BB Brunes – A Parisian Concert Experience
There are some talented young folk making music in France, and they’re called BB Brunes. A Parisian quartet with members around the age of just 22, they’ve already released two successful albums, with a third one on the way. Towards the end of last year, while completing an intensive study program in France, I had the pleasure of seeing them at L’Olympia in Paris.
I almost didn’t make it to the gig. I booked the ticket sometime around May, knowing that I’d be in Paris by November. As soon as my friend Rachana was accepted for her exchange to Sciences Po, she bought a ticket for the same show. I didn’t have my lecture schedule for the subject yet, but I was pretty sure I’d be safe with a Wednesday night. Typically, I assumed wrongly. Upon arrival in Paris, Sylvia, the subject coordinator, gave us our itinerary and my heart sank – the Wednesday night was to be our second night lecture. Damn. Really not wanting to miss the show, I approached Sylvia on the Tuesday night, and explained that I’d purchased the ticket months and months ago. She said I could go, as long as I didn’t tell anyone [shh].
Living in Melbourne, it’s quite hard to keep up with the French music scene, which I guess is why I was so surprised to see how young the crowd were. It seems we’d chosen an all-ages gig, and apparently most BB Brunes fans are 15 year-old girls. Many of whom were accompanied by their parents [and the occasional toddler]. One upside of this, however, was that the crowd were ridiculously short, and thanks to the elevated floor, Rachi and I could see quite well from the middle of the standing area.
In France, the support act is known as the 1? partie, and in this case, it was a group called Kaponz & Spinoza. Little did I know at the time, but I later discovered [thanks to my trusty friend Wikipedia] that this is actually the band of Jérémy Kapone, who played Maël in LOL – one of my favourite French films. I really enjoyed their set [and now I understand why the crowd were quite so excited to see them].
Soon enough it was time for the band we’d all been waiting for: BB Brunes. They began with “Peut-Etre Pas Cette Fois”, and it wasn’t long before we heard “Le Gang” and “Dis-Moi”. A few of their newer songs are in English, but Adrien Gallo’s accent is pretty dreadful, which made it difficult to understand the lyrics [and what I managed to hear weren’t all that wonderful].
The highlight, for me, was my favourite BB Brunes song, “Britty Boy”, which had a live string accompaniment [and half-naked dancers]. A guest was invited out for the encore, but we missed his name, and he didn’t seem familiar. But, then again, for all I know he’s probably a celebrated and well-respected French musician.
Overall, it was a great show. The crowd, while young, were really responsive, and it was really fun to sing along in French [with a few lovely mondegreens, I’m sure]. At one point, a couple of the fathers in the crowd decided to embarrass their daughters with some enthusiastic dancing, which was rather amusing. The only song that I was really disappointed to miss was [the rather inappropriate] “BB Baise” [which I don’t think would have gone down too well with the young crowd anyway].