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In Allogny, in the 80s, it was Blue Hour until the end of the night

In Allogny, in the 80s, it was Blue Hour until the end of the night

It is a “multipurpose room” rented for receptions, family celebrations, banquets. Films are shown there, people even dance there, sometimes at private parties. At the edge of the road, a panel explains how to reserve, with the town hall of Allogny, the Blue Hour space.

Under the name of Blue Hour, in September 1980, opened a nightclub that its regulars, many, have never forgotten. A veritable temple of partying and nightlife, about fifteen kilometers from Bourges. Marc Beaulieu was part of the adventure from the start. “I was the club’s DJ from 1980 to 1993, he says. And those were great, great years! »

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So beautiful that forty-two years later, he will be back on the turntables this Saturday evening, at… the multipurpose hall in Allogny, “for a revival evening”. Searching for lost hits, somehow

. “Without any publicity, the 200 places left in the blink of an eye,” he says. This place was so special, so magical, gave off such an atmosphere… We will come to exchange memories, meet up with regulars, in pursuit of our youth, too, and of a magnificent era…”

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“An insane sound system, delirious laser games! »

In 1980, the brothers Didier and Yves Couchaux bought the Pavé du Roi (a restaurant) and the neighboring Safari (a small nightclub) in Allogny. Six months of hard work and they launched the Blue Hour. “Yves was a sound genius,” recalls Marc Beaulieu. He had therefore equipped the box with an insane sound system, crazy laser games, it was unheard of for the time! In 1983, I was the very first DJ in France to mix on laser turntables, Duals, it had just been released. It was revolutionary! »

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Revolutionary also the music that DJ Marc offered to an increasingly large clientele. “It was easy, he says modestly, because I had a huge record budget for the time: 500, sometimes even 1,000 francs a week. I had only been a professional DJ since 1979, it was heaven. At the time, DJs were explorers of sound, styles…”


Marc Beaulieu scoured the record stores of Bourges, Tempo 2,000 and the mythical Galerie du Disque. “I was also a big customer at Champs Disques, in Paris, I collected Belgian and German records like p: Machinery, from Propaganda. I was going to supply myself in London, in the United States! And also directly in record companies. It was the era of new wave, synthpop, maxi 45s…”

At the Blue Hour, the trendiest partygoers came to have fun on music ahead of the time. What came out of the speakers didn’t get on the radio, or anywhere else. On Marc Beaulieu’s setlists, the first hits of U2 and Depeche Mode, Front 242 and Yello, Fade To Gray (by Visage), “slightly offbeat stuff like the Sisters of Mercy (precursors of gothic rock) or the B 52’s “.

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And especially Soft Cell’s Tainted Love (released in 1981) “that a friend, Philippe Salmon, had just brought back from London, he was getting off the plane, so to speak. On the track, people were like crazy! The piece has remained one of the anthems of the Blue Hour! The clientele flocks, asking for more. Students from Cher based in Paris come back on weekends and impress their “Parisian” friends in this extraordinary discotheque. In Allogny, in the middle of Berry, we can already hear what will be fashionable in a few months!

In 1984, the establishment was sold to Gilbert Robibo, who operated it until 1991 on a similar basis. “I attended the Blue Hour in the 80s and 90s, says Jean-Michel, a Berruyer. I was twenty, just out of the army. Friends from Soye-en-Septaine introduced me to it. It was the music that hooked me. We didn’t hear that anywhere else, we discovered a piece, a musician thanks to Marc and we rushed to the Gallery (of the record, editor’s note) to order the maxi 45! I loved that! »

“We came alone, we were sure to meet people! »

Like many aficionados, Jean-Michel evokes “an atmosphere that is always very relaxed, without ever a fight”. “It was family, in a way,” he recalls. Even walking by alone, we were sure to meet people, people who listened to the same stuff as you. And in the summer, there was a sort of large garden, a terrace, it was really pleasant, because there was no air conditioning! »


The true faithful came on Friday evenings, where Marc Beaulieu was mixing. On Saturday, Fabien Bourgeais was on the turntables and it was more “general public”. Sunday evenings were traditionally the meeting place for merchants in Bourges, and elsewhere, with frequent rock competitions. Martine Giraud retains a dazzling memory of the place. “I will be at the party, to also celebrate my 40 years of Blue Hour, she assures us. To find some of this crazy music, which I compiled almost all in mp3…”

For a certain spirit of the party and the night, too. According to her, going to the establishment could feel like a privilege. “It was proper attire required and that meant no blue jeans or trainers, as they said then. As a result, we dressed well, especially the girls. Elegance was a code! The pleasure began in the dressing room, in short. You also had to be careful, on the way back, on the road to Bourges which was much more treacherous than on the way out, alcohol helping. Attending the Blue Hour was worth it until dawn.

Complete. In view of the success of this first revival evening, Marc Beaulieu hopes to organize another “at the start of the school year or at the beginning of 2023, depending on the availability of the room”. Information at the following email address: Heurebleuerevival@free.fr

Emmanuel Letreulleemmanuel.letreulle@centrefrance.com

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