ANNE PIGALLE Cafe de Paris, London
IN a better world, an ideal world, a perfect world, Anne Pigalle wouldn’t be so conspicuous. She probably wouldn’t be on a stage at all, she’d be vocalising in a corner and if you were sufficiently intrigued you’d take a closer look.
The thing-about Anne Pigalle is she actually looks better close-up. The details are fine, and it’s only when you stand back and look at the whole picture that you see a bit of a mess. Beautiful to look at, but hard to watch.
On record, where everything can be so perfect, Pigalle’s dreamy dramatics and playful sense of French-ness and fatale-ism are effectively enchanting, but from a distance, well, it just doesn’t carry. Late night languor looks merely fed up and fatigued. Unprotected by a recording studio, and unable to sing, dance or act to any extent, her stage presence is limited to just that, her presence on stage, and really, one wonders why she bothers.
It certainly looks like an unwilling effort, except maybe during “Intermission (the gods are bored)”. These two Japanese tourists sitting in front of me, with their drinks, a London A-Z and this month’s Face are probably reminded of the saki bars back home, where tired businessmen take the microphone and express themselves over recordings of the oriental equivalent of chanson d’ booze.
Maybe that’s where Anne Pigalle should be. Blurred, in a saki bar, in a perfect world.