Yann Tiersen – a disappointment

A couple of months ago, I went to see Yann Tiersen play at The Scala in London. Mr Tiersen is, of course, the person behind the tinkling, cheery and immensely popular music to Amelie and Goodbye Lenin.

Shortly before the gig, I discovered that he probably wouldn’t be playing just Amelie-style music, but instead he’d be performing with his rock band. This was slightly worrying, but I had faith in him and I figured that he wouldn’t disappoint his fans by completely ignoring the music they wanted to hear… or would he?

In short, yes. Now, I can totally understand if Yann is fed up with playing Amelie-music all the time. No doubt he’s done those songs a thousand times now and thinks that he’s just being musically typecast. So I’m not at all surprised that he wants to try rock music. The only problem is that he’s not really very good at it. About 90% of what he played at The Scala was bizarre, non-melodic rock music that was heavy on the weird and annoying, like this:

Okay, so it’s not my style of music and maybe there are other people out there who love it. But not this audience. Most of the people were there to listen to Amelie-music, as evidenced by the guy I met from my college who said, “Yeah, I’m not a big fan, but I really liked that movie.”

Occasionally, Yann would taunt us by putting down his dreaded guitar and playing some nice music:

But of course, it would quickly degenerate into weird guitar thrashing. And this went on for two hours. I really wish he would’ve just played all the Amelie stuff at the start and then I could’ve skipped the rest. Still, hardly anyone left, perhaps hoping that he’d throw us a bone for the encore. But when Yann came back on stage at the end, he didn’t go to the accordion, or the xylophone, or the harmonica, or the piano – he went to his guitar.

“No more guitars, please!” moaned a French guy beside me. Sums up the entire gig, really.

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