Julija (she of Aurgasm) wrote a review of Charlotte’s show in Seattle:
Wednesday night (April 14) at the legendary Crocodile in Seattle, French music Royalty and critically acclaimed actress Charlotte Gainsbourg performed to a packed house. Completely sold out days in advance, the Seattle show was only the third gig of her first North American tour. Earlier this year Charlotte played a few shows in NYC.
Needless to say, having the opportunity to see Charlotte performing in such an intimate place for every Francophile and Filles Sourires lover is more than exciting. A perfect space to fully enjoy her breathy, seductive vocals and the little nuances that you can only experience live. The over-an-hour set included two Serge covers, Bob Dylan’s “Just Like A Woman”, songs from 5:55 and mostly her IRM repertoire written with Beck.
The French chanteuse showed up on stage backed with a stylish five-piece band selected by Beck himself. She opened the night with the hypnotic, nearly surreal IRM. Contrary to her first ever show in NYC reviews, Charlotte strikes me with her delicate and fully-aware stage presence. She’s not the kind of performer who sways energeticly to the beat, yet she delivers with grace. The songs came alive beautifully thanks to the highly accomplished band, led by Beck’s keyboardist and musical director Brian LeBarton. The elegant arrangements, dreamy beats and powerful melodies not only recreated the atmosphere of IRM, but provided the listener with a much wider palette of styles and moods.
Charlotte showed a warm interaction with her audience. In the middle of the show, just before playing the beautiful “AF607105” taken from 5:55, she thanked Air and Jarvis Cocker for writing the song. She noted how happy she was having a chance to revisit her repertoire for this tour, playing songs she never performed live. One of the night’s highlights was her take on Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman” (recorded with Calexico for I’m Not There soundtrack). Her fragile voice and delicate phrasing gave the song a whole new meaning. Another ultimate favourite, “Dandelion” carried stunning bluesy riffs (undeniably Beck’s) and pulsating arrangements that perfectly accompanied Charlotte’s vocal delivery.
Before the end of the night Charlotte confessed she never dared to perform the songs from her father’s repertoire, and immediately went to contradict herself. She chose to perform “L’hôtel particulier” from one of the most erotic albums ever recorded, Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971). By the end of the night Charlotte thanked everyone for attending the show and gave special thanks to Beck for making the tour possible. The night came to an end with the funky, Caribbean-styled Serge’s “Couleur Café” (1964). If only Beck himself would have paid a visit on stage, it would have made the evening an absolute perfection.
Thanks Julija! Nice links: Charlotte live at KEXP, Charlotte live at KCRW
If anybody has recordings of Charlotte doing either L’Hotel Particulier, Couleur Café or Sorry Angel, please get in touch!