Nouvelle Vague, refreshing frivolity at Barts. The group flew from Paris to display their ironic assaults on the milestones of new wave and post-punk in the key of bossa nova at the Guitar BCN festival
We are seeing how certain concerts by international artists are possible. The first requirement is that they want to do them, submitting to the relevant tests and reducing logistical operations: this is how the French quintet Nouvelle Vague visited us this Wednesday , with its five members, the ‘tour manager’ and two technicians, yielding to the promoter the deployment of production and traveling point to point, without shaping a tour.
It was about recovering, within the framework of the Guitar BCN festival, the concert of their 15th anniversary tour that was suspended a year ago. Vivid emotions in Barts (450 capacity), as transmitted by Mélanie Pain after opening the session appealing to The Cure, New Order and Ramones with their well-known frugal and ‘cool’ bossa nova ways.
“Oh, la, la! We are ’embarrassées’, pregnant? ”, She improvised gracefully, “ because we can’t do any concerts in France. Only in Barcelona ” (and in Murcia, where they are expected this Friday, from where they will fly back to Paris).
Nouvelle Vague took this tour in its day as a return to the starting point, to the ironic acoustic distortion of post-punk and new wave classics, turning them into light and a bit wicked artifacts under the influence of bossa nova.
Olivier Libaux’s guitar imprinted the warm chords on which Pain and Élodie Frégé combined their voices with theatrical gestures. Trio assisted by a drummer and a keyboardist, co-leader Marc Collin, prone to sixties texture on ‘Too drunk to fuck’, an attempt to bring Dead Kennedys hardcore into the imaginary of a Godard soundtrack.
Concert with insinuating inflections, like The Cramps’ psychobilly ‘Human fly’, and some own songs with substance, like that canonical bossa called ‘La pluie et le bon temps’, which could mark a way forward. Because, although the pandemic has allowed him to buy time, Nouvelle Vague has yet to decide what he wants to be when he grows up.