Festival of Libellus- the launch of Tallulah Rendall's album and book!
The iconic Cafe de Paris was recently transformed into a woodland grotto- full of magical performances by the likes of Empress Stah, Gwendoline Lamour, the Alternative Miss World's Andrew Logan and arts and craftsers HungaMunga. All this went down in order to celebrate the launch of Tallulah Rendall's album and book, 'Libellus'. I found the singer surrounded by boxes, giant flowers and glitter, busy preparing for the night- but we managed to fit in a few questions.
Katie:You're collaborating with some wonderful acts for the launch of your album- how did that all come about?
Tallulah Rendall: I have been working away on this album for a long time and now that its finished and in the shops, I really want to celebrate. Not content with simply organising a gig, I decided to put on a Festival, so I searched out all my favourite cabaret performers and lured them with sweets and glitter to Cafe De Paris! It was also an opportunity to gather all the people who have worked so hard and supported me for so long, encourage them to don a fancy dress costume, wiggle and celebrate! When trying to create something of your own, there are times when it can feel like an uphill struggle, so when you have finally achieved what you set out to do, you really have to embrace that-whatever happens next. In my mind I have brought together some of the most impressive and dynamic performers around, and now I am like a small child in a toy shop- I can't wait to see it all come together. Many of the performers are also friends who I have known for a long time, so there is definitely a family feel to the night which it great.
K: We also get to see your new music video at the launch- the stills I've seen so far are breathtaking- can you talk us through the outfits you wore?
TR: The music video is for a song called Black Seagull, which is my favourite track on the record. It involved gathering folks from around Europe and heading to a wee den in Wales- it was truly beautiful. We shot in the gorge next to these amazing waterfalls and then in this 'Blair Witch' forest that was really eerie and I kept getting completely freaked out. I had three outfits; The first was made by Chinyere Eze and was this incredible old, battered, white lace dress that she had sewn white plastic bin bags onto ,creating a ballgown effect-I felt like a creature from a Tim Burton film, a twisted midsummer faerie. I still have it and am going to wear it tonight at some point; I love it!! The other two were from the House of Blue Eyes. Johnny Blue Eyes is this wonderful character who heads up the House of Blues Eyes and works with various different designers including the beautiful lady called Sian who made the Sprite costume- a silver leotard with shards of glass on it. As I leapt in and out of trees the crew had these really amusing looks on their faces, a mixture of wonder and fear, unsure if I would flash them or if a shard of glass would dig into my leg! Luckily neither occurred. The third was for the Black Seagull character renamed by the crew 'the Freak', this was a black PVC number from Johnny which I wore when we shot in the smoke filled woodland (next to these empty graves - which scared the shit out of me!) Sian has also made me a beautiful dress for tonight, with more broken shards.....
K: As far as I know, a Libellus was a document given to Christians, permitting them to perform pagan sacrifice in order to demonstrate loyalty to the authorities of the Roman Empire- is this where the title of your album, and the festival comes from?
TR: Last year I was reading Iris Murdoch's novel The Sea and the protagonist talks about Libellus as a book of poetry that comes to life. I was looking at Beshlie's Paintings and we had just started thinking about a video, and creating this book and I thought that the description completely encapsulated my album. Since then I have discovered all these other definitions.... the pagan sacrifice meaning being one of them.
K: And who's responsible for the gorgeous artwork?
TR: Beshlie Mckelvie- she is an old friend of mine and I feel very honoured that she has been involved in this project. She has been a huge source of inspiration. The book itself was put together by another friend, graphic designer Joantoni Segui Morro who put hours of time and energy into piecing the book together, and graphic designer Joseph Lattimer who spent a year with me working the lyrics into the paintings. All these people have put their time into creating this album for nothing but love and friendship which is an incredible thing in itself.
K:What are your plans for the summer- I've heard rumours of a Jeff Buckley tribute concert in Paris?
TR: The summer- oooooh, more festivals.... I am going to Paris to play at the Jeff Buckley Tribute on 21st June which is an amazing honour. We will be performing for his mum! Then back and forth around the UK playing festivals; Shoreditch Festival on 18th July, Port Eliot on 24th July, Tenby Folk festival 28th August.
Thanks to Peeping Tallulah and Matt Crockett for the pictures of Tallulah at the Festival.