Luckman Fine Arts
Dec. 3, 2011
The original sixties wild child Jane Birkin graced Los Angeles last Saturday night for the first time in almost a decade. Aside from being the quintessential image of 1960s French mod style, Birkin is most famous for her love affair with French icon Serge Gainsbourg. Birkin and Gainsbourg's relationship lasted for over a decade, which spawned years of creativity and great music. Birkin's performance focused on the songs she and Gainsbourg created together and drew fans from all over to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on California State University Los Angeles' campus.
As soon as the fashion princess walked on stage, everyone in the 1,152-seat theater broke out into thunderous applause. The smile that came over Birkin was from ear to ear, showing her bright energy and gentle heart. Opening with a song written by Gainsbourg, "Requiem Pour Un Con," the silence that fell over the crowd was one of awe.
Singing every song in French, Birkin's beautiful voice and charm captivated the audience. At the end of every song Birkin engaged with the crowd, giving the history of the music she performed and what it meant to her and Gainsbourg. It was clear by the intimate stories and kind words she shared with the crowd that her love for Gainsbourg still runs very deep. The emotion and passion present in her angelic voice made it clear that the love the iconic couple shared was something extremely special.
Playing with a four piece Japanese ensemble, the best song of the set came when Birkin performed the song "Marilou Sous LA Neige," which was written by Gainsbourg. The simple guitar over the drums and beautiful lyrics sung in French made for an extremely catchy tune.
What was most impressive was how well Birkin moved around on stage. For a woman that is almost sixty-five years old, she moved about the stage as if she were thirty. Five or six songs into her lively set, Birkin stepped off stage and performed the song while walking, running and dancing around in the aisles of the theater.
Because every song was sung in French, understanding the lyrics and what the songs were about was a little tough. Although music is a universal language where one doesn't need to know the language a song is sung in to enjoy it, I must admit there were a few times I was a little bummed that I didn't speak French. However, Birkin's radiant energy, modelesque looks, and incredible voice made for an outstanding show. It's not very often you get to witness a '60s European icon strut her stuff while performing wonderful music.
Critics Bias: I saw Charlotte Gainsbourg perform at Coachella in 2010, so it was really cool to see her mom perform. I noticed a lot of similarities in both kinds of music.
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The Crowd: There were people of all nationalities, both young and old.
Overheard In The Crowd: "I've been pronouncing her name wrong for 25 years."
Random Notebook Dump: I hope when I am at the age of 64 I move around half as well as Jane Birkin!
Requiem Pour Un Con
Tombee Des Nues
Di Doo Dah
Marilou Sous LA Neige
En Rire De Peur D Etre Oblige...
Vie, Mort Et Resurrection...
Amour Des Feintes
Le Couteau Dans Le Play
Ballade De Johnny Jane
Con C'est Con Ces Consequences
Ces Petits Riens
Une Chose Entre Autres
Les Amours Perdues
Mon Amour Baiser
Fuir Le Bonheur
Haine Pour Aime
Baby Alone In Babylon
Les Dessous Chics
La Chanson De Prevert