Nouvelle Vague @ The Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 26 Apr

French outfit Nouvelle Vague celebrate their 15th anniversary, proving that there's beauty in everything, if you look close enough

Live Review by Paul Sinclair | 01 May 2019

Nouvelle Vague saunter onto the stage this evening amidst a dark, dull glow of purple lighting. Celebrating their 15th anniversary with a stripped back acoustic tour, the group, highly regarded for their lounge act, bossa nova-style covers, softly ease into Visage’s Fade To Grey, as current frontwomen Élodie Frégé and Mélanie Pain float onto the stage to serenade the audience with their haunting, beautiful tones.

It really is quite something to hear Nouvelle Vague’s complete reinvention of both classic and underground songs, tonight turning every tune into a unique spotlight performance. From the gentle sway of Ever Fallen in Love to the catchy swing of the Human FlyFrégé and Pain effortlessly trade vocal chops as the band impeccably support them; at times the atmosphere feels more like a performance than a gig, the crowd spectating more than participating.

"I have some bad news for you," the group announce as the night draws to a close, "maybe this is the last song, so maybe you should sing along."

Somehow managing to add another layer of beauty to an already alluring song, the group hits everyone in the feels with Love Will Tear Us Apart, so much so that the audience continue to sing the chorus, over and over, as the band exits and the lights go out. For a brief moment in time, a few hundred strangers stand together in the dark, singing their heart out, as one.

Two encores later, and the group bid au revoir. Tonight was the reimagining of songs you thought could never be altered in such a mesmerising way, and Nouvelle Vague prove that there's beauty in everything, if you look close enough.