Christine Bovill’s Paris at The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87) is a wonderful trip back to the golden years of “Chansons Francaises” and some of its greatest writers and performers through the songs of Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Juliette Greco, Barbara and of course Edith Piaf...plus a few more that will surprise you by just how familiar they are to you and where the songs actually came from.
“Chansons Francaises” are probably the only songs to rival those of “The Great American Songbook”, and some of the greatest American song writers such as Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics to these songs. These French songs to me are often better than the American ones though as they often dared to walk down the darker paths of life and explore people, emotions, and surroundings that the far cleaner cut American writers often stayed away from.
Christine Bovill is a great performer of these songs and a living continuation of the spirit that is “Chansons Francaises”. There is a love of these songs and the stories behind the lyrics that is part of Christine Bovill and with illuminating introductions to the stories behind some of these songs, classics such a “La Mer”, “Amsterdam”, “La Vie En Rose”, “Let it Be Me” and of course “Je Ne Regrette Rien” are brought back to life in the perfect setting of The Famous Spiegeltent.
These songs have taken Christine Bovill on a wonderful journey though her life since first discovering the songs of Edith Piaf as a teenager then learning French to understand the songs better. A career in teaching French swapped for a full time career in singing songs that you love around the world...not a bad trade I think.
A great show from a singer who understands completely that although the words to these songs may be wonderful, they are only in the end words...it is the spirit of the performer that breathes true life into these songs and a little bit of that “Chansons Francaises” spirit has somehow found its way all the way from France to Glasgow and taken residence in Christine Bovill.
Great piano accompaniment all through in true "Chansons Francaises" style from Michael Brawley.
For more information about Christine Bovill visit
Review by Tom King