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Happy Nuala Year
Forget Suede and Pulp, the reunion on everyone’s lips is that of The Nualas, who are back with new member Maria Tecce. But will they be doing Glasto?
Anne Sexton, 15 Mar 2011
We’ve had The Runaways and The Go-Gos, Bananarama and The Bangles, The Spice Girls, Sugababes and Girls Aloud, but the greatest girl group of all time hails from Ireland. Nope, not B*Witched, but the three lovely ladies who epitomise feminine beauty and rock ‘n roll excess – oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, The Nualas are back!
Like many a girl group, The Nualas have had some changes in the line-up. Joining Nuala and Nuala (more properly known as Anne Gildea and Sue Collins) is a Nuala who in another life goes by the name of Maria Tecce.
Maria Tecce? The Italian-American jazz cabaret singer? The woman whose show was described as “a total striptease without removing so much as a shoe”? That Maria Tecce? Yup, that’s the one. The real question is how the hell that happened. Quite by chance, says Tecce.
“I was having a conversation with Anne Gildea and she asked me who I knew who could do this because they wanted to do The Nualas again. I thought about it. ‘Who do I know who can sing? Who is an actor? Who can do comedy?’ The only people I could think of were no longer in Ireland, so I called her back and said, ‘If you’re stuck I can help you out, but let me keep thinking’. Then we went over to Sue’s house and had a cup of tea and we just laughed for an hour and after that it was just done.”
Granted, it sounds like an odd fit, but one which may well turn out to be a piece of inspired lunacy – the juxtaposition between Tecce’s stage persona and The Nualas is one with a rich vein of inherent comedy.
“We did think that,” Tecce nods. “But I love seeing people outside whatever genre or role you’d normally see them in. It’s exciting for me as a performer to go into those places. For me it’s like an acting part except that I’m singing. I think that was one of the things that attracted Anne and Sue – I’m musical but I’m also an actress.”
Maria Tecce is elegance personified. The Nualas? Well, not so much.
“The Nualas are like a force. There’s three women up on stage who have glasses and these dresses they think are so glamorous and shiny red shoes and diamante, and they think they are just the shit! You’re playing these women who think they’re absolutely fantastically gorgeous and glamorous but they keep getting it wrong. At the end of the day, they’re muckers!” she laughs. “My Nuala will grow and change. At the moment she’s like ‘easy-trad’ Nuala. She’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she’s always sincere. She wants to be elegant but she’s a mucker like the rest of them.”