Concert Tuesday: Nouvelle Vague and . . .Eels (not really)

A rare Tuesday night concert in Shanghai. Openers were French new wave cover band Nouvelle Vague. The Shanghaiist discription was that they played New Wave and punk covers – but in more of a bossa nove fashion. And I thought: AWESOME.

So the venue was Mao Livehouse – which was nice and convenient.

More after the jump

Nouvelle Vague was excellent. They had two dueling lead singers (apparently they have a rotation) – and they covered excellent tunes, including songs from The Clash (Guns of Brixton), Dead Kennedys (Too Drunk to), The Violent Femmes (Blister in the Sun), The Sex Pistols (God Save the Queen), New Order (Blue Monday), Blondie (Rapture) and some other French and Spanish new wave stuff. They didn’t just cover the tunes, they put their own spin on each – a breathy, bossa nova or downbeat spin – and the lead singers with so much stage presence. I would gladly gladly have paid just to see them – or to see them headline a show.

Someone has already put up a number of Nouvelle Vague tracks from the show on tudou.

Here’s them performing Depeche Mode’s ‘Master and Servant’

New Order ‘Blue Monday’


However – American rock band Eels were the headliner and who a lot of people came to see (I say this because apparently a lot of Europeans – especially French) came to see Nouvelle Vague.

And then about 3 minutes after Nouvelle Vague left the stage – they flashed THIS message up on the screen. Yep – Eels wouldn’t be on until MIDNIGHT.

Eels Message

This being a school night, I went to bed. When I woke up I saw this text:

Waited until 12:30 then they cancelled the show. But got money back

Yeah, good call on going home at 11am. This morning, in my email, I got this:

Firstly, please accept our sincere apologies for the cancellation of the Eels concert at Mao Livehouse.
The official line is that the equipment didn’t arrive in time and the band was unable to play… although we suppose you already know that.

Ticket refunds were being offered at the venue on the night of the show, but if you didn’t manage to get your refund, we’d like to rectify that and offer you your money back along with the aforementioned apologies.

So thanks Smart Shanghai! And thanks Nouvelle Vague – you guys were awesome.

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6 Responses to Concert Tuesday: Nouvelle Vague and . . .Eels (not really)

  1. Joyce Lau says:

    I have to give it to Shanghai — the Eels no-show nonwithstanding. It seems to have better live gigs than Hong Kong.
    Though I think Tokyo kicks everyone’s butts in Asia.
    It was not too many years ago that all we got here in Hong Kong were reunion tours by bands like Air Supply.

  2. Terence says:

    Well, HK used to have the better BIG shows. When I was there I saw Suede and Cranberries and No Doubt – but nowadays China is hot. I will say, HK has a huge advantage in that Shanghai will never get anyone who has played a Tibetian Freedom Concert.

    Obviously Japan is the best, but outside of Japan, Taiwan and Singapore get a lot of good shows.

    HK did have the Flaming Lips last year.

  3. Joyce Lau says:

    OK. I guess it’s not ALL Air Supply. Gorillaz was here a while ago.
    I keep waiting for Arcade Fire to show up.
    I hope that will happen before I turn completely into an old fogey.
    I saw them in London a few years back (they were awesome) and my Hong Kong friend refused to go with me, preferring instead to go to bed early. I have a feeling my husband wouldn’t go either….

  4. Terence says:

    My bet is you’ll have to fly to Tokyo to see Arcade Fire.

    I’m not sure who I’d fly to Tokyo to see anymore. Superchunk? Maybe the Beastie Boys.

  5. Dingle says:

    Damn, I really need to pull my finger out and walk the half block to Mao Livehouse one of these nights…

  6. Terence says:

    You may be the laziest man in Shanghai.

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