Live Review
NOVELLA AT THE MACBETH, LONDON
Novella
The Macbeth
Hoxton, London
23/06/11

Tropical Voodoo’s all day fundraiser in the name of Japanese aid relief has been extremely quiet, despite its worthy cause and honourable DIY ethic that sees the obligatory bake sale politely positioned behind the sound desk. It’s because it’s on a Thursday – the Thursday before Glastonbury Festival, no less, so those that are dodging work are most likely pitching tents in Pilton.

After the brutal noise of hardcore duo Cuss Words (clearly fans of Lightning Bolt, they play on the floor and unbearably loud, their drummer in shorts and a mask), a not-too-modest tide of after-schoolers arrive for girl group Novella. The fuss no doubt stems from the band’s associations (within them is the team behind east London hip DJs The She Set and a member of S.C.U.M.; one or two of them have lived with and dated members of The Horrors), but even though there’s a sense that we need another girl group like the red tops need more scandal, this quartet’s gentle wafts of cooing garage are welcome on a sticky evening.

The truth is that they currently sound much better through headphones than in a semi-empty pub, but while they hardly exude real-life charisma, the tracks stand up. ‘No Messin’ – a breathy waltz with an unexpected racy section – does particularly. If they’re to give Vivian Girls et al a run for their money, there’s work to be done on Novella’s live show, but they already have the songs worth leaving work early for.

By Austin Lake

Originally published in issue 30 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. July 2011.

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