GIG REVIEW: Camille at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
I first saw Camille in 2009 in Melbourne when she toured with the album Music Hole, and without exaggeration it was one of the top 2 concerts I have ever seen in my life. Knowing this, and also listening to the latest album OUI, I was a bit skeptical that seeing her ever again would be ever as great as the first time (in my experience this is the case and now I don't tend to re-see artists). But I decided to hunt down a show anyway and see for myself. She was not touring anywhere in The Netherlands so I started looking at shows in France and Belgium. Finally I decided on a long weekend away with Bianca to Brussels including a concert to see Camille!
Firstly, the venue, Ancienne Belgique was really clean and caters for everyone. There were around 20 rows of theatre seats at the back (mostly filled with people with white hair!), then 2 or 3 balcony levels which were for the smaller members of the audience (like us and children!) and also place for disabled. I was actually very surprised to see how age-diverse the crowd was. Although if you asked me, I couldn't pin-point what kind of crowd Camille appeals to.
What I really liked about the concert was that it was a full show, with details on the lights, colours, clothes, and performance of all singers and musicians, not just the musicality. And this was really impressive. The percussionist had a drum with a light shining on it which looked like the moon. The percussionist had a whole kit with electronic drums with different samples. At one point, the whole band turned into a marching band and walked through the whole crowd. Then Camille asked the audience to come up and sing with her. Everything about the whole show was engaging and Camille herself was so crazy, but perfectly controlled. She is really a genius and true performer.
What added even more to the buzz was that the crowd was so amazing. They were respectful (not talking like the Dutch) and cheered SO loudly that the reverberation of the hall echoed everywhere and gave so much energy to the band and Camille herself.
I have to say, although I already kind of had an expectation about the concert, I was definitely NOT disappointed. In fact, very happily surprised, and next time I know not to ever ever doubt Camille..
With a strike of luck, I even picked up the set list :-)
If you are on a phone, watch the below (the song is called Je ne mâche pas) with headphones. It's shot so you can see 360 degrees and it is absolutely brilliant.