In Paris circa 2003, Olivier Libaux and Marc Collin formed Nouvelle Vague, a cover band that took its inspiration from a translation of “new wave.” Bossa nova also translates as “new wave” from the Portuguese. Inspired by this, Nouvelle Vague covered “New Wave” songs often in bossa nova style for four albums before taking a break in 2010.
Well, readers, I was on vacation in Paris over the weekend. So of course I’m going to review a performance by a fantastic band I saw there!
To my surprise on Friday night, I ended up at a small club in the 11th arrondissement called Supersonic (9 Rue Biscornet, 75012 Paris, Frankreich). There, a set of bands performed prior to a DJ taking over. Stumbling into the space around 11pm, it reminded me a great deal of our own DC9 — it could hold about 200 people, and it was comfortable and unpretentious. Supersonic had taps, however, and it seems to me that all of the “cool places” in France and Switzerland have either a Brewdog or a Brooklyn Brewery on tap. (Supersonic indeed served up Punk IPA.)
To my even greater surprise, I arrived in time to see three well-dressed French lads take to the stage and belt out terrific English-language numbers that take a page perhaps from a young Elvis Costello or The Jam. To my ear, their music also follows occasional cues from the likes of Go West or Nick Heyward. Their style was truly quite mod; their sound, very power pop! They call themselves Okay Monday.
Clad in an elegant, short black dress, Zoé Colotis slides out onto the 9:30 Club stage and starts to sashay and sing, shooting rapid-fire words as she wiggles her hips.
In “Lone Digger” from the new album by her band Caravan Palace, Zoé makes a call for getting out to dance. And her audience Thursday night responds in kind, jumping, dancing, and clapping along to the rare treat of the French electroswing band.
Electro-swing septet Caravan Palace will launch a North American tour, visiting from Paris, this week in support of their third full-length album, <|°_°|> (also known as Robot Face), released last year via Le Plan Recordings.
PopMatters hailed the album as the #2 pop record of 2015, and it hit #3 on the Billboard Electronic/Dance Album chart. The band officially released two singles from the album so far, including the high-energy “Lone Digger,” which came with a smartly animated video (viewed more than 12 million times!) that reminds us perhaps why natural enemies in the animal kingdom shouldn’t drink together.
Watch the official music video for “Lone Digger” by Caravan Place on YouTube:
During their tour, Caravan Palace stops locally at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, May 26 — a perfect place and a perfect time to get out and party.
Caravan Palace consists of vocalist Zoé Colotis and founding members Hugues Payen (violin), Charles Delaporte (upright bass) and Arnaud Vial (guitar) alongside Antoine Toustou (trombone, machines). They take their cues from influences as diverse as Cab Calloway and Daft Punk. All in all, Caravan Palace are a high-energy, upbeat dance machine with a refreshing sound built around horns and keyboards. Check them out!
Thursday, May 26