Synth cuts through French chatter when Nouvelle Vague begin their set of chilled-out covers.
“Are you happy? Are you in love? Yes? With the right person? Are you in love with someone who is in love with you?” asks frontwoman Phoebe Killdeer.
“Just be careful. I’ve been in love with champagne.”
They shake tambourines, play the kazoo and the cowbell and riff through Road To Nowhere, The Guns of Brixton and Blister in the Sun.
Then it’s big hair and disco flair as Corine brings champagne sippers up from their picnic rugs to dance. Her band, all wearing matching tracksuits, set the scene with Stop ou Encore – a blonde vision with oversized sunglasses in a silver shimmering jumpsuit, she directs the crowd with dance moves, adopts power stances, practises her English and dedicates her show to the firefighters battling bushfires across Australia. “We can dance together for all the victims.”
But it’s Lou Doillon, the 37-year-old model, actress and daughter of Jane Birkin and director Jacques Doillon, whose palpable energy brings flower crown-wearing, barefoot dancers to the front of the stage.
Her five-piece rips out guitar solos as she dances angularly, raising her knee and reaching her hand to the sky – at one point wearing a flower crown that someone has thrown onto the stage. She moves sultrily during Too Much, her voice deep with gravelly tones.
“The next one is a snogging song. It’s a French kiss song. Feel free,” she says, before launching into Flirt.
For Nothing, she pops her mic into her pants and dances, pointing her fingers and arms to the sky.
“Open your heart, open your mind and that’s all that counts.”
Nicole Precel is a video journalist and reporter at The Age. She is also a documentary maker.