Buckley, Jeff : Live A L’Olympia

Stunning live performance in Paris

Given his voracious desire to perform, it was always inevitable that

last year’s formidable ‘Mystery White Boy’ would not be the only Jeff

Buckley live album to see the light of day. Once again, his mother Mary

Guibert and guitarist Michael Tighe have collaborated to make these

tapes available for release, a document of his concerts at the legendary

Parisian venue L’Olympia in July 1995, nearly two years before his


“First and foremost,” read the sleevenotes, “we’d like to acknowledge

the fact that it was the French who were the first to recognize and

acclaim the magic and power of Jeff’s voice, music and poetry.” This

might well be true, but that means we can also hold them responsible for

marring this version of ‘Hallelujah’, Buckley laughing as the audience

hold their lighters in the air and exclaiming “This is so rock’n’roll”.

Yet elsewhere, the sense of live excitement is palpable and touching:

the explosive segue from ‘Eternal Life’ into ‘Kick Out The Jams’;

playing at Piaf with ‘Je N’En Connais Pas La Fin’, a luminous ‘Lover You Should Have Come Over’; a hilarious “33 rpm played at 45 rpm” helium

gabble through ‘Kashmir’. “You’ve given us a lot,” yells an ecstatic

audience member. “You’ve given me a lot too,” replies Buckley, but this

album once again proves our debt.

Victoria Segal