If I introduced you to a French singer whose stock in trade included the powerful ballads of Edith Piaf, the clever lyricism of Jacques Brel or even a song from a Francophone Canadian, Kate McGarrigle, you wouldn't bat an eyelid.
But what if I went on to say that here was a chanteuse who felt equally at home with the work of Vin Garbutt, Kieran Halpin, Allan Taylor, Colum Sands and Buffy Sainte-Marie? That, whatever we also think of La Môme and Brel, is when the story of Flossie Malavialle becomes especially interesting to Salut! Live.
To my deep regret, though I know a lot about Flossie and her life in, of all places, Darlington, I had not heard her sing until today, when I caught her YouTube clips (I will post one with this article). Et quelle voix! And after that first acquaintance, Flossie is the subject of a rare specimen indeed, a new year's resolution I actually propose to keep: to make sure I go on to listen a lot more of her music.
Salut! has other reasons to find her an intriguing character, of which more later. But it is also true that I instinctively warm to anyone who enjoys the heartiest of endorsements from some of the people I most respect in British and Irish folk:
Colum Sands Flossie has a voice as clear and tuneful as a lark, with a pureness of quality to stop you in your tracks in the forest of a song
Vin Garbutt Flossie’s great! She came over from France and wowed everybody with her sensational voice, her gutsy guitar style, eclectic repertoire and franglais patter
Kieran Halpin To have a song covered by a voice with the beauty, clarity and passion of Flossie is a pleasure that should be enjoyed by all songwriters
Allan Taylor Flossie is inspiring! She sings every song with such skill and commitment. She even sings my songs better than me! It’s great to have her on our scene