The rock press tends to describe Bertrand Burgalat as a mouthpiece for bohemian bourgeois zeitgeist — think William Klein's The Model Couple, Georges Perec's Things: A Story of the Sixties or Réjean Ducharme's L'hiver de force. Mind you, a remarkable detail people often go over too quickly when it comes to Burgalat's work itself is the stretch of his tentacles that spread far enough to reach from Air to Einstürzende Neubauten.
Burgalat played his first-ever show in Montreal to an enthusiastic crowd that eagerly welcomed the singer's old repertoire as much as recent numbers like "Bardot's Dance" and "Survet' vert et mauve." Cabaret du Mile End was indeed a pretty good place to forget about the Mayan calendar last night. The 49-year-old singer, producer and composer, backed up by four musicians, played an eclectic mix of keyboard-driven pop songs that owed as much to Jean-Claude Vannier as to Claude François.
Best of luck, Mr. Burgalat, maybe someday critics will stop focussing on the ascot and glasses to pay a little more attention to details that don't call for the winning word "dandy" tossed at every occasion.
To see Exclaim!'s Pop Montreal photo gallery, head here.