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nouvelle vague tour2024Die Kantine, Cologne, Germany
9th May 2024
Nouvelle Vague - “20th anniversary ‘Should I stay or should I go’ - Tour 2024” - Special guest: Pano

It has been almost 20 years since the Parisian collective NOUVELLE VAGUE, founded by Marc Collin and the late Olivier Libaux, released their first album. The concept: New Wave = New Bossa Nova = NOUVELLE VAGUE. Punk and New Wave standards are reinterpreted and recorded in the dreamy style of the Bossa Nova of the 50s and 60s with rousing vocals. Their sound is unique and unmistakable. NOUVELLE VAGUE quickly became a worldwide success. After releasing nine studio albums, a recent tour that took them through Holland, Turkey, Romania, Poland and beyond, and an album of the same name, the NOUVELLE VAGUE project returns to the stages of Germany with their “Should I Stay Or Should I Go - 20th anniversary Tour 2024”.


The task of opening up the evening fell to PANO, a talented singer-songwriter from Berlin, who came to with the reinforcement of her guitarist Luke. PANO has released her self-titled album this year and is ready to conquer the world with her melancholic, yet at times dynamic interpretation of Indie Pop.

Music & Performance
Arriving early paid off that night, as PANO opened the evening already at 8pm. Verona and her fellow musician Luke walked unceremoniously on stage, and presented their sparsely instrumented, yet captivating version of Indie Pop with the opener ‘Yours To Keep’. The duo won over the hearts of the Kantine audience slowly but surely, as they showed their incredible talent alternating between guitar and piano, although the latter seemed to give them a little headache, as it refused to change the sound setup. However, even with this little glitch, PANO handled their set in an incredibly sovereign and charming way.

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

Nouvelle Vague

NOUVELLE VAGUE has become a musical phenomenon over the past two decades. Initially conceived as a one-off tribute to Post-Punk songwriting in a bossa nova style, NOUVELLE VAGUE’s debut album unexpectedly soared to global acclaim. The band’s unique fusion of melancholic Post-Punk and Bossa Nova, coupled with their daring French reinterpretation approach, set them apart. The new album, inspired by vocalist Alonya’s rendition of THE CLASH’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’, continues NOUVELLE VAGUE’s tradition of reinventing classics. It amplifies the timeless significance and continued impact of NOUVELLE VAGUE’s musical legacy.

Music & Performance
The atmosphere crackled with anticipation as the crowd, a mix of ages and backgrounds united by their love for these reimagined classics, filled the venue. The change-over this time was over surprisingly quick, as only 30 minutes after PANO left the stage, the lights went low again, and the anticipation levels in the crowd reached sky-high levels. The crowd erupted into applause, as the four musicians arrived on stage which was drenched in blue light and kicked off their set with the goosebumps-inducing chords of JOY DIVISION’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, and once singer Mélanie Pain started to sing, it became really an encompassing experience. The club’s intimate setting felt perfect for NOUVELLE VAGUE’s smooth, sultry sound. As the band took the stage, the warm glow of the lights and the gentle hum of conversation gave way to the opening notes of a Bossa Nova rendition - a stark contrast to the song’s original punk energy. NOUVELLE VAGUE’s magic lies in their ability to completely transform familiar tracks.

SONGS LIKE JOY DIVISION’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and BAUHAUS’ ‘She’s in Parties’ became hauntingly beautiful ballads under the spell of their Bossa Nova makeover. Especially for the latter, Phoebe Killdeer’s breathy vocals floated over the relaxed percussion and jazzy guitar lines, creating a sense of melancholic nostalgia, reminiscing of old James Bond movies. The crowd swayed and sang along, captivated by the unique soundscapes NOUVELLE VAGUE painted. There was a certain intimacy to the performance, with the band members themselves swaying gently and sharing smiles throughout the set. The energy, though laid-back, was infectious, drawing the audience into their world of cool sophistication. The highlights of the night were undoubtedly their iconic covers of ‘The Girls on Film’ by DURAN DURAN and ‘The Guns of Brixton’ by THE CLASH. These high-octane tracks, originally anthems of rebellion, were transformed into playful flirtations, showcasing the band’s ability to retain the essence of the song while completely altering its mood.

NOUVELLE VAGUE’s 20th-anniversary show at Die Kantine was an unforgettable experience. It was a night of musical mastery, where familiar anthems were reborn as something new and captivating. The intimate atmosphere, the smooth sounds, and the band's undeniable charm made for a truly special concert.

01. Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)
02. People are People (Depeche Mode cover)
03. Only You (Yazoo cover)
04. Making Plans for Nigel (XTC cover)
05. This Is Not a Love Song (Public Image Ltd cover)
06. Girls on Film (Duran Duran cover)
07. What I Like Most About You is Your Girlfriend (The Specials cover)
08. A Forest (The Cure cover)
09. Marian (The Sisters of Mercy cover)
10. Teenage Kicks (The Undertones cover)
11. Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash cover)
12. Just Can’t Get Enough (Depeche Mode cover)
13. She’s in Parties (Bauhaus cover)
14. The Guns of Brixton (The Clash cover)
15. Too Drunk to Fuck (Dead Kennedys cover)
16. Shout (Tears for Fears cover)
17. Friday Night, Saturday Morning (The Specials cover)
18. Dance With Me (The Lords of the New Church cover)
19. Don’t Go (Yazoo cover)
20. This Charming Man (The Smiths cover)
21. In a Manner of Speaking (Tuxedomoon cover)

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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