Now 69, Faithfull imagines a vengeful return to the city that chewed her up and spat her out in the 60’s for naughtiness with rock bands, making her entrance as Pirate Jenny, the bloodthirsty maid in Threepenny Opera.
If London rings with the menace of a Bertolt Brecht–Kurt Weill score, that’s no accident. Faithful played Pirate Jenny on stage in 1996, which led to an album of Brecht-Weill and Noel Coward music. And her mother was a ballerina who danced in Brecht-Weill productions in her native Austria. So she knows what she’s doing.
Never one to need help saying what she means, Faithfull nonetheless doubles down by co-writing with a couple of other pull-no-punch social assassins, Nick Cave and Steve Earle. Shrinking violets beware; London hits as hard – perhaps harder – than her previous pinnacle, Broken English.