as we all know, is the colour of brothels, casinos and bars for a good reason.

One of our jet-lagged group is falling alspeep. There is a flurry of photography as everyone captures the magic moment of pub-sleeping – a well know social taboo. But, one excused at 2.30am, after a trans-Atlantic crossing.

After we finish singing and the barman starts to shout vague abuse at us designed to make us drink up and leave, a crusty, granola-esque, guy comes up and asks our lead singer if there is a band he can go and see to listen to this music.

Wow, we must be good, I think, drunkenly, as I shake the manager's hand and stumble outside.