Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hugues Aufray: more than just a “cover artist”

Thanks to Miche Duthoit:

“Good to see you reporting on Hugues Aufray again. But I think you underestimate Hugues’ importance: in France at least, he’s rather more than a ‘cover artist’.

“Aufray’s translations (as well as recordings) of the early catalogue converted a whole generation of 1960s French-speaking pop fans to Dylan.

“Keep up your coverage of Dylan from a European perspective; it’s refreshing.”


Hugues Aufray a Paris: non, merci - trop cher

Having only recently discovered Hugues Aufray’s French-language translations/cover versions of the early Dylan catalogue, I was thrilled at the weekend to stumble across a live performance by the Gallic baritone.

I was strolling around les Grands Boulevards in Paris last Saturday evening, wondering what to do, when, lo and behold, at the legendary Rex theatre, there it was - Aufray’s name, up in lights. He was due to take the stage an hour later.

Shall I, shan’t I… ? Hmmmm.

After a moment of indecision, I checked my Pariscope ents guide for ticket prices: “euros 30-55.”

The clincher: trop cher.

So I walked away. I simply don’t value any Dylan cover artist enough to justify paying over £10.

Pity. I’ll continue to enjoy the singer’s best compilation CD, Aufray Chante Dylan - it’s a lovely change from Hardy, Brel or Piaf (and even Malcolm McLaren) when in Paris/Paris mood.

And recommended.

Gerry Smith