"The only way to perform Brel - as everyone from Scott Walker to John Denver have shown - is to throw yourself at it, and the dramatic Dead Belgian do just that, with aplomb on the opening salvo 'Madeleine' and 'Au Suivant'. The band are best when playing with gusto, as with the romping 'Les Bourgeois' and perpetually delicious 'Amsterdam'."
"Gone are the strings, replaced by a four-piece band that seem born for the word ramshackle, despite their obvious professionalism. It's a street band sound, earthy and vital and reconnecting the words of Brel with a modern audience. Floating over it all is the voice of Fionnuala Dorrity, switching from French to English with ease as she covers all the favourites. Favourites that is for those who know their Brel - and for those who don't this is the perfect introduction."
The Financial Times
"Four live Liverpudlians tackle the most familiar highlights of Jacques Brel’s songbook, creating settings dense with mandolin and ukulele . The disdain of 'La Haine' and 'Les Bourgeois' and the seedy 'Amsterdam' give way to the closing “My Death”, as histrionic as Bowie."
"This is an impressive and welcome debut. If you don’t know Brel, start here then get a compilation of his." READ MORE....
Fold Radio UK
"'Love & Death' weaves between playful abandon, a delicate sparseness and compelling theatre. Despite the inevitable comparisons to the vocals of Edith Piaf and Nico, Dead Belgian have created a sound that is all their own, while remaining true to the spirit of Brel’s music and poetry." READ MORE....
"There's been a switch of gender at the front, with Fionnuala bringing a touch of the Edith Piaf to the proceedings and performing the songs with as much intensity, no easy feat considering the complexities of the arrangements. You may not fully understand the words, but there is no doubting a sense of debauchery contained in the musical narrative and there's a set of crib notes contained in the sleeve. Love & Death: The Songs of Jacques Brel is an excellent experience." READ MORE....
"If you want to ease memories of Westlife and Terry Jacks then 'Le Moribond' will inveigle itself, the faster delivery and quickening mandolin, Dorrity's superb delivery pours acid on the treacle that is 'Seasons in the Sun'."
"Fascinating and oddly bewitching... a montage of eccentric and bizarre tracks on this wildly outlandish CD."
"Taking Jacques' music back to the people. From Scott Walker and Marc Almond to Bellowhead and Camille O'Sullivan, there's been no shortage of artists feeding off the graphic emotion and seedy romance of a Belgian singer-songwriter who almost never sang in English and died in 1978. Wielding accordions, ukuleles, guitars, sax, clarinets, frantic drums and unlimited energy and zest, Liverpool band Dead Belgian's deliciously ramshackle approach deconstructs Brel the myth and icon to reclaim him as a street musician, chanson maestro and people's champion. There's not a string section in sight, but all the big songs are here - Amsterdam, Jacky, Ne Me Quitte Pas, Les Bourgeois, My Death, et al - and in Fionnuala Dorrity singing in both French and English, they have their very own Piaf delivering passion and intensity in bundles over loose arrangements that seem to hit exactly the right levels of throwaway charm, joy, sorrow, frenzy, waywardness and fraught desperation."