Celebrating Songs of Belle du Berry: Exclusive Adelaide Cabaret Festival – June 9, 10, & 11, 2023
– By David Lewis –
In three exclusive performances at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival — on June 9, 10, and 11, 2023 — the iconic French band Paris Combo will pay a vibrant tribute to their charismatic chanteuse and songwriter Belle du Berry, who passed away suddenly in 2020, aged just 54, following a brief battle with cancer. Her passing was a tragic loss for all those touched by her charismatic presence as a performer and songwriter during a career spanning thirty years and over a hundred songs.
A Tribute to Charismatic Belle du Berry
Hailed by Billboard as “a vocalist/accordionist and lyricist extraordinaire,” Belle was the beating heart of the group. She had been the unforgettable voice of the band’s elegantly intoxicating and joyful take on the world, her quirky, wise, and often humorous songs providing a welcome antidote to everyday morosity. Her musical roots went back to post-punk bands, and she often cited influences such as Arletty, the French singer-actress of the thirties, but also the Surrealists and a panoply of more recent artists, including the B-52’s.
Belle du Berry, guitarist Potzi and drummer François first performed together in Paris as members of a quirky retro revue, “Les Champe tres de Joie” which went on to collaborate at the closing ceremony of the Albertville Winter Olympic Games in 1992.
Belle and Australian-born trumpeter-pianist David Lewis met while performing together at the original “Cabaret Sauvage” revue in 1995, beginning their partnership, in music and in life.
The group’s second album, Living Room, (2000) earned a disc d’or (gold record) in France, and confirmed the group’s international standing, with tours of the United States, Australia, and Asia and a nomination at the French industry awards, Les Victoires de la Musique.
Belle du Berry toured Australia seven times, both as a member of Paris Combo, and also in duo with David Lewis.
In Adelaide, Paris Combo, with a special ten-piece line-up including guest vocalists Carmen Maria Vega, Billie, Aurore Voilqué, and Mano Razanjato, will celebrate the songs that have made them a favourite on the international scene. They will perform selections from their acclaimed final studio album with Belle du Berry, Quesaco?
Paris Combo: Why should I know them?
Seven studio albums and two and a half decades spent traveling the globe, playing to enthusiastic audiences from Sydney to San Francisco and Berlin to Beijing, have enabled Paris Combo to create an international following for their unique, cosmopolitan sound.
The combo has struck a chord with critics and audiences alike with its fun-loving mix of swinging gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop, and Latino and Middle Eastern rhythms.
Venues and festivals of part performances have included the Olympia, le Grand Rex, la Cité de la Musique, Nice and Montréal Jazz Festivals, SF Jazz, the Hollywood Bowl, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Recital Hall …
To BUY TICKETS for this exclusive event: HERE
For more about Paris Combo see Julia Greenhalf’s interview with Belle and David in My French Life Magazine – June 19, 2015
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So sad. I hadn’t realised belle du Berry had died. I saw Paris Combo when they visited and performed in Hamilton (Victoria’s Western District) where David Lewis is from. His father was a lawyer with a local law firm and his mother, Elaine lewis, wrote the book ‘Left Bank Waltz’ about her time as owner of the Australian Book Shop in Paris. RIP Belle.