Jul 21, 2012

Charlotte Gainsbourg concert- 19th July/London

On the 19th of July, I had the pleasure to see Charlotte Gainsbourg in concert at the Somerset house in London- a wonderful location in the heart of London, with the stage placed inside the building walls, in the courtyard.

The opening band, which started around 8 15, was interesting enough, although it wasn't received that well. The 2 sisters and brother, playing guitars and drums, had an erratic set ranging from angry death threats to lullaby songs. The vocalist, one of the sisters, was a rather dark and angry soul, but the other girl, the drummer, was amazing- my eyes would always go to her.

Charlotte came on at 9 30, accompanied by Connan Mockasin and 4 band members, all wearing white. The atmosphere was pretty relaxed- most people chose to just watch and enjoy the music, although there were some crazy fans who kept screaming her name, making weird sounds, entertaining the audience, indirectly. By the way, the audience was very interesting, a little different from the people you usually meet at a concert. It was mostly formed by people over 25: some French, a lot of mature couples, with the occasional 20year old hipsters with a cigarette attached to their lips; I think most of them were there out of curiosity, just like me.

The concert itself was very good, as Gainsbourg proved to everyone that she's not just an actress wanting to sing, but a woman who loves music and who just happens to be good at it. You could also see her father, the famous Serge Gainsbourg, helped and influenced her more than she would realise, especially from a musical point of view- some songs were his, others were covers, but most were influenced by him and that era. I admit I wasn't very familiar with her songs beforehand, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself for the 1 hour and half. Most of the songs were extremely well performed, vocally and instrumentally, with the help of her fantastically funny and spontaneous band, who would basically do whatever they wanted, including singing laying down on the floor or dancing with a beer in hand during the performance. Highlights were 'Heaven can wait', the 'Ashes to ashes' Bowie cover and Jamais; check them out on Youtube or Spotify.

All in all, I wasn't impressed or blown away with the concert, but I did have a good time and I will certainly come back to visit Somerset House, which is a fantastic building.
P.s. Did I tell you I saw Jim Sturges at the concert? Yup, celebrity sighting. Nice looking guy, down to earth and friendly. I didn't talk to him, I am not the type, but I saw him being greeted by some fans and he was very nice to them.

NOW, I want to know about your concert experiences. Which was the best one you've ever been to? Who are looking forward to see? Please let me know in the comments


  1. For me, the best concert I went to was NIN/Bauhaus June 2006. TV on the Radio was opening for them and I had only heard a few songs from them but they blew me away. Then came Bauhaus (who are now likely to never perform ever again due to personal issues) as they came out and just commanded everything on stage.

    What made the whole show so special for me was that I had been wanting to see Nine Inch Nails for 12 years and this was the first time I finally got to see them live. Wow... being blown away was an understatement. Hearing Josh Freese's drumming sounded like a hammer being hit through your heart. Aaron North was just all over the stage. It was loud and intense. It was perfect.

    I would end up seeing NIN 2 more times in 2008 and 2009 as they've now disbanded as a live entity. I haven't been to any shows in more than a year as the last show I went to was Roger Waters doing The Wall while a month earlier that same year, I got to see one of my fave local bands in Deerhunter where I got to be on stage with the band at the end of the show with several other fans. I dare anyone to try and top that.

    1. Thanks for the reply Steven! the NIN experience sounds amazing, and I loved the fact that you got to be on stage with one of your favorite local bands, you must have been so excited!

  2. Hi Diana,

    Interesting post! I had no idea Charlotte Gainsbourg performed in concert. She is an actress I've only come across recently in Lars Von Triers' 'Melancholia' and a French film on late-night TV that I forget the name of, but her look and manner fascinates me. I imagine she would look great on stage.

    My favourite concert experience was seeing Sigur Ros in 2008 at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Aus. Not a great venue, but the performance was breathtaking. I don't even remember the support, my memory of the main act is so prominent in my mind. The front man, Jonsi, had this elaborate costume - I think he was dressed in military-style garb, possibly with wings - and had silver make-up on his face. At one point he stood at the front of the stage and held one note for at least 20seconds, but it felt like an hour, and when he stopped the whole venue (holding at least 2000 people) was dead silent.

  3. Hi Hannah, nice to see you here, and thanks for the comment! Wow, the Sigur Ros concert sounds good- one note for 20 sec? that will surely get attention :)

  4. I didn't even know she was a musician. Very cool!

    1. yes, she is! some of her songs are really nice, you should give them a try!