I’m not ashamed to say that I first found about the music of Pink Martini when a song of theirs was featured in a Citroën car advert. The song was Sympathique:
Je ne veux pas travailler
Je ne veux pas déjeuner
Je veux seulement oublier
Et puis, je fume
A rough translation in English: “I don’t wanna work, I don’t wanna eat, I just wanna forget. So I’m havin’ a fag.” Not exactly the typical backdrop to a car advert, but it was enough for more to seek out the band’s first album (also titled Sympathique) – and my love affair with Thomas Lauderdale’s band and China Forbes’s vocals had begun.
For those who don’t know Pink Martini, they are a twelve-piece jazz orchestra which appropriates songs and styles from all over the world. As I described to The Prompt blog back in June:
I suppose you might classify them as light jazz, but they absorb influences from around the world like musical magpies – you never know whether their next track is a Japanese folk song, a twisted take on the great American songbook or inspired by a traditional Hebrew prayer. They’re constantly surprising and I can’t wait to see them live at the Royal Albert Hall in October.
Well, October is here, and last night I got my first taste of Pink Martini live – in the Royal Albert Hall, backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
And now I can’t wait to see them again.