The elegant shimmy of the Gauloise-smoking New Wave tiptoes into town this month thanks to the hushed, breathy tones of French band Nouvelle Vague. This time around, however, the band helmed by Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux promises a truly different kind of show.
The band’s eponymous debut in 2004 immediately thrust them into the spotlight. Across its 13 tracks, ’80s classics like Joy Division’s wrenching ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and The Clash’s rabble-rousing ‘Guns of Brixton’ were put through an easy-listening filter, coming out with their edges blunted, smelling faintly of Chanel No. 5, but with a whole new audience ready to gobble them up.
Since then, Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch and Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore have added credibility to the project by collaborating on their well-received third album, 3. Still very much a covers set at that stage, their presence, along with Terry Hall and Barry Adamson, went some way to quashing accusations that they were cynically re-spraying a crucial period in music history for the dinner party set.
As the US and UK’s new-wave well threatened to run dry, it was a creative partnership with one of their fellow countrymen which inspired Nouvelle Vague to explore the true meaning of their name. Working with fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Dawn of Innocence is the result, a conceptual musical combining Nouvelle Vague’s songs with Castelbajac’s sensational designs and a very French fixation with sex and death.
Blondie and XTC may still feature, but with Brazilian singer Karina Zeviani now among the group’s number and some pretty wild outfits, the city’s francophile fans will surely have much more to ponder at Cine Joia than first meets the eye.