BIRKIN SERGES AHEAD

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Indy Lifestyle Online
In the Sixties, Jane Birkin shot to fame with "Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus", a sensual anthem to free love which featured lover Serge Gainsbourg's growling while she panted prettily over the top. Slammed by the Vatican and banned by the BBC, it was granted an enduring popular appeal. The same cannot be said of Birkin herself, who, in England, has faded to the dusty status of pop muse while the French fete and pet her as a 50-year- old gamine. Birkin's profile should rise above the retro this week, however, when she crosses the Channel to promote her new album with a concert on the South Bank.

The Best of Jane Birkin is (like much of Birkin's life since his demise in 1991) a celebration of the late great Serge. Although Birkin (right) is certainly the most committed ambassador for the rascally bon viveur, a new generation of hipsters are discovering Gainsbourg's work. Suede, Stereolab and Black Grape have recorded songs of nicotine-stained suggestiveness, while Bad Seed Mick Harvey has recorded a whole album.

If it's innocence and sincerity you want, Birkin's your girl. Few performers could deliver a song entitled "Di Doo Dah" with quite her unforced naivete. Welcome home, Jane.

Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London (0171-960 4201) Tue 15 April 7.30pm

Liese Spencer

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