Johnny Borrell and Zazou, 100 Club, gig review: Bigmouth strikes again

Gig was like something you’d stumble across in a far flung corner of Glastonbury as played by people who got dressed blindfolded in a costume shop

Shaun Curran
Wednesday 02 March 2016 12:56
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Johnny Borrell and Zazou
Johnny Borrell and Zazou

Since he stormed onto the post-Libertines scene in a blaze of drugs, cheekbones and braggadocio, (“Dylan’s making the chips, I’m drinking champagne”), Johnny Borrell baiting has been something of a national pastime.

So when Razorlight inevitably fractured and his debut album, Borrell 1 (of course), a ragbag collection of cabaret tunes with so much sax you thought it was a dare, sold less than 600 copies in its first week, the schadenfruede was gleeful.

Undeterred, bigmouth is striking again. Forthcoming album The Atlantic Culture bravely picks up the baton from its predecessor. It is a world away from “America”: tonight we get everything from blues, jazz, music hall, skiffle, rhumba and, yes, rock n roll - sometimes in the space of one song.

It’s as absurd as it sounds, like something you’d stumble across in a far flung corner of Glastonbury as played by people who got dressed blindfolded in a costume shop. And while “The Artificial Night” and “Camera Song” show Borrell’s (golden) touch with a melody hasn’t deserted him, it’s hard to imagine Zazou faring much better second time around. Yet as his smile beams throughout, that is perhaps the point.

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