Later with Jools Holland, Metallica...and Carla Bruni
Tuesday 02 September 2008
The halls of the Elysée Palace are not famous for reverberating with the thrashing drums and shredded guitar solos of "Kill 'Em All", "Cunning Stunts" or "St Anger". Nevertheless, the French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is apparently enthralled to be taking time out from her diplomatic duties to jam alongside the heavy metal band Metallica – and Sir Paul McCartney – in a live appearance on Jools Holland's late-night television music show in two weeks' time.
The 40-year-old former model, who married President Nicolas Sarkozy in February, is booked to perform on the live broadcast, which will make up the first episode in a new BBC2 series beginning on 16 September.
Mme Bruni-Sarkozy will use the show, which traditionally begins with all of the host's guests playing together, to boost UK sales of her recent album Comme Si de Rien N'Etait, which translates as "As If Nothing Had Happened".
Her quiet and reflective acoustic strumming will provide contrast to the head-banging antics of the heavy metal band Metallica, appearing on the show for the first time in 12 years. The former Beatle Paul McCartney will headline, with the Nashville rock trio Kings of Leon completing the line-up. A spokesman for Later With Jools Holland said the inclusion of Bruni-Sarkozy on the same bill as the world's most famous heavy metal band was a natural choice.
"There's always a bit of a mix of acts on the show, and Carla has been brought in alongside some heavier rock acts for this reason," he said. "It's just whatever the producers think would make a good show. If they think the artists are good enough, that's it. They don't just put people on for the sake of it."
Alison Howe, the producer of the series, said Bruni-Sarkozy had "made a charming album, and wanted to come and perform on Later as we are first and foremost a music show".
After contributing to the opening jam session, Mme Bruni-Sarkozy will give a brief interview to Jools Holland, the show's piano-playing host, before singing a few songs from her third album, which went straight to the top of the French charts following its release last month.
The album initially raised eyebrows in France for its unabashed and explicit references to Bruni-Sarkozy's relationship with the French President.
One particularly raunchy song, entitled "Yours", contains the lyrics "You're my lord, you're my darling, you're my orgy ... I who always sought fire, am burning for you like a pagan woman." Other numbers see the first lady likening her lover to cocaine and even musing about her prolific love life, singing "I am still a child, despite my 40 years, despite my 30 lovers".
The record was almost entirely penned by the former model and included collaborations with the French novelist Michel Houellebecq and the singer Julien Clerc. Despite the controversial lyrics it was instantly hailed as a triumph by the conservative newspaper Le Figaro, which called it a "great success" and the mature work of an "exceptional singer".
Mme Bruni-Sarkozy's forthcoming appearance has drawn the ire of rock purists. James McMahon, features editor of the New Musical Express magazine, described the invitation as despicable.
He said: "As somebody who cares deeply about the power of rock and roll, I think it's disgusting. I've always been of the belief that rock and roll is supposed to be anti-authoritarian and about kicking up a fuss, not about cosying up to the establishment."
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