Nouvelle Vague @ the London Roundhouse - October 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Gigs - 2009 Gigs
Written by Katherine Smith   
The word ‘band’ doesn’t quite cover the spectrum of Nouvelle Vague. The brainchild of music industry veterans, Marc Collin and Olivier Labaux, the group produces bossa nova covers of new wave classics. One imagines the two watching French film noir while comparing old record collections when the Frankenstein project idea was born.

The members of Nouvelle Vague are interchangeable depending on their suitability for a track. Each album features a range of vocalists capable of transforming the familiar songs into something unrecognizable. Tonight the line-up features Melanie Pain, Nadeah Miranda and Sophie Delila as a harmonious female triad. Their styles present both visual and audible contrast, but never contention.

When not singing for Nouvelle Vague, Nadeah is vying for attention in her alternative cult rock band, The LoveGods. Her performance tonight rockets towards over the top. You cannot help but be drawn to her as she saunters across the stage, shakes her hair loose, and practically threatens to swallow the mic whole whenever she’s allowed near it.

Given the nature of the group’s shared arrangement, it might have been better for everyone (the audience included) if she had toned her rock-and-roll antics down a bit. As one fan commented, “she’s stealing the attention from everyone else”.

Melanie Pain exists as her polar opposite on stage. The petit French singer’s honey-dripped voice whispers to the audience like an intimate lover. She treated listeners to a stripped-down opening performance featuring independent material from her upcoming album ‘My Name’. “It’s not all about me” she said, “but it’s all about my name”. Her four song set included relaxed French and English tracks based on love, heartache, and, of course, cowboys.

As if we couldn’t get enough, she later returned to the stage to lend her innocent voice to a few not-so-innocent tracks like ‘God Save the Queen", and encourages the audience to chant “No future” with the same fervor as the Sex Pistols did originally.

Sophie Delila, provides the soulful compliments to several other biting covers on Nouvelle Vague’s upcoming third album, including Depeche Mode’s lesser-known "Master and Servant" and a country music version of the Talking Head’s "Road to Nowhere".

Highlights of the show included Nadeah buzzing about during "Human Fly", as well as one of the world’s most covered singles. Hint: It’s the only Joy Division song that anyone really remembers. At one point, Barry Adamson joins the group on stage looking every bit like a full-blown-bad-ass, complete with a top hat, to sing a darker version of Magazine’s "Parade".

The brilliance is that you don’t have to give a toss about new wave. Collin and Labaux have cleverly figured that sets shouldn’t be a potluck draw of good tracks. Most everyone will find at least one prized piece of ear-candy with the Nouvelle Vague draw.
RocketTheme Joomla Templates