Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cover Versions: Vague & Jorge

I love bizarre cover versions. I enjoy listening to fresh interpretations of old favourites. I spend far too much time searching on iTunes for these quirky moments, hoping to find something joyous and wonderful. Yesterday I found two whole albums' worth. Last summer the BBC used Nouvelle Vague's cover of Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode on a TV trailer. The track eventually appeared on iTunes, part of an album packed with 70s and 80s pop classics performed in a French jazz cafe style. Teenage Kicks, Gunsof Brixton, This is Not a Love Song - you name it, Nouvelle Vague did it, with style and panache.

Now the Continental covers kings are back with a new album and a fresh crop of crazy interpretations. Blue Monday turned into a bluesy kind of Monday? Check. Bela Lugosi's Dead as a late night cobbled street stumbler? Check. Billy Idol's ode to onanism, Dancing With Myself, as a wandering piano and tap dance spectacular? Check. Genius, the whole thing's utter genius. Essential listening for the summer, methinks.

Nicholas Pegg is one of the world's great authorities on David Bowie - his tome The Complete David Bowie is perhaps the finest reference book yet published on the Thin White Duke's many guises. Nick is also a man of many talents - his pantomime scripts are performed in professional theatres across Britain every Christmas, and he's also been a Dalek operator in the most recent incarnation Doctor Who. Anyway, in a recent natter he made mention of an entire album of David Bowie covers by a Brazilian folk singer.

The album in question is The Life Aquatic Sessions by Seu Jorge, a kind of soundtrack to the recent Wes Anderson film. Jorge performs a clutch of early 70s Bowie tracks, using just voice and guitar to recreate them in Portugese. Trust me, you've never heard Life on Mars, Quicksand or Ziggy Stardust done like this before - beautiful, charming and heartfelt, all at the same time. Highly recommended!

Right, time to pack the suitcase for my holiday. Off to France on Saturday for a week of fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun.

1 comment:

Optimistic_Reader said...

Ooh, I didn't know Nouvelle Vague had another album out! I rely on my oldest brother to keep me abreast of these things - he gave me a copy of NV's first album with the Depeche Mode Cover, and my personal favourite, their version of The Cure's A Forest.

My album wish list is growing rapidly, but unfortunately my fortunes aren't. Sigh.