Christian Décamps

Mes Vers Solitaires

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In 1993, in conjunction with the release of the book Mes Mots d'Ange et Autres Vers Solitaires, a collection of Ange lyrics and other poems, Christian Décamps put together a one-man show highlighting his talents as a songwriter and an entertainer. Mes Vers Solitaires documents his performance at the Salle Georges Brassens in Beaucourt on May 21, 1993. Décamps is alone on-stage, with his acoustic guitar, two keyboards, and a few props. For 100 minutes, he moves back and forth between songs and inspired skits balancing comedy, poetry, and absurdity. Roughly one third of the show consists of these witty monologues relying on wordplay and linguistic creativity. As a result, only adept French speakers will be able to follow his hilarious thoughts. Music-wise, Décamps mostly revisits songs from his solo albums Le Mal d'Adam and Juste une Ligne Bleue, performed with either acoustic guitar or keyboard and beatbox. "Le Mal d'Adam," "Shéhérazade," and "Tous les Tacots, les Locos" are given striking renditions that are worthy of comparison to Peter Hammill in the way they gain intensity through this raw, stripped-down delivery. "Ode à Emile" is a nice surprise, and so is a rendition of Jacques Brel's "Ces Gens-Là," very different from Ange's anthemic recording of that song. The performance was shot professionally, with plenty of angles. The editing job is also professional, despite a few trite video segues. Mes Vers Solitaires makes a good document and an enjoyable film, but French-deaf viewers will only get so much out of it.

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