Christine & the Queens was (not ‘were’, since it’s only Christine/Heloise) the biggest winner at the recent Victoires de la Musique, France’s most prestigious music prize. All winners here. C&tQ won Best Female Artist and Best Video (for Saint Claude). See her perform her #1 Hit in Belgium:
Massey Hall, Canada’s most prestigious music venue (in Toronto), which dates from 1894, hosted Coeur de Pirate on 31 May 2014. A 28-minute film of highlights of her concert has now been released on-line.
Any one who doubts that Béatrice Martin is the supreme writer and performer of popular music in her generation should look at this. Shot in black-and-white from several angles, and with perfect acoustic recording, this film takes us far beyond the thousands of amateur recordings of CdP that crowd Youtube. As amateur filming was not permitted, this is a unique record of a completely professional performance, with elegant bilingual introductions. It is so good that one can only hope that the full concert, which must have included as many songs again, will be issued on DVD.
There is a voice-over by Béatrice at the start, and the audience is seen entering over the sound of the first track. The songs shown are
Le Long de large
Place de la République
Comme les Enfants Berceuse is played over the closing credits.
It is notable that (as the credits show) Coeur de Pirate has kept all four of her band for the whole six years of her career so far – Renaud Bastien, rhythm guitar (her lead musician), Emmanuel Éthier, lead guitar, Alexandre Gauthier, bass, and Julien Blais, drums. No wonder the quality is so high.
There probably will be no music at my real funeral. I’d rather prefer a reading of the last three pages of Pierre Drieu la Rochelle’s Le feu follet. However, at my fictitious funeral this All Saints’ Monday, my future ghost will engulf in the kitsch grandeur of the English version of Le Moribond. Jacques Brel’s 1961 original is a bit too snappy for my tastes, and Terry Jacks’s 1974 smash hit adaptation – originally to be recorded by the Beach Boys (!) – well, let’s put a shroud over it. The ultimate version is undoubtedly by Rod McKuen, close Brel friend and translator of many of his lyrics. His rugged-voice US version, adapted first by the Kingston Trio in 1964, sentimentalizes Brel’s chanson for sure, and simultaneously transforms it into big-scope American death disc drama. Paradoxically, the starfish on the beach granted him a nice bit of immortality.