Nova Twins, Witch Fever and Uninvited at Newcastle University Student Union 25/02/23

6:45pm and there’s already a queue snaking up the union steps and out of the doors for tonight’s show. Little wonder when you consider the line-up and there’s a noticeable buzz in the air even before doors open.

Glasgow’s Uninvited are the perfect openers for what lies ahead. Behind The Black door is loud, fast, guitar driven punk with a real buzzsaw undercurrent, a big shout out to the early 4AD post punk greatness of bands like the Muses. The Party Song, with it’s Pixies intro, slows things a little. More laid back but with explosive moments. What’s obvious throughout is that those who have made the effort to get here early are clearly big fans of this four piece who, as well as delivering a set of punchy, bouncing songs are going all out to break down boundaries with their messages of LGBTQ+ rights, equality, breaking away from one sided relationships.

Vital messages that society, not just the music industry, needs to embrace. Look Uninvited up on streaming services and you’ll find just four songs. Tonight they played six. Six songs packed with joyful melodies and perfect harmonies that form the backdrop to the delivery of some serious issues.

Witch Fever’s 2022 debut long player Congregation is a masterclass of seething, doom laden angry noise. A complete sonic assault on the senses that leaves you feeling completely battered. As a live act they surpass even this as they deliver a non-stop barrage of high octane grungy punk that’s relentless from beginning to end. From the ominous bass openings of I Saw You Dancing with it’s screeching guitar and pounding drum beat through the pummelling Beauty And Grace and the infectious anger running through Reincarnate that sees singer Amy Walpole disappear into the crowd yelling lyrics with an intense ferocity.

Witch Fever don’t let up. Powerful, passionate, ferocious whether they’re rallying against the constraints of religion and the church or the flagrant sexism entrenched in much of the alternative music scene. The incendiary Blessed Be Thy closes a set that leaves you feeling both completely drained and at the same time elated that bands such as Witch Fever are here to shout and scream with an intensity rarely seen in order make their point.

Despite the recent surge in attention brought by the Brits nomination tonight’s gig hasn’t sold out. This is no bad thing as it means those that are here didn’t just discover Nova twins a fortnight ago. This is a crowd that knows what Nova Twins are about and they make sure the band know it from the off. Audience participation from the opening notes of Fire & Ice sees a seething moshpit that not only bounces but that knows every lyric to every song. Nova Twins stage presence is ferocious and infectious.

Latest album Supernova dominates the set and brings a mixture of grimy post punk grunge, electro-punk and all out sonic rave dance rap grooves. Only when you notice the size and arrangement of their pedal boards do you understand how Amy Love and Georgia South manage to deliver such a soundscape. Cleopatra, Toolbox, Puzzles see Love and South dominate every inch of stage with a joyful, exuberant swagger. They’re enjoying every moment as much as the crowd. Quite rightly tonight is a stop on the tour to promote Supernova but there’s time for the band to revisit older tracks. Wave, from 2016 debut Nova Twins EP is a reminder of the intensity of sound that kick started everything.

Raw and unpolished, a statement of intent about what was to come.  Taxi, Bullet and Undertaker from debut long player Who Are The Girls? keep longer term fans happy. An immense three song encore of Antagonist, Undertaker and finally Choose Your Fighter closes a Nova twins set that, once this tour completes, you’re unlikely to ever again witness in a small intimate venue. Finally a huge shout out to drummer Jake Edwards whose monster beats underpinned the whole set.

Early March sees the final few UK dates of the Supernova tour. If you want to see Nova Twins before they’re filling much, much bigger venues then I suggest you grab a ticket soon.

Photos and Words by Steve White


Philip Goddard

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