BREL: Words and Music of Jacques Brel

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 14:09 30/10/2012

I have one double pass to giveaway to one lucky Aucklander for this Saturday night's show. BREL: The Words And Music of Jacques Brel starts This Thursday, November 1 and the season will run until Saturday November 24.

The show features Jon Toogood and Julia Deans, both of The Adults. It's billed as their theatrical debut - the show also features Tama Waipara and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. It's directed by Michael Hurst with musical direction from Leon Radojkovic.

The venue is Auckland's Town Hall Concert Chamber.

Now Jacques Brel is of course a towering influence - the Belgian singer/songwriter has composed dozens of songs that have become standards, of a sort. Many are memorable for a range of cover versions, most obviously Ne me quitte pas (or Don't Leave Me in its English translation). Brel was an influence, as both writer and singer, on the likes of David Bowie and Scott Walker, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen.Brel Show - Silo

If you are interested in attending the show but need a quick catch-up on all that is wonderful in the world of Brel then try Infiniment (translates to Infinitely). This double-disc was world-changing for me when I received a copy to review nearly 10 years ago. I knew about Brel, I knew some of the best known songs (Amsterdam I knew from versions by both Walker and Bowie). 

Finding Brel's music - and the 40 tracks of Infiniment was the perfect starting-point for serious exploration for me - was like finding the work of Serge Gainsbourg; indeed it was as important for me as when I found the work and worlds of Cohen and Cave; of so many extraordinary writers.

I'd love to see this show. But it's Auckland-only and I won't make it. But I'm very thankful the show's publicity team thought kindly to offer up a double pass to readers of Blog On The Tracks.

So if you're interested leave a comment below. Tell me why you'd like to see the show. Share a link to a favourite Brel tune if you like.Brel

There can only be one winner - I'll choose the person I think deserves the double-ticket. And remember it's for this Saturday's performance (November 3).

Now, any Brel fans out there? What are some of your favourite songs? What's your favourite version of Ne me quitte pas? I thought Bic Runga did a very good version of it a few years back - obviously Nina Simone's version is one of the greats. Perhaps the greatest after Brel's own take. How about Alison Moyet's version? Not bad. 0 Share your Brel favourites below. And tell me why you should win a double-pass to this New Zealand production featuring Jon Toogood, Julia Deans, Tama Waipara and Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

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