It was a little sad to see Marianne at first when I arrived at her Paris flat. When I met her 2 years ago she was up and about, whilst this time she was slightly less able after having broken her hip a while back. However, my sadness was short lived as we were met with a sharp mind and quick witted woman with no punches pulled. The flat was new for Marianne and she hadn’t fully moved in yet. She’s been horizontal for several of months which she claims is the reason for her best album in a long time. (It gave her time to think without interruption.) Francois, Marianne’s manager who was also there at the time of the shoot, put the album on, volume up and Marianne’s coarse voice and protesting lyrics did give me a feeling of listening to an album from the 70’s that will last the test of time. The blues was present both in her voice, lyrics and rhythm.
When it was time to start the shoot Marianne asked, no – told me!: ‘Be fast and not to faff around’. Her cane was present and although for many this would be a sign of a disability it worked the opposite way for Marianne. The cane gave Marianne a stronger presence, a feeling of dominance – the exact feeling you get as soon as Marianne opens her mouth to talk to you. When Marianne talks – you listen. Not in a bad way but in an inquisitive, intrigued and fascinated way – for Marianne has many stories and a way of telling them that keeps you listening. The same goes for her last album, the lyrics are essential.
Her most known album “Broken English” has her smoking a cigarette on the album cover. Now she’s taken that image into the 21st century and replaced the cigarette with a vaporiser and the “Broken English” with a “Broken Hip”. A wonderfully interesting woman.