Beijing band Nova Heart's first London show

By Rory Howard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 25, 2015
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Nova Heart--Beijing's answer to Blondie--starts their pre-Glastonbury tour at London's Old Last Blue live music venue on June 22, 2015. [Photo/]


Between singing Helen whispered disjointed sentences into the microphone that the audience could only catch snatches of. There was something haunting and eerie about the sound, and it became clear why in previous interviews and articles about the band, the names of movie directors such as Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, and David Lynch were mentioned. Nova Heart put on a dark show. The flashing lights, the dark red and blue lights that lingered on the stage made it all seem like a scene from a thriller. Coupled with the brainwashing whispers of Helen, something closer to theatre than music was being created. Helen was transformed into something very disjointed and different to the person that was milling around the bar before the band started playing.

Nova Heart played their most widely known tracks first, "Lacklustre No.," "Ethereal" and "Beautiful Boys." These are dreamy tracks of lingering cyber notes and bass lines that did echo back to Debbie Harry and Blondie. They are also old tracks. Classic songs for sure, but these are tracks that were released back on their earlier EP. When there is such a gap between the EP and the album, people are left to wonder if the band has a whole album in them. The answer from the rest of the gig is yes, Nova Heart has a lot to give the world. Their first feature length album is consistently toe-tapping, head-nodding, shake-your-whole-body good.

Once the set moved in to newer tracks I turned around and saw that the room was packed out. The order that Helen had put in place at the beginning of the gig had disappeared and everyone was transfixed with the energy behind Nova Heart's new tracks, and entranced by Helen's haunted character (think of the girl with the face covered by black hair from the film The Ring and you're nearly there).

A room full of London residents have witnessed what could become one of the most successful China-based bands, but half the audience did not know it yet. This lucky audience could say they were there from Nova Heart's beginning--in the U.K. at least.


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