Q&A: NOVACUB – Louise Bartle

Words by Ed King & Louise Bartle – NOVACUB / Pics courtesy of K2 Agency

On Saturday 21st March, NOVACUB will be coming back to Birmingham – joining alt-rock powerhouse REWS on their Phoenix Tour, and playing alongside Birmingham’s own tartan clad rock/punksters [SKETCH] at the O2 Institute 3.

Minimum age of entry to gig is 14 years old, with doors open from 6pm. Tickets are priced at £10 (+ booking fee) – as promoted by Metropolis Music and Birmingham Review. For more gig info and links to online ticket sales, click here to visit the Facebook event page.

Or for a direct link to online ticket sales, visit: www.reviewpublishing.net/product/rews-novacub-sketch-o2-institute-21-03-20/**

Having formed just over a year ago by Bloc Party drummer Louise Bartle (who also brought Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack into the fold) it’s been a pretty non-stop first dance around the sun for NOVACUB – playing some heavyweight support slots, releasing a series of singles and their debut EP.

Now coming back to Birmingham, joining REWS and [SKETCH] at the O2 Institute 3 on Saturday 21st March, Birmingham Review snagged a cheeky Q&A with NOVACUB founder and frontwoman Louise Bartle:

BR: Hello NOVACUB, thanks for letting us pick your brains ahead of the O2 Institute gig – very excited to have you back in Birmingham. You came to the Castle and Falcon in April 2019 with The Xcerts, any drunken/late night (mis)adventures from the last time you were in the city?

NOVACUB: HEY! Haha well I think we were pretty boring actually as we’re always paranoid about the safety of our instruments etc – there’s a lot of packing and unpacking when you’re in your own cars/van. It was a great show last time we were there though!!

BR: And this time last year you were also sandwiched by tour dates with the Kaiser Chiefs – how does it feel to be now heading out on the road with REWS?

NOVACUB: Yeah, it feels really exciting! It always does! We love playing our music to anyone who wants to listen haha!

We’re really excited to be playing shows!! We love playing live, it’s such a cathartic experience! Really looking forward to meeting REWS and making new memories together!

BR: As individuals you have a wealth of talent and experience already under your belts, from working with Selena Gomez to Birmingham’s own Laura Mvula. But as band, NOVACUB are relatively newborn – how have the past 12months+ learning to walk been?

NOVACUB: It’s been really exciting for us – we’ve already been through so much together! We still feel that it’s early days for us and can’t wait for people to get to know us more! We love putting music out so we’re going to focus on that this year.

BR: ‘I Still Need It’ debuted in Jan 2019, with ‘Strike’ and ‘Wait Up’ coming out in April and July respectively. How were the singles received?

NOVACUB: Yeah they went down well! It’s nice when people start to discover the band – it’s a new feeling for us and really exciting honestly.

BR: Then, with a couple of extra cherries on the cake, your Future Echoes EP came out in October 2019 – how was it to see a larger slice of NOVACUB get served up?

NOVACUB: Really special – it’s our first body of work! We have so much more to come and are dying to serve you up some more madness!!

BR: Then ‘November’ came out in, well, November 2019 – releasing your first track not featured on the Future Echoes EP. You can probably guess what we’re building up to… is there an album on its way?

NOVACUB: Hehe well… We are working on something really exciting. We have over two albums worth of music honestly but we want to pace ourselves! I will say we are going to put more music out later this year..

BR: And where did the hat tip to early rave and piano house in ‘Strike’ come from – elements of production that followed into ‘November’? Not that we’re complaining… takes us back… but it’s a little shift from the clear guitar riffs of other tracks.

NOVACUB: Well firstly we all love different styles of music so it feeds into the band. Secondly, Russell our guitarist likes to play his guitar so it doesn’t sound like one (sometimes) and this is an example of him demonstrating his skills in that regard. When he first sent the song to me (Louise) I absolutely loved it and wanted to top what he’d written somehow haha!!

BR: We love a good game of guess the genre, and we’ve seen variations of the rock-pop-indie holy trinity next to your name. But set us all straight – how would you describe NOVACUB’s sound?

NOVACUB: Anything and everything, haha, but for real probably mainly indie pop/rock – we write whatever we want though which is why I love being in the band!

BR: We also love a good democracy, and you look very warm and cuddly on your promo shots. But NOVACUB is the brainchild of Bartle – is that reflected in the songwriting or studio?

NOVACUB: I’d say that in the studio I (Louise) am more controlling. The only other way I could be considered the ‘brainchild’ of NOVACUB is that I brought us together as I knew everyone separately first! I feel we are all pretty hands on in different ways though! You all have to be a team in a band so that everyone knows how important they are!

BR: And is it still all love and hugs with Bloc Party, or is there now some silent/healthy competition…?

NOVACUB: Well it depends how you look it at… I’ve never viewed music as a competition and I don’t see any other band or artist as competition so it’s all love from me!

BR: All that’s left is for us to wish you the very best with the REWS tour – especially (selfishly) the gig at the O2 Institute on Saturday 21st March.

NOVACUB: Thank you!!

‘I Still Need It’ – NOVACUB

NOVACUB come to the O2 Institute 3 on Saturday 21st March, supporting REWS and playing alongside Birmingham’s own tartan clad rock/pinksters [SKETCH]. For more gig info and links to online ticket sales, click here to visit the Facebook event page. 

**£1 from all tickets sold through Review Publishing will be donated to the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign – click here for a direct link to online ticket sales: www.reviewpublishing.net/product/rews-novacub-sketch-o2-institute-21-03-20


For more on NOVACUB, visit www.wearenovacub.com

For more on REWS, visit www.rewsmusic.com
For more on [SKETCH], visit

For more on the O2 Institute, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham


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