JANE BIRKIN Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 17 May

‘Gabrielle. the artichokes should be boiling now. But if you see the top of the dustbin, not the dustbin but the whatnot lid fly off, then you can turn it down, without turning it off and blowing yourself up. Hello, hello?’

Jane Birkin has just arrived at her house in Brest, north west France. She forgot her keys and had to break a window to get in, but now she’s more concerned about lunch and not over- cooking the artichokes. if you hadn’t already gathered, the actress of stage and screen - and singer, made most famous for her breathy renditions of ex- husband Serge Gainsbourg's songs, is slightly dotty. But that, after all, is her charm.

Gloriously uninhibited (she stripped nude in Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow Up), Birkin was interviewed last year on the Graham Norton show, where she was asked about ‘Je T‘aime

. . . Moi Non Plus‘, the steamy love song she

Cabbies do it to her songs

de Gainsbourg’. Given carte blanche by the

recorded with Serge in 1969. Twenty-three years Avignon Festival to perform a one-hour show in

since the song was banned by the BBC, she again caused controversy by telling an anecdote about recently being in a London cab. When the driver learned who she was, he screeched to a halt and screamed: ‘Fucking ‘Je T’aime’!

I’ve had three fucking children to

fucking ‘Je T‘aime’!’ Birkin later told

the same anecdote on the BBC. Again, she was banned, this time for using the ‘f’ word. ‘They were all horrified and l was told never to use that word again,’ she says, laughing.

Positively adored in France, where she's lived since leaving her then husband John Barry to shack up with Serge in 1968, Birkin is once again in the limelight for singing ‘les chansons


Debuting at Ladyfest are a band borne from the leftovers of Bis a finger-lickin' treat that even Ainsley Harriott would be hard-pushed to rustle up. The Kitchen's AMANDA MACKINNON tells us what‘s cooking.

What’s the difference between the Kitchen and Bis, then? \N’ell. this gi\es we a chance to n‘ake the lllLlSlC really want. which .5; bunk, \.'.'|ll‘ my husband [Rtan Seaghst. ex of Discount and the other half of the Kitchen]. I ll‘Cilll. \.'.e don't hai. e a drummer and there's still a heaw, electronic backing. but it's a lot harder than Bis exer were the NME said we were a (tioss between Sleater- Klllll(?\ and Alan Teenage Riot. \‘.’lllCll l ne\ er thought was DOSSlble

And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? \\eil. I suppose the; “re about the Closest you could come . . . but I don't reth think anyone else sounds exactly like us. To be

1999, she decided to collaborate with Algerian violinist Djamel Benyelles and reinterpret Serge’s songs in an Arabesque style. ‘People were standing up and weeping,’ says Birkin, ‘so I thought: “What a pity to let go of this treasure."' Of course she didn’t let go. She’s since recorded the album 717,, . /, 5’ ' . Arabesque and is now 95 dates into an international tour, one that won’t culminate until February of next year. ‘After this, I think I will have done it. It’ll be the last time I do Serge’s stuff, but I’ve had a wonderful go.’ Which she really has, and while I could listen to Birkin talk all day, the artichokes are ready and our time is up. (Catherine Bromley)

Don't stop there . . . who‘s on the receiving end? jlaughsi gilnlne time! i lust hate °.."(,‘- way people f3.i‘(1~< til; to certain bands; and dare'“! say, anything bad about them. 'near‘. don". nate the White Stripes. but the, (“(241.2gClluiSUfi.Et"(l|iliillv<'.'."k (:reatea much rnoi'et..1'-<>n sound. as; a duo. We :iese".e to be bgger than. the \i‘v’hte Stripes? [laughs agal‘} lit-:re ‘,()t. go. that‘s my l‘.(3'.'.“ guote. Finally, then - are you a Nick Nairn or a Gordon Ramsay kind of Kitchen? te1 ,o... I think we"i know more about this band when BEES have played the r ‘ast gig ar‘d .-.'e"./e ljléi‘,(:(l our Cooking vinyl ‘irst. But it's certain}; riif'f'e'ev‘t

oeil‘g in a band tr‘ .our

honest. just unant to do hushand at least car‘ gme something much were kinda mm a slap .vne" l‘(3 sap; “USU thah ~.-.ha‘.'s out at the something I don". Me. moment. There's no-ene math a ‘Da‘flfl Pollock,

really fuck of attitude that's I We K:.‘::he" oaj.’ Laoyfzs.’ ‘.‘.llllllg to slag off other bands. arc/7v: lwth Katasfircp/‘j. ‘.'./.‘e. and | just ‘.'.'ant to get out there Km). ano Cheefaras a.‘ Barf...

and go fer it. Gfit'zsgoxu. Fr' 9 l‘.



Theatre Royal. Glasgow. Fri 16. Tue 20. Thu 22. Sat 24 May: Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Tue 27. Thu 29 May

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Allegory of freemasonry

Moore. whose previous work ‘.‘/|lll S(L()ll|f;ll Opera includes .Jalnes MacMillall'f; high}; ar,r;|ai'lied Ines r/e Castro and Schillttke'f‘, [.lfe With all /(fl()!_ is; also responsible for the productions conteinporar,’ dialogue, All opera written in the German fSIllgSlNUI tradition, ‘.'.’|lll dialogue between the musical numbers. this f/it’lg/c F/ufe also boasts a new English transation of the lyrics by Kit Hesket'x-Har‘.i'e,', .‘xell known to Erliili,.ir':;ll F‘:‘Sll.'{i| Fringe audiences; fro". Kit and the f/idow fame.

".‘.’e' .’e used the language of the 'll'l‘fl, halls] 3a,“. Moore. 'There's also ’l‘illlUllC, 'na'i language. turtt’xfl and the language of the street. We ha.e. lies/ever. tried to balance this nth the seriousness. l”!{/;".Eili()€ and spirituality of the orginai piece. it's a paradigm of .‘xhat l/loxart nae ll/f; himself really a bit 0‘ a :1ankster. or. religious at the same tivnef lCarol Mainl

it 2? '/~':, 7.711118 LIST 43