Few souls in cabaret are more tortured than that of La Poule Plombée. She has now found a compadre to share her woes in the guise of Gallic ladies’ man and fellow crooner Marcel Lucont. In between bouts of existential angst, the fractious diva spoke to Franco Milazzo about You Put the “No” in Noël.
Arriving just in time for the holidays, Christmas single You Put The No In Noël features a duet between La Poule Plombée (one of Sarah-Louise Young’s legion of alter egos) and laconic French wit Marcel Lucont. And who else could be on composing duties but the cabaret maestro Michael Roulston?
The song sees the two at loggerheads over the upcoming festivities. It may be their first recorded duet (after a live encounter at the last date of variety show La Rêve), but the pair are already bickering about what may be their last Christmas together.
How did you and Marcel Lucont get around to collaborating?
Marcel and I go back a long way. We threw up together. The idea for cashing in on each other’s success – pardon – writing a Christmas single together, was mutual. For me, it was an artistic endeavour. For Marcel, it was for the girls.
The title I believe was Marcel’s. We then met together over a bottle of vintage 1867 Cognac and thrashed ideas about. Marcel wanted to climb out of his usual humour de toilette. With lines like “you dress like a harlot, you eat like a hog, each year you block the toilet with your chocolate log,” I feel we have achieved this.
At what point did Michael Roulston come into the project?
The lyrics always come first. The music must serve the words, or else I get très cross. After completing the lyrics, Marcel and I raced over to Michael’s at three o’clock in the morning and sang the song outside his bedroom window relentlessly until he finally agreed to come down and set it to music.
Tempers can flare up quite quickly with, uh, passionate artists like you. What was it like between the three of you once you were in the studio?
Michael and I have collaborated for six years, so we have a shorthand. I used that shorthand on Marcel and, after he had stopped bleeding, he just sang what we told him to sing.
What was the concept behind the video?
Get as much done in as little time as possible for no money. Fortunately Café de Paris let us film there, and the Bee’s Knees agreed to pretend to fancy Marcel.
Have you had any reactions from French viewers to the video?
What are you up to in 2013?
I try not to get involved with the business side of things, but the woman who carries my bags for me is apparently off to Australia to do a new show about Julie Andrews called Julie Madly Deeply, before taking it to Edinburgh. There is talk of me finally getting the solo show I deserve, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
Will your luggage assistant be carrying bags for any other video collaborations? Maybe by some of her other employers, like Sammy Mavis Junior?
Sammy would collaborate with a phone box if it paid for dinner. I believe she is technically “open to offers”.
The single You Put the “No” in Noël can be bought through iTunes. For upcoming live dates and other details about Sarah-Louise Young, Marcel Lucont and Michael Roulston, see their respective websites.