What We Saw From The Cheap Seats (Ce que Nous Voyions Dans Les Sièges Bon-marché!)

Curls-a-everwhere, a little too much blush and generally smiley all round: awww. Pretentious-Hipster-Girl who I didn’t like very much at college and didn’t like me, once said I looked like Regina Spektor. PHG was obviously annoying, didn’t smoke properly, and despite having obvious bingo wings claimed to only ever eat apples; but I still like to think she was right on this occasion.

Now if anyone could give me proper piano lessons…

Eitherway, just as a general monens – this post will definitely have a personal ring to it. It’s been written to be released a few months on as a fire-poker to the memory when the biological one oh-so-slowly fries beneath the cake, weird facts about Olympians and glossy magazines it’s accidentally ingested. It’s testimony to how incredible my boyfriend is for just knowing all this… Hopefully I’ll be able to pull the photos from Alex’s camera once we’ve got them uploaded. In similar way, this post also serves as a musing to one of my favourite artists of all time. So if you don’t like my personal writing, please pick another article form the homepage.

For those that stayed: here we are. Regina’s the one who’s been there with wise words since getting rejected from Cambridge, losing my Dad, as well as totally BOSSing the London Marathon, falling in love a lot, getting and then losing and then getting better friends; reading in libraries with in-ear headphones, etc.

We went to see and artist who, when played from my laptop, is guaranteed to make the cat curl right up next to it.

So, ce que nous voiyons dans les sièges bon-marché, était… as the picture says, Regina Spektor! A hilariously inept holiday but nonetheless romantic and ours – Paris brought up some surprises but the most lovely was Le Trianon, for a second visit (having previously seen the mighty Metric there two days earlier).

Le Trianon definitely astonished us. Being used to sticky-floored academies is one thing; and although Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a favourite venue of ours, Le Trianon definitely battles its way up list. It is a gorgeous 19th century theatre that can hold just over 1,000 people inside. It’s elegantly slotted into the Rochechouart boulevard in north Paris (close to where we were staying) and was described back in the day as “the joyful Monmatre music hall”. Man, it certainly lived up to its name. Like any theatre pre-1950, it has a rounded, almost carved out belly designed for theatre and for carrying sound aroooouuuuund a room – oh yeah. Pretty much like early Dolby.

Picasso and Toulose-Lautrec have both painted Le Trianon. yet, this place is version 2.0, too – after having been burned to the ground in 1900, just three years after being refurbished. Not that you can tell! And with it being on the Rochechouart boulevard means it’s a fair little skip away from the Moulin Rouge, so for a while it was home to both American and French cinema for everyone to watch before they went to see the glamourous burlesque shows.

We went through huge bespoke arched doors into the building, through to a grand reception hall with tiled floors, chandeliers and high, carved ceilings… and a bouncing floor that gives way ever so slightly to any enthusiastic dancing or bouncing. We discovered this – to our architectural concern at that definitely not being a design feature – during Metric. Luckily, Regina gives way to more clapping, head bopping, hand-waving and in some cases, delirious happy-crying.

After the May release of What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, this Paris date was something of a celebratory one. The whole crowd had smiles on their faces who were just happy to see Regina’s – and her husband’s! Jack Dishel was her support act for the evening. Although without the rest of the band Only Son, his set was simple, very cute and very – well – romantic. I got the feeling these two wanted to enjoy and share their music with Paris together. Mmmm…or maybe that’s my rather lovesick-biased take on things. Oh well. It was awesome, he was awesome afterwards and had a chat with us. I highly recommend this track ‘Magic’ from what we heard on the night:

Next up: Regina. Cue one ENORMOUS cheer for the Engilsh-French-Russian speaker who, floats onto the stage in a heavenly dress that looks like she took a bit of sky and belted it around her waist…no, really. YES REALLY. It matches her natural charm and loveliness that shines through every note and every minute of the gig; making little jokes, lots of thankyous, and cutely admits to needing a brush-up on what is otherwise, actually, Received-Perfect French throughout – acutely forgetting that Ne Me Quitte Pas makes for an incredible singalong! All The Rowboats slots in nicely with classics Eet and Blue Lips – it was in these songs that Regina was very visibly touched and overwhelmed by the entire audience knowing every single word, every single line.

Monsieur Dishel came back for Call Them Brothers – a duet they’ve been playing for a few years in their home of New York which the die-hards will know they wrote together. Their voices rang out together perfectly.

Oh and here’s Open because I can’t physically put it into words (before I gush anymore!) and this YouTube viewer needs more than 3 views on this. Geez, world!

Dance Anthem Of The 80s is my favourite though. Even though this isn’t a Begin To Hope era song, it’s still one of her very best, and displays Regina at her songwriter best. I reckon. She tells a poignant story of one-and-then-all-of-us; while managing to get a simple piano riff in there to tie the entire song into a delicious whole.

The actual setlist was much, much longer. At least 6 songs longer. But the cheering after every song would spill over into this long and epic round of applause that, presumably, Her Majesty Regina simply had no time to do the full thing. But here is what we heard, for you…

Ain’t No Cover

Small Town Moon

On the Radio


Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

Blue Lips

All the Rowboats


Patron Saint

Ode to Divorce

Call Them Brothers

(with Only Son)

The Prayer of François Villon (Molitva)




Ballad of a Politician

The Party

Dance Anthem of the 80’s

Oh Marcello



Hotel Song



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