Stourbridge had a great music scene once upon a time, with bands like Pop Will Eat Itself, The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin really putting this market town in the Black Country on the map. In more recent times the town has produced few musical exports of note, but one band hoping to change that is The Novus, who release their new single ‘Man on the Bridge’ today.
‘Man on the Bridge’ was written in the van on the way from Stourbridge to play a gig in Camden, where the band saw an old guy (in his underpants) dancing his heart out by the bridge at Camden Lock. Apparently, he's been doing it for years.
Produced by Gavin Monaghan, the man who helped to make the Blinders first album ‘Columbia’ such a tour de force, ‘Man on the Bridge’ is an indie stormer reminiscent of The Jam around their ‘When You’re Young’ period, with a soaring chorus that will lodge itself in your head for days. They originally included the song on a cassette mix tape they made last year of themselves, which was discovered by BBC Introducing and played by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, and now this official release is the first by the band on vinyl.
The video for Man on the Bridge features the man who inspired it – the band found footage of the man on Youtube and approached the Czech film maker who filmed it who gave permission and put a shout out on the Idles AF Gang Facebook group to find an editor. When filming footage of the band in Stourbridge shots rang out, of which frontman Connor Hill said:
" it was a complete shock to us. We were trying to stick to social distancing guidelines with Tyla filming me at a distance and exploring rural Stourbridge for something resembling a bridge that contrasted to the Camden setting. We stepped off what we thought was a public footpath into some fields and then heard an almighty 'crack'. We thought it was a car backfiring back on the road or might have been an air rifle, then the second bang which was a lot louder and saw something rattle the leaves of a tree. We thought shit! and legged it as fast as we could as it looked like a 'get off my land' episode that might have escalated"
Man on the Bridge is out now, listen to it here.
You can buy the vinyl at the band’s Bandcamp here