Music: Yann Tiersen – Roundhouse, 20/10/11

Yann Tiersen isn’t really a household name (not in England anyway), so I always introduce him with the same question:

Me: “Have you seen ‘Amelie‘?”
You: “Yes/No.”

Me: “He did the music for that.”

This is indeed how I came across his music. The soundtrack for Amelie if you haven’t seen it (although there’s no excuse if you haven’t!) is beautifully French. Full of accordion and piano gorgeousness, it’s perfect at telling the beautiful story of quirky Amelie and her search for love.

However, there was basically no point in listening to all of that for this performance. Yann and his band knocked subdued out of the water, and totally shocked me with a frantic and fast-paced performance. The music went on an electronic twist with quite dark and deep undertones; the energy raged between manic to excitable. I’m making it sound like they were jumping around the stage, smashing their instruments and spitting at the crowd; they weren’t and it wasn’t a rock gig, it was inherently avant-garde til the end, and that’s what made me stand, pretty much open-mouthed for the majority. Tapping unknowingly to beats where I could keep up, I was caught in a trance!

Yann Tiersen on stage

The highlight of the evening was Yann’s violin solo. Simply AMAZING. I absolutely adore going to see a band or musician and they play a variety of instruments themselves, not relying on a band (Patrick Wolf does this, and The Cooper Temple Clause were the kings of instrument swapping). I do believe that the better the musician overall, the better the music, and Yann Tiersen totally proves that theory.

Yann Tiersen with his band

As a friend said to me: ‘I was expecting more accordions.” But despite that, I was surprisingly impressed and entranced by this incarnation of Yann, and I’d expect to see something completely different next time too.