Nouvelle Vague performing reinterpreted new wave and punk songs arranged by band members Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux and sung to a bossa nova, calypso or reggae beat was very very clever and a lot of fun. The uber feminine vocals, drums, keyboard and synthesiser, acoustic guitar, and the electric bass were skillfully played to create a great atmosphere for dancing and shock horror, even singing along.
‘Too Drunk to Fuck’ caused me to laugh out loud for two reasons. One, sung by two attractive French women with sensual feminine voices to a musical arrangement that was definitely not punk. Second, any reputation that Perth needs to establish because they are going to Sydney next can get fucked because any encouragement for louder crowd participation lubricated by alcohol at Beck’s Music Box is just not going to happen. Having decided that paying $7 for a beer (a Beck’s at that), $35 for a bottle of Watershed’s unwooded chardonnay was not going to do it either.
I agree with H, the vocals were ‘bright’ at the live performance. I had listened to Dance With Me prior to the performance, so was expecting softer vocals, but it was pretty cool and a huge contrast to the earlier Lords of the New Church version.
Nouvelle Vague’s web presence offers some video and audio and it was kinda fun to listen again to their rendition, and seeking out video/audio of the originals. The following list is not exclusive, but just some of the songs I remember from the night, probably because they were familiar from an earlier time 🙂
- Too Drunk To Fuck Dead Kennedys*
- God Save the Queen Sex Pistols
- Guns of Brixton The Clash*
- Love Will Tear Us Apart Joy Division*
- Dancing With Myself Billy Idol*
- Dance With Me Lords of the New Church (live)*
- In a Manner of Speaking Tuxedo Moon*
- Friday Night, Saturday Morning The Specials
- Girl You Want Devo
- Bella Lugosi’s Dead Bauhaus/Nine Inch Nails *
Nouvelle Vague are practised performers and thoroughly entertaining. However, I was bemused by some of the audience sitting near us that didn’t appear to understand the pun , recognise the contrast to the original work, or sometimes parody. To be quite honest, if you went along to listen to “the nice singing”, you could have stayed home and turned on your home entertainment system and held any conversations about “he said that”, and “she said what” by inviting your friends to your own soirée.
 “… new wave and bossa nova mean the same thing …” — Dorian Lynsky, The Guardian