ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”


First in what might be a nouvelle vague of contemporary Parisian nostalgia is Anne Pigalle, 24 and as French as the name suggests… even though, she says mysteriously, its more or less an exaggeration. From her base in Shepherds Bush Anne is currently planning to re-educate the chauvinistic British public with a fresh interpretation of the Piaf-Dietrich style, reviving the spirit of the popular chanteuse with new songs and synthesised music. The young Pigalle arrived in London bored by her compatriots emulations of anglophile pop and French record companies “who dont know anything”. Seeking to rediscover her cultural heritage in a more inspired environment, she performed at Ronnie Scotts and Vic Godards now defunct Club Left — where she met Nick Plytas who now co-writes her material and accompanies it on organ or classical piano. The duo work under the umbrella title of Via Vagabond, a partnership allowing each to pursue solo projects and work together: Nicks fusion of traditional and avant garde jazz adding a clean modernity to Annes swirling and atmospheric delivery. Songs like “Thousand Colours Waltz” (a possible debut single), sung half in French and half in English, have already caused a frisson in A&R departments as has, no doubt, her suitably gallic style. While her image and ideas could easily become the next hip trend, Anne Insists theyre more than gimmicky revivalism: “Things are so international these days, which isnt a bad thing but its important to preserve national identity, to work in a tradition. I dont want to make music from a technical base but to translate moods into songs… which is very French”. Her next performance is at The Rock Garden, Covent Garden on April 20. Allez-y!

Lesley White