A night of empowerment both on and off the stage tonight at a Sold Out Academy2 with Nova Twins, Witch Fever and Uninvited, showing again that a rock gig is a safe place for everyone to be themselves and be joyful about showing and celebrating inclusivity.
Nova Twins / Witch Fever / Uninvited
O2 Academy2, Birmingham – 2 March 2023
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
Nova Twins are an English rock duo who are certainly on the up, having recently been nominated for two BRITs and the Mercury prize. The Academy crowd are bursting with excitement. When the lights go down, the screaming starts, and when vocalist/guitarist Amy Love and bassist Georgia South enter the stage, the roof comes off.
The set is almost exclusively songs from their latest album, Supernova. Starting with three songs from it, Fire & Ice, Cleopatra and Toolbox. Their brand of bass-heavy rock, fusing grime and punk, has the crowd singing and dancing. They are dressed in unique hand-stitched garments made by the creative duo.
They blast through Wav, Puzzles, Sleep Paralysis and Taxi, only stopping to ask if the crowd were enjoying themselves, and the response is deafening. Amy Love is a brilliant vocalist and has the crowd singing and waving while Georgia South dances and jumps, and they are both loving every second of the show.
During Bullet, Love uses the lyric “It’s my body, it’s my mind” for the audience to shout back, “I’ll do what I want with it”. The inclusion theme for the evening is being kept alive during Nova Twins set. The set finishes with A Dark Place For Somewhere Beautiful.
Nova Twins return with an encore of three songs, Antagonist, Undertaker and Choose Your Fighter, during which the duo go into the crowd to dance and sing to finish off a night of joyous music. Nova Twins star is certainly shining brightly, and long may it continue.
Second up tonight were Witch Fever, an English rock band from Manchester who are full of angst. Lead singer Amy Walpole delivers a powerful performance during a rather short and sweet set that is full of power and energy.
They lean heavily on their latest album, Congregation, including the first two songs, I Saw You Dancing and Beauty And Grace. Bassist Alex Thompson cuts a striking figure on stage, and the all-action style of guitarist Alisha Yarwood gives the performance real vitality.
During the next song, Reincarnate, Walpole climbs into the crowd to join them to carry on with the rest of the song. The crowd parts and she gesticulates and gyrates her way around the audience before returning to the stage.
Next is Market from Congregation, followed by Bully Boy, before which Walpole explains, “there are too many trans lives being taken. This song is for Brianna Ghey, who was murdered a few weeks ago. This should stop now. For Brianna.”
The set finishes with Congregation and Blessed Be Thy, and they leave looking like they have given every last ounce of energy.
First up were Uninvited, a four-piece band from Glasgow who had the Academy crowd screaming and cheering from the moment they appeared on stage.
They started with Behind The Black Door and set out the stall for their short and sweet set. They continued with The Party Song, then into Afterlife. Bex Young, lead guitar, is brilliant and leads from the front, beautifully complimenting the vocals of Gillian Dhlakama.
The lyrics and energy from the band and audience are pro LGBT+ which gives a real celebratory feel to the set.
Portrait Of A Femme is next, and the set finishes with Friends With Massacre. A great start to the evening.