The Novus’ long-awaited return to the Birmingham Live Music scene proves that distancing is no barrier.
The Novus have built a reputation within the industry for their theatrical warehouse gigs, creating an atmosphere from scratch like no other. After Covid-19 restrictions prevented their secret gig due to happen in April, and further postponed the event from September with local lockdown, The Novus were finally able to bring back live music to 2020 with their sold out Socially Distanced Tour.
The whole evening felt like a massive kick in the teeth to the government that said the arts are not viable. The socially-distanced, yet packed venue spoke testament to the fact that the local scene should not be ignored. Even though Birmingham crowds are usually known for their chaotic mosh pits, The Novus definitely kept the energy alive even at a distance.
The usual pre-concert queuing was followed by temperature checks, a significant amount of hand gel and being shown to my taped out allocated space. A free band branded facemask was not only a personal touch but also ensured everyone stayed COVID safe.
First on the bill were Cage Park (FKA Flares) who, despite being one member down, served up an upbeat set, featuring latest release Kitchen Floor, that made everyone wish they could get up out of their seats and sing along. Next up were STONE from Liverpool, with an anger-fueled display of riotous music and dancing. And with that, we entered Prison Imperium.
The Novus had turned up the production and theatrics for their first hometown gig since lockdown, with purpose-built stage and lighting and ominous shouts of I’m watching you to fit the ‘Prison Imperium’ concept. Intervals of spoken word from frontman Connor Hill accompanying dystopian video got unnervingly real as the similarities to our current climate got more and more evident. The bands’ fierce passion and grit, backed up with front-running musicality allowed for an electrifying and emotion-fueled set. And, With a cry of f*ck Boris Johnson, the evening was over, leaving a ringing in my ears that I sure have missed.
Check out The Novus, Cage Park and STONE and find some new music to add to your lockdown playlists.