Yann Tiersen at Kaserne, Basel

Yann Tiersen Kaserne

“This next one’s a happy song about the end of the world.”

Yann Tiersen, most famous for his work on the Amelie and Goodbye Lenin! soundtracks, isn’t without a sense of humour. This is how he introduced the second song in his set at Kaserne, Basel on Wednesday night.

The show was at Kaserne, a deceptively big venue not far from my apartment. Having only seen it from the outside, I was surprised to see the queues down the street to get in on the night! Thankfully it’s a bit of a tardis – after getting in, you’re led into a large hall which is also used for theatre and dance shows. From a technical aspect the sound was brilliant, and I’ll definitely be heading back in the future.

LA based Black English weren’t an obvious choice to support Yann Tiersen; however, their big, loud pop-rock did a good job of setting the scene. They proudly announced to the audience that they’re, “pretty big on instagram, if you guys have that over here.” Indeed we do, Black English:

(although I’m not sure a following on an image sharing network is a ringing testament to your music? Nonetheless, they were a lot of fun! )

After a short interval (in Switzerland, even the gigs are efficient), the lights dimmed, and Yann Tiersen took the stage to a monologue from Aidan Moffat. Hearing a thick Scottish accent was surprisingly comforting after almost two months out of the UK, and not what you expect when you’re going to see a French musician at a show in German speaking Switzerland.

Yann and his band went on to perform most of his new album, “∞”, with a few older compositions thrown in between, creating an interesting mix of avant-garde and electronica. The band seemed to switch between instruments with every song, and Yann himself was constantly up and down between piano, guitar, violin, and melodica. The show itself managed to strike the perfect balance between theatrical and understated. Lights and stage setting were co-ordinated perfectly to create a great atmosphere, which culminated in an amazing violin solo:

Sur Le Fil, from his 1998 album Le Phare, is better known for featuring in the Amelie soundtrack, and was a big crowd pleaser. After a generous encore, the house lights came up at 11pm on the dot (Switzerland!) and the audience headed back out into the real world.

Have you heard “∞” yet? Let me know in the comments!


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