Location: Cafe de Paris Date: Wednesday 3rd June 2009 Info: Words and photographs by Yasmin Selena Butt Singer-songwriter Tallulah Rendall launched her debut album Libellus to the witty poetry of Fran Landesman, the sounds of jubilant post-rock by SonVer - accompanied by spectacular Israeli/Swedish exotic aerial artists Yam and Leo reprising their 'Ebusus' piece from Circus show 'Resonate' to an enthralled audience, plus a flurry of glamorous burlesque dancers in Leicester Square's dimly-lit decadence tinged Cafe de Paris. Arts collective Hungamunga took over the bar area for those who wanted to express artistic intention. Ticket holders were encouraged to dress up. Plenty did. The night climaxed with a funk and '70s glam rock disco which went on into the small hours. The whole event compered by a man dressed as a lion. Talking of lions, a signed copy of 'A Lion Called Christian' (about how Rendall's cool, bohemian father John, bought and parented a lion from Harrods before returning him to the wild) was also raffled for charity, shown with a clip of the emotional reunion between the big cat and the man when they were re-united in the wild. It was best to leave your inhibitions at the door though, this was no ordinary album launch, members of Bearded Kitten used cherries attached to a fishing rope to tease the audience from the balcony and later blindfolded men and women and encouraged them to pair up to dance, and then afterwards indulge in a spot of limbo. Burlesque artist Empress Stah performed several risque routines, most notably - one scantily clad in scarlet, which culminated in her to the shock of the crowd - pulling a string of diamonds from her pussy, quite aptly to the Scissor Sister's 'Filthy/Gorgeous,'and another with her shimmering naked to upbeat pop Abba and Hot Chocolate tracks covered head to toe in gold sequins. As well as possessing an unrepentant desire to shock and enthral, Stah is also a fantastic acrobat on silks, well worth seeing tracking down if you get a chance and have an open mind. The seductive Gwendoline Lamour supplied Rita Hayworth glamour with an elegant fan dance, and Serena Mattar performed a literal 'Storm in a Teacup' decorated as a painted geisha. The barefoot hostess Tallulah Rendall arrived on stage looking like a forest bride, resplendent in white, with her blonde hair tossed in a wild, frosted swirl around her glitter zagged face. Sharing the stage with a band including Joanna Quail on cello from SonVer, she performed the vast majority of the new album with the songs spilling over one another. Bar an opening technical glitch which was deftly fixed by guesting guitarist Ruban Byrne, the set was passionate and flowed smoothly. The songs so delicately produced on the release were played harder in the venue, but the unbridled energy suited the night. Rendall is an exciting live singer as well as a multi-instrumentalist, with her music melding genres from smoky blues and jazz with the moody and spiky delicate in places Black Seagull who's video she showcased this evening, to the escalating, thumping impassioned rock delirium in the uplifting chorus to 'Hope Tonight' a song inspired by punk chanteuse Patti Smith. Both were stand out tracks tonight, with Hope Tonight seeing the band on stage sway in a heated rhythm wrapped up in sound. Rendall's voice veers between sweetly bright like Kate Bush's to a belting howl. Playing piano and guitar tonight to an audience of friends, fans, industry and family, she proved tonight yet again that music in the 21st century is no longer dependant on the whims of a record label who would probably have tried to package and pigeonhole her; as the free spirit she clearly is she defies this. Libellus is a self release for Tallulah Rendall on her own label Transducer Records, produced by Bjork and PJ Harvey producer Marius de Vries and has already received glowing reviews. Check her album out on Spotify, and hear her for yourself. For more about Tallulah Rendall visit: http://www.tallulahrendall.com See the video of Christian The Lion here!