WORDS JANET HARDING / IMAGES WARREN MILLAR
Back in the ‘city of sound’, Liverpool, and at the brilliant 02 Academy again, for what I’m damn sure will be an unapologetic and ferocious night! Nu metal, punk, alt and grime collide with London’s own Nova Twins. Of course their reputation for no holds barred, urban punk and attitude precedes them so I’m looking forward to one explosive night of music and performance.
Support comes in the equally wild form of Witch Fever, the Manchester metal/punk/grunge band, and Glasgow based ‘Uninvited’, offering a mash up of metal, alt and dance…what a line up! We’re buckling up our seat belts, cos we know this WILL be a bumpy ride!
Kicking things off with one HUGE sound tonight it’s Uninvited. With an abundance of energy – guitars get thrown around from the off! The presence of this lively band fills this entire venue and they look very cool and totally at ease up on stage, it’s very watchable. Real bass driven sounds, pounding beats, guitars are jagged and edgy – all very upbeat and catchy stuff. I’m reminded of Elastica, slight grunge; there’s hard rock and alt in there too; it’s a great cross pollination of sounds and genres.
The first lead vocal is strong, steady and low in tone to begin then as the set progresses a grate becomes present and higher notes come through, I get Debbie Harry feels, it suits the sound very well. The second lead vocal has a different feel, throatier, scratchy at times and full of character, earthy like Tracy Chapman. When harmonies are performed it’s honestly something special. The two vocals work incredibly together and equally well independently. I get an early New York punk feel, cymbal work shimmers throughout and the beats are fired out like a machine gun – this drummer’s on fire! A nonstop and fast set, hard rocking and euphoric sounds. Seriously cool vibes on stage, we just couldn’t keep our eyes off Uninvited! Excellent live band, brilliant set.
1st support – Uninvited
Bex Young – lead guitar
Taylor Ray Dillon – bass/vocals
Gillian Dhalakama – guitar/vocals
Fiorenza Colozza – drums
1/ Behind the black door
3/ The Party Song
4/ After Left
I’m prepared for wilds. Witch Fever have a reputation for all out and unexpected performance, and as they’ve previously toured with Idles (and we all know how wild Idles are) I’m bracing myself… Beginning with a very atmospheric and extended intro, this sound hits us right between the eyes. Much heavier, it’s low, it’s undulating, pulsating; guitars scream, bass lines are loud, muddy and thick. There’s a real energy building, like a storm about to break, then anger, fury, rage, like the eye of the storm – it’s a monstrous sound! The vocal is cried out at us, loudly spoken/shouted words with real nu metal/punk type screams and roars, very effective. When the vocal is used in song it has a brilliant clarity, a lightness, freshness, which contrasts wonderfully with the themes and sound of the material. This band swallows us whole with their energy. The entire band are moshing, jumping, flicking hair about, it’s incredible!
Suddenly lead singer Amy is off stage, across the photo pit and up on the barrier singing into the crowd, tiny frame engulfed in the sea of arms, climbing over the barrier and into the thick of the mosh pit, and the remainder of the song is sung right in the epicentre of the crowd.
It’s a nonstop, hard hitting, adrenalin filled set from start to finish; it really has brought the feels and created such atmosphere with this MIGHTY sound, with fever, it seems they do indeed create a musical fever of their own! I expected wilds… Amy is back on the barrier by the end of the set, and we’ve had guitarists playing from the photo pit! Safe to say, massive wilds. Do expect the unexpected with Witch Fever and a heart stopping set!
2nd support – Witch Fever
Amy Walpole – vocals
Alisha Yarwood – guitar
Alex Thompson – bass/backing vocals
Annabelle Joyce – drum
1/ I saw you Dancing
2/ Beauty and Grace
5/ Bully Boy
7/ Blessed be Thy
So the moment has arrived, the house falls silent and dark; bright white strobe lighting flashes in sequence whilst the haunting sound of a clock ticking fills the venue. Then in a flurry of strobing our headline appears before us on stage and the audience erupts. It’s like spontaneous combustion! In an utter bang of musical energy and sound Nova Twins begin to play. It’s grimy, it’s fuzzy, hypnotic, deep club feels, but with thrashing, high pitched guitars. The bass drum is pure power (given its depth is double the standard size) and the drumming is other worldly. The feels are electric, powerful, transcending, but deep, dirty and low down…utterly mesmerising! These edgy, frequency and mind bending sounds shower down on us, loud, hard hitting and as a crowd we can’t get enough!
Our duo look absolutely incredible up there, flicking colourful hair about, bouncing, kick jumping, swinging guitars, dressed in customised outfits: ripped, tie dyed jeans with bright exaggerated stitching and safety pins. The look really adds to the bewitching and powerful effect this performance is creating.
Gritty, eerie, and very atmospheric, sound effects are immense. The crowd are screaming back every word, the temperature has reached a new high and the entire venue is riding on waves of energy, every head bobbing in time. The vocal is very distinctive and definite, an air of defiance to it, It’s multi faceted, textured, loud and far reaching.
This headline act tonight have us under their spell and hanging on every word. Cool and charisma oozes from onstage. Bass lines are fuzzy, squelching and loud…we can feel them through our feet, pounding beneath us. The lead guitar screams at us, intricate and attention grabbing. As a whole this sound is thoroughly intoxicating. What a sound! Unapologetic, it grabs us, we can’t help but be carried off into this.
Sadly, due to train times, we had to leave early and missed the end of the set (which could be heard way out onto the street – still grabbing us as we begrudgingly exit), but what I did see has had a massive impact, I’m completely captivated now by this go-getting and fierce duo! Nova Twins are an explosion of ferocious energy, cathartic then dance-worthy sounds, eerie feels, an unforgettable show for me this one… very tightly executed, attention to detail and musical excellence. It’s a must-see performance, and I genuinely hope I get to experience this again.
Nova Twins – Headline
Amy Love – vocals/guitar
Georgia South – Bass
1/ Fire and Ice
8/ Losing Sleep
10/ Play Fair
11/ Sleep Paralysis
14/ Choose your fighter
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FOLLOW WITCH FEVER
Warren is a live music and festival photographer based in Cheshire and covers gigs/festivals mostly in the North West of England. He has been photographing live music for over 10 years and has covered major artists and festivals