Vanessa Paradis at the Forum
A touch of French glamour lit up The Forum at Kentish Town last night thanks to the London stop of Vanessa Paradis’ latest tour that featured, apart from a series of tracks from her 2013 album Love Songs, a selection of her famous hits from the 80s and 90s.
With images flickering of Victorian dancer Loïe Fuller in the background at the outset of the show, the atmosphere brought to mind a Parisian concert hall from the turn of the 20th century. After a short intro featuring the music of her new album’s titular track, Paradis, like a pixie, floated onto the stage, wearing a figure-hugging red top and jeans, with her hair done in a 1930s-style wave adorned with sparkly tinsel, and launched the show at full energy with a crunchy rendition of Tu Pars Comme On Revient followed by Mi Amor, before toning it down a notch with the intimate Il Y A.
Most of her songs are relatively brief, which, coupled with the singer’s waif-like sultriness, conjured the feel of a Parisian café, except that the piano had been replaced with a high-octane rock band and the intimacy of the petit club for that of a crowd of adoring fans. Virtually all her music has been sung in French, although her self-titled album from 1994, co-written by Lenny Kravitz, was in English and featured the classic Sundays Mondays, which was performed to cheers from the audience. The song that launched her career back in ’87 – Joe le Taxi – was also sung and sung along to by everyone in the hall.
The show in general was entertaining, flashy and chic, with a strong performance by Paradis and her band – artistically lit, and with a stage decorated with animations featuring geometric patterns in girly colours that silhouetted the singer like a Vogue photo shoot. Though more popular in her native France than on the other side of the Channel, her seductive wistful tunes sung in her girlish, sandy, falsetto voice are nevertheless appealing, even for those who may not be familiar with her oeuvre. The applause for an encore was rapturous and the singer finally emerged again to sing a trio of songs of which the loveliest was the romantic Dis Lui Toi Que Je T’aime, before thanking her fans and exiting with a charming, childish, shy little bow.
Photo: Alexandre Hervaud
For further information and future events visit Vanessa Paradis’s website here.
Watch the video for Love Song here: