We turn-up to this post-modern warehouse in Birmingham’s fashionable district of Digbeth, queues lined-up outside, as they wait for the onslaught that is to be the main headline act of tonight, The Novus – new in Latin.
The Novus burst onto the stage with Connor, the lead singer, dressed in red boiler suit and phantom make-up. As he crouches down he can barely be seen through the mosh-pit, suddenly re-appearing on top of the drumkit – conducting ceremonies. The 200-capacity crowd jump into action, stage diving and moshing, as Connor’s appearances take him from the cage he feels metaphorically trapped-in or for a quick costume change to re-appear in silver Bowie-esq style.
Tonight they set the scene for a detonation of a whole explosion of sounds, impressive guitar antics and mechanisations. The Novus put on their own parties and tonight they spring into action, in the famous district of Digbeth, a kind of Placebo meets Mariyln Manson vibe, with full make-up and theatrics. They ramp-up the sound and the rage gets faster, louder, stronger, as the crowd join in the fray.
Their debut track, Post-Modern Fairytale only expresses their aim for political antics all the more, in this manifesto for change. The track opens with a funky, jagged guitar edged throbbing, while Connor, a caged specimen in a science lab is surrounded by band members protected from the outside world in gas masks and protective clothing, as they seek to purity the world of misinformation, fake news and mistruths.
Stratospheric guitars and a sense of trepidation ensues, as Connor (lead singer) breaks out of the cage. He is like a character dreamed-up in a Tom Robbins novel and starring in a Tim Burton Film like Beetlejuice – he’s from another world. Connor is The Scream, angst-ridden transformed into a positive fight for a kinder world, as he escapes from the machine represented in the cage. Post-Modern-Fairy-Tale is a call to break out of the chains and the lies surrounding us. This is Generation Z, ready to make an impact of the future, as they navigate the causeways to a better world, ‘In this post-modern fairy tale, we live a lie with the ones who lead us’
This post-modern fairy tale is a dystopian picture, through a maze of political mistrust. The Novus lay out their table clearly, ‘we can be the change to set you free’, as a sense of energy and optimism ensue. Driving, bounding guitars bring this sense of urgency and enthusiasm to overcome what looks like a bleak vision, from which arises a sense of optimism.
There is a certain flowing resistance and moral compass that looks for something better, ‘can you be the change, can you be the change’, as an underlying motif in their work and a kind of definite bouncing under-current. They ask their peers an all-important question, where do you want to reside, inside or outside the cage, are you alive or are you willing to find out the answers and un-pick the half-truths.
Novus might just be the band to propel Generation-Z into action, to break free, punch holes in the wall, make cracks until the light comes in. The Novus lead the charge for change, straight outta Birmingham, as they energise a new generation.
Live: October 2nd, The Black Heart, Camden, London (w/ October Drift)