Les Brünettes – The Beatles Close-Up
Following their successful programme entitled ‘A Women Thing’, a congenial homage to their musical heroines, Les Brünettes felt ready for a ‘boys thing’. And who better to choose than the epitome of all boys groups, the Beatles? Seen through the eyes of four women, we are treated to an exhilarating close-up of the Fab Four’s life and music.
The mystery of the Beatles is something musicians, fans, biographers and contemporaries are still trying to fathom: How did these four apparently ordinary lads from Liverpool become the catalyst for the yearnings of an entire generation? It must have had to do with the fact that they were a real band, a gang, something that transcended the sum of its parts. As their two preceding albums have shown, this distinction also applies to Les Brünettes. Furthermore, each of the Beatles was a songwriter and solo singer in his own right and contributed his musical ideas to the band, lending the music an incredible diversity. Taking the same liberties, Les Brünettes have always been on the lookout for new musical territories beyond the a cappella mainstream.
To get even closer to the Beatles’ spirit, Les Brünettes recorded their album at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London – the very place where Paul, George, Ringo and John wrote and recorded many of their greatest hits.
It is a pure joy to hear Les Brünettes place their impressive vocal skills in the service of these timeless songs, and not only for real die-hard Beatles fans. Taking their inspiration from the Fab Four, the arrangements involve highly creative, playful and sometimes tongue-in-cheek flights of fancy. The girls dust off popular hits, discover lesser-known tracks and link songs together in surprising ways. With its scolding, bickering and laughter, the verging on slapstick Penny Lane takes us back to the lively Liverpool scene of the sixties, while minimalistic elements and electronic-inspired beats ensure that Let It Be veers clear of any kitsch. The ever-present Bach mingles with the beleaguered Lady Madonna and a nonchalant Latino tells the story of Peace & Love on John and Yoko’s honeymoon. Imagine, written by Lennon after the band broke up, resonates all the more when these four women deliver it sacred hymn-style.
In their own songs, Les Brünettes describe what it is about the Beatles that holds them in its thrall. Who is the Fool On The Hill? Isn’t he wiser than all of us and who would he be today? How did the girl feel leaving her oppressive home (inspired by She’s Leaving Home)? What thoughts were going through the Beatles’ minds at the time of their break-up? And finally, there is a song for Yoko Ono, one of the most outstanding women in the whole Beatles saga who had to suffer envy, hatred and even the assassination of her husband without ever wavering from her work as a creative and inspiring artist.
On stage, Les Brünettes deliver a rousing, sensual and high-powered performance spanning the Beatles’ entire musical spectrum, from early light-hearted and ingenious simplicity to subsequent complex song structures and instrumentation. Short scenes, dialogues and film clips provide a dramatic framework for the music, putting an ironic, whimsical and reflective, yet always unexpected, spotlight on the world’s most famous pop band.
Each of the four exquisite singers contributes her own personal approach to the Beatles. Despite, or perhaps thanks to their great respect for the Fab Four’s musical genius, the show never digresses into nostalgic wallowing. Carried along by the sumptuous harmonies of the four female voices, the new programme is a comprehensive work of art that rocks, grooves and swings – and aims directly for the heart.