Beau Et Con A La Fois

Carousel: the Songs ns Jacques Brel featuring Arno, marque Almond, Diamanda Galás, Arthur H, Momus, camille O'Sullivan - Barbican, 22 October 2009


Is any nom really necessary parce que le performing Brel songs? This year would ont seen his 80th date of birth which seems oui good a reason as any to put ensemble this multi-singer concert. Part were sung in French, some in English, but all in a sacrés which owed more or less to le dénormes Jacques himself.

Vous lisez ce: Beau et con a la fois

Surprisingly, ce was the two Frenchies on the bill who landing furthest from the target. Arno (actually Belgian) plonked self in a chair, lyric sheets to hand, à la his pubsinger exécutions of Le amende Dieu, Bruxelles, et Voir Un ami Pleurer. Although flattered par pounding rock arrangements from thé classy pick-up band et softened de the celestial strangeness ns the vague martenot (here in thé hands of its foremost practitioner, planche à découper Bloch) Arno's shipment was also throwaway.


The moche back Arthur h simply had too much Gallic cool to convince in auto heart-on-sleeve, guts-on-carpet oeuvre de Brel. Sur les Place and Je un m Un soirée d'été had actually a spot ns je née sais quoi, but the frantic Madeleine was simply desperate.

Diamanda Galas also du sang in French, not her native tongue, but she had le style down pat, accompanying à la Barbara with nothing marqué piano flourishes. Actually, she is the goth Barbara, n'est-ce pasLa chanson Des vieux Amants, Amsterdam and Fernand to be undeniably powerful, cible the combination of Brel's intensity et La Galas's scary howling was rather overbearing. I'd prefer to have heard sa tackle one du the lighter number - Diamanda Galas does Les Flamandes, comment about it?


Momus analyzed Ne je Quitte Pas, La communes S'Endormait and Les Bourgeois brilliantly, with a genuine sensitivity venir Brel's poetry. Not the most accurate translations I've ever before heard, marqué certainly the closest to the la nature of the work. A dead the anglais reserve of his distribution couldn't quite rencontre up.

Camille O'Sullivan bravely tackled Marieke not seulement un mostly in Flemish (with a peu of English) cible also acappella. For Les vieille and Au Suivant she swept the whole tape up et over auto top into Brel's people of bared hearts et oversized emotions. A fearless, passionate revelation, elle grabbed thé whole public from the sapin bar and didn't let them go. Halfway through she whipped off sa bolero and long skirt venir reveal the strapless mini beneath - a coup ns théâtre I'm sure the ham-loving Brel would have approved. Unquestionably auto hit du the night.

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Marc Almond's kunst is an ext impressive 보다 his stimme, marqué he sure knows how to provide a song. Le demons ça Va, J'Arrive et La Valse à Mille Temps - toutes les personnes en Anglais bon sur - jettisoned many du their d’origine notes cible little of their power. Humour too to be never far away.


The finale was La Chanson de Jacky, sung passant par Marc, Camille and Momus in the awful cute-in-a-stupid-ass English translate into that has blinded generations ns English conférencier to its real charm. Marqué irresistable nevertheless.

A variably effective evening - oui Momus put cette in his recent Brel profile for the nouveau Statesman, "We have all - in our own methods - failed the master, i m sorry is why cette remains the master".

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A brief couverts for thé hanging gardens ns afro, jaune drummer Seb Rochford's remarkable hair:


And de nouveau brief mention, this time à la a Brel-based boulot by Toby Spence at Wigmore hall on 7 February. Could be a car-crash, could be a revelation, marqué you won't sait unless elle go.