THEY have covered some of the best known and loved pop and rock hits by bands including Joy Division, Blondie and Simple Minds.

And according to Marc Collin of Nouvelle Vague, the reaction from the bands themselves to hearing their own songs in an easy listening,bossa nova or jazz style has 'almost always' been positive.

The Paris-based French duo, who are about to embark on a 15th anniversary tour of the UK, said some fans have told them they prefer their version to the original.

"I think the bands themselves like it for the simple reason that we are doing something completely different." says Marc.

"Most of the bands, they don't like it if someone is covering their songs in exactly the same way, trying to copy.

"With us, it is so different and so expected, most of the time they are smiling and thinking 'this is cool.'

"That is why we work with some of the bands, we have worked with Martin Gore from Depeche Mode and Terry Hall from the Specials.

"We have never received any negative feedback.

"When you like a song, when you are discovering it, that is usually the version you will prefer.

"There are some fans who prefer our version, because they came to the song, hearing that version. So that is kind of strange.

"It's the same for me sometimes. I was a big fan of The Specials Gangsters and when I discovered it was a cover of a song by a Jamaican artist, but I always prefer The Specials version."

The group's first album, the self-titled Nouvelle Vague, was released in 2004. Explaining how the project came about, Olivier Libaux said: "Marc Collin and I were both musicians and producers in the French music industry when, in 2002, Marc called me with this very strange idea of covering Love Will Tear Us Apart in a bossa nova version. I thought this idea was absolutely crazy but very exciting."

The songs on the first album were recorded with female vocalists who reportedly had not previously heard the songs they would be singing. They went on to record three more albums which included guest appearances by Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen and Vanessa Paradis.

Marc is a "big fan" of Glasgow's Simple Minds- the band covered their early 1980s hit, The American. Future ambitions include an entire album dedicated to The Cure.

Fans can expect a pared down and largely acoustic live show with two female singers, including main vocalist Mélanie Pain.

Marc says: "It's a mix of our 'best of' - the songs that people are coming to hear, such as Joy Division. The other half is songs that we are playing in a different way or songs that we have never played such as Fade to Grey by Visage.

"The show we are doing is a bit different from the others.

"It's a more intimate acoustic show than we have done before. We wanted to come back somehow with the first show we did, where we had just four people on stage with no drums.

"It's really just guitar, keyboard and two vocals. If you wanted to dance you might be disappointed.

"We are trying to rearrange the songs each time we perform live because we have been playing these songs for 15 years now.

"We need to do something a bit new so this time there is a lot of keyboard with a kind of ambience, organ, choir, strings and there are a lot of harmonies with the vocals.

"We wanted to play in a church, that is what we are doing in Paris but it is difficult to find churches in every city. So perhaps next time, in Glasgow.

"Last time we played in Scotland, there was a fire in the club so we had to cut the show. It might have been Glasgow.

"Hopefully that won't happen again!"

Nouvelle Vague will play St Luke's on April 25. For tickets go to