In France, Lou Doillon requires no introduction. Successful actress, model and now singer-songwriter through the release of her debut album, Places.
Unfortunate news. Lou Doillon has cancelled her Australian tour, including her Sessions performance at Space Theatre on Thursday January 16. Doillon said in a statement, “It is a heart-breaking decision (to cancel). I was really looking forward to visiting Australia for the first time but unfortunately my medical condition makes it impossible to travel. I really hope to be able to come back later.” BASS will contact all ticket holders via email to offer them an exchange of their tickets into a performance by Féfé or John Grant, or patrons can choose to have their tickets refunded. We intereviewed Doillon before the cancellation about her debut album Places. read below. In France, Lou Doillon requires no introduction. The daughter of Jane Birkin and Jacques Doillon, and half-sister of Charlotte Gainsbourg, is a successful actress, model and now singer-songwriter through the release of her debut album, Places. Places is a beautiful melancholic collection of songs that Doillon recorded in 10 days in a studio down the road from her Paris home. It’s a simple and honest album, which is exactly what Doillon aimed to achieve. The last thing she wanted to do was “impress” anyone, which is why she chose to record in English. “I love to be moved; I hate to be impressed,” Doillon says. “I didn’t want my music to go through this obsession that the French have to impress. Also, only the French would understand me and I had a desire – well, more a curiosity – to see how universal feelings could be. I realised that in many ways going on stage in a different place is like meeting with a boy for the first time. In a wonderful way, the snog is the same; it’s just how we get to each other [that] is different.” Adelaide will have its chance to court Doillon on stage when she is here for Sessions at the Adelaide Festival Centre in mid-January. Just over a year ago, however, this would not have been possible. For years Doillon kept her music secret, with Birkin eventually fearing she was becoming “not mad – but slightly recluse”. It was a friend of Birkin’s – French musician Étienne Daho – who coaxed Doillon through a powerful emotional connection to share her music. “In a way, love is always what changes everything,” Doillon claims. “It was in the kitchen where I picked up my guitar and showed him some songs and he did the glorious thing of falling in love with me, in the musical sense. It was very sweet how he convinced me to record an album because he thought it was so odd how I wanted to keep my music as my private garden. He said the only interest in music is to share it. There’s something dreadfully wrong to want to do music that no one is going to hear. I thought that he was absolutely, fundamentally right.” It seems strange that Doillon would be so private considering her well-established career as an actress and international model (she is the spokesmodel for Givenchy and Anthony Vaccarello). As Doillon explains, the “real blessing” in her life is music, as acting and modelling just adds more layers to society’s misconceptions about her. “I was raised with this very strange relationship to the world. Since I was an infant I couldn’t go anywhere with my mum or my family – and since I was 15, myself — without people stopping their conversations or hushing down because my family is a strange form of royalty in France. My mother was very kind and famous; she was loved by everyone, and so was Serge [Gainsbourg], and so is my sister Charlotte, but that was already a little bit too much. By the time I came along, people didn’t want to hear about me and so, funnily enough, I was stuck in a weird teenage-hood where I didn’t know who I was and at the same time everyone was looking at me. I’ve spent the last 25 years of my life trying to excuse myself for not being the person [people] thought I was or trying to be the person [people] think I might be. “The French being the French, and that’s ;what I love about them, the first thing they want to do is chop the heads off royalty – and that’s where I come along,” Doillon continues. “I can’t really reproach it; the whole world is getting worse and worse – and in France it’s especially bad. Daughters and sons of celebrities are favourite meat.” It’s a vicious insight, embalmed by the recent news (that happened after this interview) that Doillon’s half-sister and Birkin’s eldest daughter, Kate Barry, allegedly committed suicide by falling from the balcony of her Parisian apartment. The modern tragedy of nbsp;the Birkin/Barry/Gainsbourg/Doillon empire is a complicated one. Above all the opulence and romance that they represent, there has hung a permanent shadow, which now darkens with Barry’s death. Within this context, it can help explain why Doillon has gravitated so strongly towards music: it allows her heady life to become simpler. “I see many people trying so hard and I think they’ve just missed the point,” she says on fame and success. “It’s the same with anything in life. If it’s more simple; it will actually work.” Lou Doillon Adelaide Festival Centre (Space Theatre) Thursday, January 16 adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au