ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

ANNE PIGALLE Everything Could Be So Perfect … (ZTT19)☆☆☆☆☆

AHH LURKED add err vote-o-graph, eye urd err voice, and well, you know what broken French accents are like. They tingle with lustful delight and invite you into their brittle, sophisticated world of mystery and intrigue. Lust eventually subsides, but I confess to loving Anne Pigalles album.

My expectation was to be transported into a stark ‘60s influenced black and white Paris underworld cabaret, where choking cigarette smoke engulfs a lifestyle of illicit love, infidelity and doom. But hey! the surprise is that there is no surprise — ZTT play it straight down the line — thats exactly what you get.

Why shiver me timbers, the ghost of Jacques Brel returns to haunt the whole of side one. But theres more. The sinister continental shadow of Tom Waits circus sleaze on ‘Intermission, through a whirling middle European gypsy underbelly to modern day Nico (‘A Crack In The Ocean).

A dark, moody, clinging web is woven as Pigalle glides from track to track, embracing all the cliched terms of reference we reserve for foreign females — femme fatale, yes! even the dreaded chanteuse. Her breathy accent, dramatic phrasing and orchestral fairground swirl conjure up more than just nostalgic recreation. She slips with ease from language to language — perhaps to hide the weakness of the lyrics, but who cares when the effect is so magnifique.

Ronnie Randall