Apple @ Botanical: Enthusiastic in charming vitamientjes

Pomme has been combining folk with French chanson for some time now and often does so in a beautiful way. Claire Pommet started her career on YouTube, posting cover videos, gradually building a fan base in her home country. Pomme released her debut album in 2017 and just before the pandemic a second full-length was released, which she is now finally presenting at the Botanique, after the show was postponed a few times. Surrounded by a largely French-speaking audience, the singer managed to touch us with her fragile and sincere music.

Just before the raindrops began to fall from the sky, Aurel started his set. The musician initially came up with weak beats and an unconvincing live act. He was alone on stage and remained behind his keyboards for most of the performance, which soon made the whole thing seem static. During the instrumental parts, Aurel could throw himself on his keyboard or guitar with more conviction. After a while more powerful songs came out, causing the audience to dance a bit and the temperature rose noticeably in the tent. The show later slumped back a bit, but Aurel managed to straighten things out. The bumpy ride was therefore brought to a successful end, but we especially hope that the musician will soon start looking for a live band.

Pomme’s performance started a cappella and once her musicians joined in, the intimate party could really begin. The French already showed up to great applause and the great enthusiasm of the audience became a common thread throughout the evening. Soon the singer indicated that you could sing along, whether you knew the lyrics or not. The whole time the big fans sang along and the positive appearance of the audience was contagious for those who know the music less well and for Pomme herself. The musician stood on stage with a big smile and if you looked closely you could see her eyes twinkling under her froufrou.

Throughout the evening Pomme played not only acoustic and electric guitar, but also several times on the autoharp and other small instruments. This created some variation in the performance and for those who found the quiet folk songs just too monotonous, there were countless talks in between, during which the star of the evening showed her charms. For example, at the end she said that she saw someone with a champion hat during a performance and afterwards went to ask if she could have it. The owner didn’t get excited right away, but Pomme still got the hat he bought at Sziget, if she promised to put it on during every performance. Playful stories like this added color to the evening and slowly melted us away from the person hiding behind the music.

Pomme didn’t just play her own songs, she tried to bring a subdued version of “Désenchantée”, originally by Mylène Farmer. While she accompanied herself on electric guitar, she sang along with full blast and the measure was indicated by enthusiastic clapping. A very nice moment, but sometimes the intimacy was lost because of this. For a moment we wondered if Pomme wouldn’t get a bit boring without this enthusiastic audience, because the vast majority of the songs sound rather calm. After briefly racking our brains, we are convinced not, because the musicians on stage play well and the soft voice tastes like sweet honey.

Pomme managed to keep the audience captivated the whole time in a subtle, understated way. The folk songs were spoken together smoothly and pleasantly and so the time flew by. The French confessed that she was afraid that everyone would have left before she started the bistro round, but even those five extra songs were warmly received by the audience. Without a doubt, Pomme put down a strong presentation, which made the audience enthusiastic and the interaction between the two made it a very pleasant evening.

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