So Frenchy So ChicLeft - Emilie Simon. Cover - Nouvelle Vague

As part of the MIX IT UP program, Émilie Simon and Nouvelle Vague brought to Melbourne for one night only, So Frenchy So Chic (the title of the unofficial soundtrack to the French Film Festival). Hamer Hall metamorphosed into an ultra groovy space resonating with electronic beats, percussive innovation, sultry French accents and psychedelic laser lighting.

As a daughter of a sound engineer, pupil of a Conservatoire before studying ancient music at the Sorbonne, Émilie Simon was nominated for a César for best film composition, and won the Victoire de la musique in the Film Soundtrack category for The March of the Penguins. The bare footed chanteuse remained true to her musical heart in all of her vocal offerings from remixed electro-pop tracks to her own sensual compositions, switching between French and English lyrics. Dubbed as the French Björk, her voice is sultry yet mystifying.

The percussive highlights include a giant water filled goldfish bowl for a drum, and the strumming of the grand piano’s strings and exterior. The third of the trio is an electronic synthesising guitar-playing guru dressed in a top hat and foot long jacket. The end result is an über cool performance.

And then came the very glam and energetic Nouvelle Vague, a project initiated by Marc Colin and Olivier Libaux. Known for their ability to rearrange early 80’s post-punk songs, and true to the octet’s name, the arrangements colourfully transformed the originals, leaving listeners sometimes hard pressed to identify the source track.

Phoebe Killdeer unabashedly shimmies around the stage, thrusting her long locks and bluesy voice around in a gutsy and provocative manner. The vocals of her co-chanteuse, Melanie Pain are often cheeky, particularly in her rendition of The Smith’s ‘Sweet & tender hooligan’ accompanied only by acoustic guitar.

The energy of the two songstresses is contagious as they incited the audience to rise to their feet to dance, ‘wiggle’, shout the F-word and sing Joy Division’s ‘Love will Tear Us Apart’ in swaying unison. The crowd, as it became was left screaming for another musical wave of all things Français.

The Arts Centre in association with Multicultural Arts Victoria presents as
part of MIX IT UP
Hamer Hall | the Arts Centre
6 Jul 2007
8pm | Free activities and displays 7pm
$30 - $55

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