Mick Harvey has announced a series of live dates following the release of the double CD collection of his two Serge Gainsbourg albums, Intoxicated Man and Pink Elephants, on Mute on 7 April 2014.
Mick Harvey and his band will perform the songs of Serge Gainsbourg on 27 May at London’s Union Chapel before an appearance at Primavera Sound in Barcelona on 30 May and a show on 14 June at Theatres Tilburg.
Intoxicated Man (1995) and Pink Elephants (1997) are Mick Harvey’s interpretations of the songs of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg and are the first major works translating Gainsbourg’s infuential work from French to English. The double CD collection will include two unreleased tracks, Dr Jeckyll and Run From Happiness.
The vocal parts originally sung by Gainsbourg’s muses Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot and Anna Karina are here sung by long time collaborator Anita Lane – other guests on the albums include Bertrand Burgalat, Warren Ellis, Nick Cave and David McClymont.
Mick Harvey explains, “Translating a great writer is like walking through a minefield and I set myself the difficult task of attempting to keep the places of rhyming, metre and meaning accurate to the originals. One or more of these elements is usually dispensed with in the translating of poetry and lyrics, but I did not want to iron out any of Gainbourg’s more aberrant angles or lose any of his especially perverse and peculiar touches.”
The reissues coincide with the anniversary of Gainsbourg’s birth (2 April 1928) and follow Mick Harvey’s 2013 album, FOUR (Acts of Love), which was the former Bad Seed and PJ Harvey collaborator’s sixth solo studio album, and the follow up to 2011’s Sketches from the Book of the Dead.
2013 saw Mick Harvey and his band perform the songs of Serge Gainsbourg at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs curated ATP festival. With January dates already completed in Australia, European dates include London’s Union Chapel and Barcelona Primavera Sound:
27 May, London Union Chapel
30 May, Barcelona Primavera Sound
14 June, Tilburg Theatres Tilburg