ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

ANNE PIGALLE Liverpool Polytechnic

HIGH on ambience, low on substance, Anne Pigalles Frenchness filtered through Liverpool and left little behind.

Songs, half-sung, feel like narrative, but shes neither much of a singer nor much of an actress, though shes good at dealing with hecklers. “Lets have a dance”, shouts one — as most of the songs are at the same lugubrious tempo. “Go on then,” she retorts. But theres not much an audience can do with these songs except look.

What we see is a girl in a black coat dress with her hair up, not quite chic, with a cigarette in one hand and another behind her ear, and jerky limbs to express some kind of emotion. We see a bass player doubling as a juggler and a mostly idle saxophonist wearing a black beret. It has the same relation to France as red buses to England in the hands of a Hollywood director.

We hear what might be songs sung in what might be French or might be English (you cant always tell). One, introduced as the single, sounds dramatic but could be about going to the launderette. One line in the whole show makes itself heard: “Do you know what Im talking about?” Theres a short answer to that.

Novelty without communication can never be more than two-dimensional. This would be better on video. With subtitles of course.

Penny Kiley