There is no better feeling in the world than discovering a new band. Forget chocolate ice cream or Oreo-flavoured cakes. Nothing, absolutely nothing beats the thrill and excitement of hearing the first chords of a good track. It gets even better when the newly discovered band has a good name. A good track, original name and a great story to tell is a paradise found for the reviewer.
Northumberland based quartet, Not Now Norman certainly possess a very unique name. They also have a rooster in a logo and it turns out they were called after a very greedy cockerel. As a proud owner of a food motivated black feline with the same name, I can confirm that shouts “Not Now, Norman” can be heard quite often in my household as well .
Food and animals aside, Not Now Norman is a very interesting act for several reasons. First of all, the group is intergenerational which is very rare. There is at least 20 years of difference between guitarist Zander Brown and the rest of the band. I don’t know any other indie ensemble, maybe except for The Stepford Wives, whose members come from two different age groups and perform together without being related. Second thing is NNN are fronted by Taylor-Grace Mitchell, a passionate spokeswoman on behalf of artists with disabilities and long term illnesses. Taylor is very open about suffering from a rare bone condition called Hereditary Multiple Exostoses and again this is a mould-breaking attitude. It takes a great deal of courage and honesty to tackle the discrimination and derogation that is plaguing the music business. Even their choice of music is surprising – instead of sticking to the safe genres of indie or brit-pop, the band ventures into rarely charted waters of hard rock and American alternative metal a la Halestorm or The Pretty Reckless. Very risqué but unpredictable and definitely not boring.
Their newest single ‘Little Frankenstein’ is a solid hard rock composition with several well timed tempo changes and strong riffs. Zander Brown is a fantastic guitarist and he gives the band punching, rocking sounds. The rhythm section consisting of drummer Bodhi Turnbull and bassist Lara Hindhaugh who are doing a good job as well, keeping the frequencies low and heavy. One thing that could be improved are the vocals – the song would benefit more if they were more “feral”, angrier and maybe a tiny bit louder.
Not Now Norman has a strong local following but I hope they will not stop taking risks. When the pandemic is finally done and dusted, it would be good to see them popping to the West Midlands area. The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham would be a perfect venue for them to play.
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