Born in the casbah of Algiers, chaabi, music of the people, arrives in France with the numerous Algerians who come to France by boat in the 1960s, dreaming of a better life in the land of exile.
Madani is one of them. In his suitcase, he carries his dreams and his love of chaabi. Landing in Roubaix, he works in the spinning mills and will become a part of the corps of worker-artists who light up the café evenings of metropolitan Lille through the 1980s.
Then, laid off by Phildar and victim of a serious road accident that will leave his body, memory and artistic hopes shattered, Madani turns to music and poetry to overcome life's challenges. Chaabi is his form of the blues, which he eagerly shares with the younger musicians who come to play with him in Roubaix. With their support, the light of mischief shines again in the eyes of the scamp from Algiers.