Remember back in the mid 2000s when we were all in love with this French group that made loungy bossa nova covers of classic punk and new wave hits? They were so sexy and elegant, and artsy and cool. Soon, however, it became a common-place commercial gimmick and out of nowhere came an avalanche of cheap compilations with bossa covers of anything you could possibly imagine (and some you would’ve rather never had to imagine).
The French combo may have fallen a bit off the radar when it lost the novelty factor, but Nouvelle Vague kept on covering guilty-pleasure classics in cute new versions, and changing singers many times.
Just a couple of days ago this viral video popped up of them waiting to catch a flight at a Paris airport, when all of a sudden, voilá, you have an impromptu acoustic concert à la flash mob and the song chosen is no other than Manu Chao’s first big hit with his former band Mano Negra: “Mala Vida.” The camera moves a bit too much and makes noises that interrupt the song, but that’s good because it’s the only thing that makes it seem real. If it weren’t for that, I’d think this was scripted, choreographed, and/or overly rehearsed, because this is certainly too good to be true.
Watch the out-of-the-blue airport jam session below and compare it to the original.