Live Review: Nova Twins+On Wednesdays We Wear Black+Aziya at Electric Brixton

After seeing Nova Twins earlier this year, supporting Skunk Anansie, despite not thinking I would particularly like them, I ended up really enjoying their set and so looked forward to this headlining gig. I had their album Supernova on repeat most of the week in the lead up. I also had never been to Electric Brixton before.

The venue was not dissimilar to Brixton Academy (my usual venue if I go to see any gigs in this area). It was also a short walk from the station. Unlike other gigs when I usually queue with everybody else if I am reviewing, there was actually a separate queue for the guestlist. The door was not yet opened when we arrived, but this queue was considerably smaller. It didn’t make a lot of difference though, as my name wasn’t on the list, causing much distress but eventually the tour manager came, saw my email trail and let myself and my partner come in. When I got inside, the decor was quite similar to Brixton Academy, and probably a similar size but no sloping floor (one of my favourite things about the academy). 

The gig was sold out and pretty busy as soon as we got in. The first act was already in full swing by then. It was a dj slot with On Wednesdays We Wear Black which is a podcast about the alternative lifestyle. The part of the set we saw was quite varied- with tracks from Avril Lavigne, TLC, Linkin Park with Jay-Z and ending with Papa Roach. After proclaiming the crowd was the best they have had on the tour, unfortunately sound problems interfered a little with their big finish but otherwise they seemed a lot of fun.

Next up was second support act solo artist Aziya. I wasn’t familiar with her myself, but the crowd seemed to adore her. She got a big reaction from the crowd when she came on stage, and they seemed to lap up every song. She was more rockier than I expected, as I had thought she might be more along the lines of hip hop. I wasn’t blown away, but she was better than I had expected. 

The venue got even more crowded as it was almost time for Nova Twins. This was a lot different than when we saw them supporting Skunk Anansie. When we saw them then, firstly they were the support act rather than the main headliner, which always makes a difference. But also it was at The Royal Festival Hall. A much different style of venue, we had been seated, and unfortunately despite the energy they had put into that set, the audience had sat down throughout. This time it was different. It seemed like a lot had happened since that day (which had also been the same day they released their debut album proper Supernova ). The packed crowd were here for them and they lapped it up.

There were pyrotechnics, a fabulous light show and even more of the energy, fire and passion I had seen from them at the other gig, which had made me fall in love with them. From start to finish, you could tell Nova Twins were where they belonged. The sheer joy they exuded was tangible, even joining the crowd at several points in the show. Generally I would not usually say I am a hip hop fan, but their unique blend of hip hop, rock and metal is something else. They played a blistering set which covered the majority of Supernova and some older songs from earlier EPs. My only gripe was there did seem to be some small sound issues, as I struggled to understand some of the chat between songs. However the energy and passion more than made up for it. After seeing them this time, the performance was of a much bigger band, so surely it can’t be long before these awesome, powerful women are playing much bigger venues and festivals.

The setlist was as follows:

  • Fire and Ice
  • Cleopatra
  • Toolbox
  • Wave
  • Puzzles
  • Taxi
  • K.M.B.
  • Losing Sleep
  • Bullet
  • Play Fair
  • Sleep Paralysis
  • Encore:
  • Antagonist
  • Undertaker
  • Choose Your Fighter
  • (Unknown)
    (New Remix tape)
Nova Twins next gig is at the Good Things festival in Australia on 2nd December and will be back touring in the UK in Feburary.

Follow Nova Twins- Official Website/Instagram/Facebook/Twitter

Review by Hayley Foster da Silva

Photographs by Hayley Foster da Silva and Miguel da Silva

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