Reviews London - 5 Nov. 2012
Review Kaas chante Piaf @ Royal Albert Hall, 05 Nov. 2012 (by Nicole - fan)
London is a city I love, the Royal Albert Hall, this magical place where I wanted to see a concert since many years! To see the world-premiere of the new show of my favorite singer there: that’s like a dream come true!
Royal Albert Hall must be (for me at least, and I’ve seen about 100 concert halls) one of the greatest places for concerts on this planet. Must be impressing for the artist on stage to have this big and round hall in front of you (and it seems it was for Patricia, seeing her notice on her Facebook-page).
We had good seats, 5th row, unfortunately on the right side of the stage. Most of the time, Patricia is on the left side. But anyway, still nice seats. And already the fact to be in that Hall made my evening…
I have to say that I didn’t really know what to expect, as I don’t like Piaf, I didn’t grow up with her songs and I don’t like her voice. But I was sure that Patricia and her team wouldn’t disappoint me. And they definitely didn’t!
So, the concert begins! Having read that there were some difficulties at the concerts in Paris (for example for “Les blouses blanches” and “Lucien” and the moments between the songs), I have to say that Patricia and her team must have worked very hard for this London-show! There was no detail that wasn’t perfect! No words forgotten, and all the moments between the songs were great, everything worked out perfectly.
The beginning of the show: very nice, amazing music by Abel Korzeniowski. That guy is a genius and I love what he does. The concert then starts with the intro to “Mon dieu” and then Patricia starts to sing. How great it was to finally hear her singing live again on a stage. It’s been a while since Kabaret. And I have to say that Kabaret was something for the voice, but this time, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing sometimes. The force and the beauty of Patricia’s voice: incredible! Then after some songs, she talked to the audience in english. I liked that, because she really talked a lot, not easy in English for her, but she did well and that’s what made her get the sympathy of the public too. She said that she’s nervous and a bit afraid and she wants to give the best she can. And that it’s the world-premiere and “this is f***ing Royal Albert Hall” (yes, she really said that )!
Then, I won’t explain the entire concert, only the important things:
- the dancer
, Kevin Mischel! That guy is amazing! Choreography by Stéphanie Pignon (the great dancer for Kabaret) and that can be seen, it’s really beautiful. And the guy can do some things with his body that are incredible… I really liked his presence on some songs, especially the dance with Patricia at “La vie en rose” which was really beautiful to watch.
- the musicians
: Fred Hélbert at multiple instruments (also the computer for the orchestra ), Jonny Dyke on piano (already for the Sexe fort-tour) and a great violinist (I unfortunately don’t remember his name)
- the stage
: very simple stage with only a huge screen and some lights. And some accessories for some songs, but only a chair or some clothes. Movies on the screen for some songs, for example for “Milord” which was really great (and it helps to have some famous French actor as a friend(Alain Delon ) or for “La belle histoire d’amour” where she must have learnt a lot while doing the movie “Assassinée”. Nice movie in a great quality. Difficult to decide if you watch the movie or Patricia sing!
- the dresses
: what can I say, I didn’t get all the clothes, especially not that green/blue-dress. But anyway, it’s just clothes after all… . Many wardrobe-changes, but not too many. And that was nice with the show as there were no “the singer’s gonna change her clothes”-breaks (as I’ve seen for some other concerts… When nothing happens on stage between more than two minutes because the singer wants to change the dress: not good!)
: Great hommage! Patricia doesn’t imitate Piaf, she’s singing Piaf’s songs in her own way, with her musical arrangements and her voice. There were some Piaf-movies and at one moment, everybody on stage sat down to watch an Edith-movie on the big screen with the public, that was nice. It remains a Patricia Kaas-concert, but with Piaf-songs, and Piaf’s not forgotten in all that. In my opinion that was a great mix, so people could see the show for Piaf or Kaas, both will love it.
: what can I say? She sings like a Goddess and she was in great shape in London! Less “distant” than some other times. She did well with the English language and sometimes she reacted to the public (for example when she removed her coat, somebody in the public was shouting something and she said “there’s nothing special " , which made the crowd laugh. She was relaxed and happy, especially at the end when the applause didn’t want to stop and she was jumping up and down on the stage like a little girl on christmas! I really loved her in London, I’ve rarely seen her in such a great shape on stage. And just to get back once more to her voice: those two hours, I couldn’t stop thinking “wow, what a voice”!
- the weak moments of the show
: there weren’t any actually! My personal opinion: the moment I liked the less was “Je t’ai dans la peau”, but only because I don’t like that song. There was a different mood for every song and it changed fast, that’s true, but it didn’t bring you from one point of the earth to another, so you could still understand what the show or the song was about
- the best moments of the show
: too many to name them all! For me, it was maybe “La belle histoire d’amour”. What she does with her voice on this song: incredible. And a nice movie with the boxing ring. And I also liked when she did some acting for “Lucien”. In my opinion it’s the only moment she imitates Piaf and you can see Patricia as you’ve never seen her before. I liked the acting for some songs, it wasn’t too much and it was good for some of the songs and you could see that they really worked hard for the show. I also liked the mix between “something happens on stage” and only Patricia singing in front of the big screen. The Piaf-songs are just perfect for her! There were a lot of songs from the album, but also a lot of songs which you can only hear live. So I really hope there’ll be a DVD of this show to have all the songs. It was also good that there were some of the very famous Piaf-songs from time to time. Not all at the end. So a lot of great moments! And at the almost-end and the end (so before and after “Non, je ne regrette rien”): standing ovations at the Royal Albert Hall! Great for a French singer not really known in the UK And there weren’t only French people (as I’d expected) but mostly British people or Russians (and some fans from all around the world I guess). To see that hall standing and applauding like crazy, was great to see. The public wouldn’t let Patricia leave. So that was a perfect concert for Patricia and her team!
So: after having seen about 200 concerts those last years, I didn’t believe that a concert could still impress me at this point! Once more I’m convinced that nobody can beat Patricia live on stage! You can try with a huge show, thousands of dancers and accessories, but when I go to a concert, it’s the voice that counts (live, no playback), chills, emotions and I want to leave the hall at the end of the show with the feeling of having seen and heard something great this evening. And all that was the case that monday evening at the Royal Albert Hall. Definitely a concert that I’ll never forget in my life! And if perfection has a name: Kaas chante Piaf at the Royal Albert Hall!
A big THANK YOU to Patricia and her team which really worked hard and gave their best for this amazing show!
Review by Rob Edgar from LondonjazzBlogspot - 11 Nov. 2012
Patricia Kaas's Royal Albert Hall concert marked the precise date of the 50th anniversary of the death of Edith Piaf. Part of a world tour, the concert featured a collection of Piaf’s best known tunes re-orchestrated by Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski (who studied under maestro Krzysztof Penderecki). The concert was also the official launch of the French singer/ actor's album Kaas chante Piaf (French EMI).
From the outset with Mon Dieu, it was very much Kaas's show. Her voice is distinctive, smokier and slightly deeper than Piaf's. The show was carefully produced and choreographed and featured dancing (courtesy of Kaas and a contemporary dancer) and films and images (some of which had never been seen before) of Piaf broadcast on the screen behind her. The intro to Milord also displayed the acting - appealing, if unashamedly over the top - of the Lorraine-born diva.
Milord was also the most interesting piece musically; instead of the usual jaunty cabaret style backing, Korzeniowski slowed it right down and transposed it into a minor key giving a dark and perhaps ironic meaning to the song. Padam Padam was another highlight, but the anthemic chorus was muddied by the Albert Halls’s acoustic and it was difficult sometimes to hear the pulse of the music.
She sang to a pre-recorded backing track made earlier by Korzeniowski, of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which, at times, left the performance a little rigid and the arrangements, though lush and well executed, were often reminiscent of a Howard Shore film score; the hall’s sound did nothing to help either; at times it was impossible to hear her violinist.
The substantial Kaas fan-base in the hall had no such quibbles: I counted three standing ovations at the end of the night and at one point an audience member approached the stage with a bouquet of flowers! For those that enjoy elaborate stage shows, theatrical singing and dancing and the concept of the “diva” it would be a shame to miss.
from http://londonjazz.blogspot.nl/2012/11/review-patricia-kaas-royal-albert-hall.htmlLe Parisien - Review London - 8 Nov. 2012Kaas launches Piaf year
It is 50 years ago that Piaf died. In the following months lots of albums and shows about Piaf will follow.
ÉRIC BUREAU | Pubkished on 08.11.2012, 07h00
"Hello London!" Allthough she already ahs a career of 25 years Patricia Kaas was impressed monday night in the Royal Albert Hall. The hall was almost sold out with 3500 people. A majority of French, some English and some Russians.
"I am a bit nervous; it is the first concert in the tour and I am for the first time in this mythical hall. But I shall give everything I have got. For you and her".
"Her" is Edith Piaf. This is a tribute to her.
On monday there was also the release of the "Kaas chante Piaf" album. The tour contains 150 concerts all over the world.
The songs of Piaf are put in a modern arrangement by Abel Korzeniowski, a composer of music for movies from Hollywood. And they are played by the 90 musicians of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
But on tour Patricia is only accompanied by 3 musicians. A violinplayer, a pianist and somebody who plays multiple instruments and is the conductor.
She emphasis what is going on on the stage, with images from Piaf and Paris, some accessories, a prayer chair, a mirror and a hip-hop dancer, who amazes the public.
"It isn't easy to be alone on such a big stage", she says after the show. "But I don't want to imitate. I wanted to bring a theater, a bit of drama, but then with mopdern songs. There are some rules, that I want to follow, but I am enjoying it very much".
She dresses as a boxer with large red gloves and then again as a femme fatale in a white dress. She sings 21 songs, after having heard 430 songs of Edith Piaf.
She gets lots of applause after "Milord", that is accompanied by a film with Alain Delon, who was both friends with Piaf as with Patricia.
She sings "l’Hymne à l’amour", "La Vie en rose"and "Non, je ne regrette rien", but also other songs like "La Belle Histoire d’amour", " C’est un gar" or "Avec ce soleil ".Standing ovations
"You have to have some selfconfidence to be able to sing Piaf. And I got that by writing my autobiography "L'Ombre de ma voix" (the shadow of my voice). Just like her I had my disappointments. And just like her I sing as I talk".
But there the comparison ends for Patricia. She even ends the concert with the voice of Piaf. To give her the last word.
The lights go on and the public gives a standing ovation. "This is fantastic", yells John, an Englishman. "Super" says Sylviane, who came from Bretagne as an invitation from her 2 girls who live in London. "Her voice fits the repertoire of Piaf so well and her performance is so emotional".
Touched by the reception of the public in London Patricia jumps up and down on the stage and gives a thumbs up. She has won the batlle.Le Parisien - Review London - 8 Nov. 2012Kaas lance l’année Piaf
La Môme est morte il y a presque cinquante ans. Disques et spectacles vont se succéder dans les mois à venir.
ÉRIC BUREAU | Publié le 08.11.2012, 07h00
«Hello London ! » Elle a beau avoir vingt-cinq ans de carrière, Patricia Kaas était impressionnée, lundi soir, en se présentant en anglais face aux 3 500 spectateurs d’un Royal Albert Hall quasiment complet. Une majorité de Français, un tiers de Britanniques francophiles et de fans russes. « Je suis un peu nerveuse, c’est le premier concert de ma tournée et mon premier dans cette salle mythique.
Mais le plus important, c’est que je donne vraiment tout ce que je peux. Pour vous et pour elle. » « Elle », c’est Edith Piaf, à qui la « môme » de Forbach rend hommage. Lundi, alors qu’elle entamait outre-Manche une tournée internationale de 150 dates, sortait dans toute l’Europe l’album « Kaas chante Piaf », avec quatorze reprises réorchestrées par un compositeur hollywoodien de musiques de film, Abel Korzeniowski, et interprétées par les 90 musiciens du Royal Philharmonic Orchestra de Londres.
En tournée, Patricia Kaas n’est accompagnée que d’un trio : violoniste, pianiste et multi-instrumentiste-programmateur de sons. Elle met l’accent sur la mise en scène des chansons avec des images d’archives de Piaf et de Paris, quelques accessoires, un prie-Dieu, un miroir, et un danseur hip-hop qui laisse une partie du public perplexe. « Ce n’est pas facile d’être toute seule sur une si grande scène, avouera-t-elle après le concert. Mais je ne voulais pas tomber dans l’imitation. Je voulais théâtraliser, dramatiser mais aussi apporter une touche de modernité à ces chansons. Il y a des réglages à faire, mais je prends beaucoup de plaisir. »
Tour à tour boxeuse en Doc Martens et gros gants rouges et beauté fatale en robe blanche, elle interprète 21 chansons, « après en avoir écouté 430 » : des incontournables accueillis par des applaudissements tels « Milord », avec des images d’elle et Alain Delon, ami des deux femmes, « l’Hymne à l’amour », « la Vie en rose » et « Non, je ne regrette rien », ainsi que des trésors moins connus, comme « la Belle Histoire d’amour », « C’est un gars » ou « Avec ce soleil ».Le public debout
« Il faut une certaine confiance pour chanter Piaf que j’ai acquise après avoir sorti mon autobiographie (NDLR : « l’Ombre de ma voix », paru en 2011), raconte l’intéressée. Et du vécu. Comme elle, j’ai eu des drames et je viens d’un milieu populaire. Comme elle, je chante comme je parle. » Mais Kaas arrête là la comparaison. Elle conclut même son spectacle avec la voix de Piaf, pour lui laisser le mot de la fin. Les lumières se rallument, la salle est debout. « C’est magnifique ! » crie, en français, John l’Anglais. « Superbe, lance Sylviane, venue de Bretagne à l’invitation de ses deux filles londoniennes. Sa voix se marie à merveille avec le répertoire de la Môme et sa mise en scène est très émouvante. » Emue à son tour par l’accueil londonien, Patricia Kaas sautille de joie sur scène et sert les poings. Elle a gagné son combat.