Live Music: Lou Doillon at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Lou Doillon Lee's Palace Toronto

Late last year model and actress Lou Doillon released her debut record Places to huge acclaim in Europe and she’s been out on tour this year promoting it still quite vigorously. Starting the last leg of her tour off at CMJ last week in New York, she popped by Toronto’s Lee’s Palace on Sunday night to treat a somewhat sizeable crowd of a much older demographic than we’re used to, to a beautiful emotive set of tracks from her 2012 album in addition to a Pretenders cover of “I Got To Sleep” as well as a stripped down version of The Clash’s “Should I Stay Of Should I Go Now.”

There’s no doubt that her music is heavily influenced by her upbringing, sprawling family which includes mother Jane Birken, equally talented half sister Charlotte Gainsbourg, father director Jacques Doillon, and step father Serge Gainsbourg. She’s said her role models are Patti Smith, Nina Simone, and Fiona Apple, so it’s no surprise her stage presence and music calls to mind these three talented women almost immediately.

Talking between poigniant tracks like “I.C.U.” and “Defiant” which highlight her husky toned vocals, Doillon provided either the story in which she wrote the track, or what it was about or inspired by. The polite crowd clapped between songs quite a lot, there wasn’t a lot of wooing or cat calling, except one very excited crowd member who yelled at her drunkenly in French, and at the end of the set Doillon took the time to introduce her “divine” band and thanked the crowd for coming “on a Sunday night, that late.”

Stand out tracks of the set were “Devil or Angel” and “Questions And Answers,” as well as album closer and encore “Real Smart” which she introduced with a long story about finding beauty in the imperfect and common, moments of pathetic tiny pride, and how she wrote it one night when she was “absolutely wasted.”

Truly a perfect way to end a fall weekend. Check out some of our photos of the set below.

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