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Mick Harvey performs Serge Gainsbourg

Iconic musician Mick Harvey, co-founder and guitarist of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party and The Boys Next Door, and long-time producer and band member for PJ Harvey, celebrates French composer Serge Gainsbourg’s 90th birthday at Melbourne Recital Centre.

Performing a selection of songs from his four albums of translated Serge Gainsbourg songs, Harvey will be joined on stage by J.P. Shilo, Dan Luscombe, Glenn Lewis, Hugo Cran, a string section and a variety of guest singers including Xanthe Waite.

The night also features a screening of Souvenirs of Serge – a rare glimpse into the personal life of Serge Gainsbourg by the woman who knew him best: his lover and creative collaborator, Jane Birkin.

It took 20 years for Mick Harvey to resume his project of translating Serge Gainsbourg’s songs into English and following the release of Volume 3 – Delirium Tremens, Mick completed the series with Volume 4 – Intoxicated Women in 2016. The albums contain many duets and songs written by Gainsbourg, mostly during the ’60s, in a period where he was focusing his songwriting on singers such as France Galle, Juliette Greco and, most famously, Brigitte Bardot.

Mick Harvey says, ‘I have been a big fan of Serge for a long time and found more and more material of his, he is a great writer, a great lyric writer and I discovered early on that so few people outside of French speaking countries were really aware of his work at all’ he added ‘So I set about translating his words to do justice to his original works and put down the words in the style for women he wrote for. After the initial recordings for Delirium Tremens, J.P. Shilo and I continued investigating the duets and female songs many of which were unknown to me. So, it became a voyage of discovery into quite a lot of material I hadn’t heard before. There are even a couple of songs for which the only versions existing from the ’60s are from TV performances Serge gave.’


Xanthe Waite (vocals) is Mick’s niece and member of Melbourne band, Terry.
JP Shilo (guitar/keys) is long-time collaborator of Mick Harvey and was also for Rowland S. Howard. He plays in The Blackeyed Susans and Hungry Ghosts.
Dan Luscombe (keys) is a member of The Drones, The Blackeyed Susans and also produces for Courtney Barnett
Hugo Cran (drums) is a member of Cambodian Space Project and ex-Devastations
Glenn Lewis (bass) is a member of Cambodian Space Project

The string section consists of six violins led by Bronwyn Henderson who has done Mick’s strings for some time now and also led The Blackeyed Susans’ strings for their recent Melbourne Recital Centre performance.


Thursday 12 July 2018, 7.30pm
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall (Two hours & 45-mins incl. interval)
Mick Harvey Performs Serge Gainsbourg
Tickets $49
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre

For more information and to book tickets visit: melbournerecital.com.au | 03 9699 3333


Di Rolle
di@dirolle.com | 0419 001 068