Nouvelle Vague Live: Les Femmes, Le Fun, Le Fromage

You can’t really argue with the Nouvelle Vague gimmick: a French project created by two male producers that includes a revolving door of hot model singers, doing loungey, bossanova covers of 1980s post-punk/new wave classics.

Live, the girls frug, wear mini-dresses, slap each other on the ass, slow dance together, ask you if you’re “Too Drunk to F*ck” and warble through a mesh-grabbag of some of your favourite edgy 80s songs. No, you can’t really argue with the awesomeness of that equation, can you?

Can you?

Mais oui.

It’s not that they’re not fun. Nouvelle Vague are LE FUN. French girls writhing on the floor? That is surely LE FUN incarnate!

Take this, for example. LE FUN right?

Pour les hommes  (et quelques femmes), this is of course the stuff of very sticky dreams. Plus, the song choices and laid-back lounge treatements are cool if you, like me, weren’t listening to Journey or Cyndi Lauper in the 80s. The Vancouver menu included the Police’s “So Lonely”, Depeche Mode’s “Master of Servant”, Modern English’s “Melt With You, The Cramps’ “Human Fly”, PIL’s “This is Not a Love Song” and The Specials’ “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”. See, beaucoup de fun.

And when you watch Nouvelle Vague, it’s impossible not to imagine yourself in first class on a plane in the late 60s, sitting next to a pencil-moustachioed man with a cravatte who smells faintly of camembert, while really gorgeous women serve you perfectly chilled Pastis as you wing your way en route to an Austin Powers film set.

No, tu ne peux pas argue with that side of Nouvelle Vague.

But I’mma gonna pick a fight about something else.

In Vancouver, on Feb 5 at least, there was something, just….off about the whole thing. Partway through, a little French horn blasted in my ear: “Sacre bleu! This is just trop gimmicky!”

Perhaps it was the insincerity about Marina and Melanie (absolutely no chemistry whatsoever) as they “playfully” kicked off their heels and danced around, kicked their legs in the air, complained they’d drunk too much, lay on the stage, and ooh-la-la’d their way through between-song banter with their sexy accents, while the hipster crowd cheered.

“You know, le Nouvelle Vague, it means “New Wave”, right?” Marina purred at the audience, and we tittered. But it felt just a bit too contrived, like we were watching a carbon copy of last night’s show, and the night before that – that all the flirting was utterly prescribed.

In other words, it was not as LE FUN as it could be if this were a real band, you know, having real….LE FUN. \m/

2 responses to “Nouvelle Vague Live: Les Femmes, Le Fun, Le Fromage”

  1. Ha ha ha – excellent! I thought I could stomach the YouTube clip seeing as it was only 1:39, but couldn’t take past :53. By :11 enough proof had been supplied that your review was bang on.

  2. Nice – love this review, I hear you! I haven’t seen these guys live before, but the way you describe it, I can definitely imagine the hipster-heavy crowd. Actually, I’ve been to a one too many shows lately with a crowd full of carbon copies where the band has seemed a bit soul-less. I hope it’s not a trend

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