Nouvelle Vague @ Cyprus Avenue 20/7/12

Let’s face facts, Nouvelle Vague give good pop. Whether it’s on their latest album of Bossa Nova covers or if you’re lucky enough to catch the French hipsters in person. Their return to Cork was no different. I caught their show at the same venue last year and the quartet had high expectations to live up to from their last visit.


Thankfully gallic flair was in ample abundance throughout their set. They took to the stage with a low-key rendition of The Cure’s ‘Lullaby but things started to take off with their familiar version of ‘Ever fallen in love with someone’ and they took the ball and ran with a stonking cover of ‘Blue Monday’. A certain amount of crowd participation is to be expected when the Vague are in town from impromptu forays into the audience to nice conversational breaks to collapsing tables, this night had it all.

The band’s line-up is changeable but for this Irish acoustic tour Liset Alea and Mareva Galanter share the vocal duties and boy do they know how to deliver a crowdpleaser. Alea managed to forget the lyrics at one point but did so with such charm that she had the audience in the palm of her hand. The venue set up on the night really suits this type of gig as the audience are almost encroaching upon the playing area and it all adds to the feeling of this being an impromptu set in somebody’s living room as opposed to a sell out in one of Cork’s favourite live spots.


The highlight was undoubtedly  the group’s ever popular rendition of the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Too drunk to fuck’ with accompanying raucousness.  Other notable mentions on the night were ‘Golden brown’ and God save The Queen’, then all too suddenly  they’ve flown through the twenty odd numbers of their set and it’s time to say Bon soir with ‘In a manner of speaking’ drawing proceedings to a close. They’re a live act that never fails to impress through their ability to connect with a crowd. It’s been a lovely, intimate night with one of France’s finest exports


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