The name Nova Twins has been festering in the rock scene for a while now, coming straight out of the gate with a debut EP of impressive bangers in 2016. Still, they’ve taken their time cultivating a feverish fanbase over the last few years, and their 2022 sophomore album Supernova has fuelled this fire to blazing levels.
With the merch queue tailing around the venue before the first support even kicks off, Glaswegian four-piece Uninvited have an easy time drawing in an early crowd for the midway point of Nova Twins current UK tour run. The punky rockers trade off vocal duties with ease and inspire much audience enthusiasm, although they lack the ferocity of what is yet to come; this is probably for the best, with the warm-up set going down a treat.
Witch Fever up the ante with serious levels of headbanging and live renditions that leave their recorded productions in the dust – this is a band you must see live to fully understand. Making time for a quick hop into the crowd, Mancunian singer Amy Walpole verifies that a good time is being had by all.
At this point, the revolutionary effects of the headliners’ hard work are already apparent – Amy Love and Georgia South have not had an easy road as two black women in a genre dominated by white men, but the pair are now able to surround themselves with the representation they’ve always been pushing for.
As the Novas take to the stage, it becomes obvious how they’ve been able to carve such a hard-fought path. Immediately raising the bar for how high energy levels can go, the twins twist a pretty formidable niche of sound into an event that becomes surprisingly accessible through patent authenticity and an overarching sense of fun. It helps to have a good story, but these two have the scorching basslines and inspiring stage presence to make such an idealistic narrative become reality.
Album two cut ‘Cleopatra’ has Love dropping her guitar to throttle the mic with sharp rap verses and a seething chorus while South holds down the fort on bass – the tracks on this record are a new level for the pair, and they clearly feel empowered by their joyous reception in the dark basement venue.
They do jet through some greatest hits too, with 2016 release ‘Wave’ proving the intense vigour has always been present and success was only a matter of scaling that up. It’s not just the peaks that stand out, though, as transitions from snarling screams into elegant high notes prove the varied skillset of the twins. Their sound may be most recognisable from a distinguished bass tone, but there’s a plethora of leanings well within their grasps; even more impressive from a band of two (plus a live drummer, of course).
‘Taxi’ is raised as a clear fan favourite, with ‘K.M.B’ not too far behind. Across their entire discography, Nova Twins bring a reinvigorating vibrancy to heavy rock which reignites the appeal of the style even for those who don’t usually dabble in tones so deft. As Love highlights, this is a niche full of “too many people with too many opinions”; on gender, colour, appearances… bigotry seems never-ending in this world, but all are equal in the pit and there sure are plenty of those tonight.
‘Sleep Paralysis’ juxtaposes strikingly angelic moments with the inevitable explosion of chaos that follows, with three encore efforts crushing every pulse of movement out of the packed room. On a Saturday night up North, there sure is a lot to draw from.
Nova Twins use their justly-earned platform to make room for more women in rock, while themselves demonstrating show after show how to earn your place in the big leagues. Talented, resilient, kind, and cools as fuck, they’re truly a force to be reckoned with. “People try to wipe us out and water us down but we’re going nowhere,” Love bellows, and it’s clear the future of alt-rock is in safe hands.