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Fresh-faced and eager to get on the road with their new EP – ‘Will To Power/Suspicion’ – Vancouver-based NOV3L have been discovered by fans that are already smitten with the likes of Talking Heads, Sweaty Palms, and FEET. Of course, an act with similarities matched to such artists went down well in the depths of the YES basement in the heart of Manchester.

Threads open with a stomping set. Guitars drenched with enough reverb to drown a small country, complemented by a rhythm section ridden with meat to scare any respected vegan. Lead vocal duties slightly suffered at the hands of a lost voice suffered by frontman Kane Martin, which from the upstairs may have sounded like a WU LYF comeback. But – ailments aside – all in all, their set was solid and they showed a lot of promise for a rising act.

Next up is much-hyped Canadian six-piece N0v3l. Little is known about this group, but they’ve already been tipped by the likes of NME for greatness in 2019 – quite a claim with only one EP released. Nov3l are set up surrounding the drummer in the middle of the stage, their set starts with the new single ‘To Whom It May Concern’, which is an absolute banger, flowing seamlessly into another great number: ‘Natural’. The guitars are intricate, twangy and funky, integrated with the basslines on show, that are so groovy that you can’t help but bob your head.


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N0V3L // The Shacklewell Arms // 26.01.2019

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The crowd are now in the mood, hips are shaking and feet are stomping. It’s true who we compared them to earlier – think early Talking Heads – angular guitar rhythms held together with simple but incredibly effective four-to-the-floor drum beats. A synth and interchanging sax player help add body to the songs giving them a truly unique and exciting sound. All this is joined together with shouty vocals that give it a post-punk edge. Mid setter ‘Suspicion’ treats the crowd to a building instrumental end that leads to a tight funky outro jam.

The set continues to churn out great dancey songs, with minimal chat in between them, leaving a lasting impression on the punters of the YES basement. N0v3l are an exciting and original band, and it will be very interesting to see what they have in store for the rest of the year.

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