The Waterfront, Norwich February 17, 2023
by Niki Jones
If Glasgow four-piece Uninvited didn’t have references to Grenfell and trans rights in their lyrics, you’d swear they’d just fallen through a wormhole while recording a song for the Clueless soundtrack and landed in 2023.
They have melodies for absolute days, the twin vocals of guitarist Gillian Dhlakama and bassist Taylor-Ray Dillon evoking such 90s legends as Throwing Muses, The Breeders and, especially, Veruca Salt.
Also, much like those bands, the joyousness of the music belies some serious topics in their lyrics (see above).
Opener Behind The Black Door is a wall of sonic sunshine and they never let up from there. Their entire Spotify catalogue currently takes under 15 minutes to listen to, and there are few better things you could be doing with a quarter of an hour of your time.
Witch Fever do away with the pleasantries, and bassist Alex Thompson pummels us with the opening strains of I Saw You Dancing with a tone so filthy you can feel the air in the room darken.
Impossible to categorise, they blend elements of punk, doom, noise and even (if you squint) nu-metal.
Vocalist Amy Walpole stalks the stage (and the crowd), her facial expressions an unnerving mix of scowls and beaming smiles, her vocals a disarming mix of angsty screams and soulful melodies.
Guitarist Alisha Yarwood’s guitar tone is as gloriously horrible as Thompson’s and, along with Annabelle Joyce’s propulsive drumming, they evoke something akin to Petrol Girls jamming with The Jesus Lizard. It’s as unifying as it is terrifying.
So, who could possibly follow all of that? Well (spoiler alert), Nova Twins can.
After having their first major UK tour decimated by Covid, these ladies have been on a meteoric rise. It was only just over a year ago that they were playing the small studio upstairs at The Waterfront, and now they’re back headlining the main room.
Arriving amidst a wall of samples and strobe lights they slam into Fire & Ice, and the room explodes. The following songs, Cleopatra and Toolbox, do little to subdue things.
When bassist Georgia South isn’t tap-dancing on her gigantic rack of effects pedals she’s bouncing around the stage like Tigger on uppers.
Vocalist Amy Love’s voice sounds huge this evening. From the raging Taxi to the slinky Sleep Paralysis, she is a captivating force and the ice to South’s fire.
By the time the encore of Antagonist, Undertaker and a raucous Choose Your Fighter rolls around, sweat is dripping from the ceiling.
This is an evening to remember, and a reminder that alternative music is very much alive and kicking.