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Title: Anne Pigalle: Liverpool Polytechnic
Author: Penny Kiley
Source: Melody Maker
Publish date: November 23, 1985

ANNE PIGALLE: Liverpool Polytechnic

HIGH on ambience, low on substance, Anne Pigalle’s Frenchness filtered through Liverpool and left little behind.

Songs, half-sung, feel like narrative, but she’s neither much of a singer nor much of an actress, though she’s good at dealing with hecklers. “Let’s have a dance”, shouts one — as most of the songs are at the same lugubrious tempo. “Go on then,” she retorts. But there’s not much an audience can do with these songs except look.

What we see is a girl in a black coat dress with her hair up, not quite chic, with a cigarette in one hand and another behind her ear, and jerky limbs to express some kind of emotion. We see a bass player doubling as a juggler and a mostly idle saxophonist wearing a black beret. It has the same relation to France as red buses to England in the hands of a Hollywood director.

We hear what might be songs sung in what might be French or might be English (you can’t always tell). One, introduced as the single, sounds dramatic but could be about going to the launderette. One line in the whole show makes itself heard: “Do you know what I’m talking about?” There’s a short answer to that.

Novelty without communication can never be more than two-dimensional. This would be better on video. With subtitles of course.